Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review: A semi-creator laptop with a lot of potential

Although the Creator Laptop segment falls in the ultra-high-end segment, it has a huge market potential, especially with the boom in young digital creators. While the options available in the “pro” segment are increasing, brands like Dell are beginning to realize that they need to offer options that cater to budding creators who are willing to spend big bucks on top-tier hardware. are not. The new Inspiron 16 Plus is designed to meet the needs of such customers, but without sacrificing the raw performance expected from a manufacturer-focused notebook. There’s a lot to like about Dell’s entry-level Creator laptop, provided you know its pros and cons. Here is my review of the Inspiron 16 Plus.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus price in India (as reviewed): Rs 1,29,989

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review: Design and aesthetics

When I started using the Inspiron 16 Plus, its design gave me a mixed feeling. But then I realized that not every laptop has to look different. The Inspiron 16 Plus is a well-built device, but it’s not exactly a thin and light laptop. The metal-clad notebook is on the heavy side, weighing in at 2.1 kg. But then the Creator laptops are a bit big and heavy, due to beefy internals. The good news is that the Inspiron 16 Plus fits into my Samsonite backpack, which is designed to hold a 15″ laptop without issue. The Inspiron 16 Plus’s mist blue color scheme might sound drab to some but I’m happy The Notebook is not available in the traditional Silver or Gray color options.The Inspiron 16 Plus now has a diamond cut edge which gives a more polished look to the Notebook.

Let’s talk about ports, shall we? For content creators, especially if you’re a photographer and a graphic designer, ports and connectivity matter. Functionality always comes before form. This notebook has an HDMI port, a USB Type-A port, and every essential port a content creator would need, including a Thunderbolt 4 port, an SD card slot, a USB Type-A port, and a headphone jack. Wireless connectivity includes Intel Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth support.

The 16-inch display has a resolution of 3072 by 1920 pixels which translates to a 16:10 aspect ratio. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review: Display and speakers

I was really excited when I first opened the Inspiron 16 Plus and saw the big display. It’s impressive to see how Dell managed to cram a 16-inch display with a slimmer border that’s not much bigger than a 15-inch laptop size.

16-inch notebooks are slowly gaining traction among “pro” consumers and that’s why the trend is here to stay. Many professional users will appreciate the Inspiron 16 Plus’ display. The 16 inch screen is beautiful. It has a resolution of 3072 by 1920 pixels which translates to a 16:10 aspect ratio. Jumping from 16:9 to 16:10 makes a big difference.

Everything looks better, whether it’s working on a spreadsheet, editing photos, or watching movies. Images will look more natural on screen and colors will literally pop up. The display supports 300 nits brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 100% sRGB color coverage and Dolby Vision for HDR content. Sure, the display on the Inspiron 16 Plus isn’t even close to Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro or Asus’s ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED, but then those laptops cost a lot. While I’m not too concerned about the lack of touch capability on the Inspiron 16 Plus, I wish the display had a higher refresh rate.

Laptop speakers are usually heavy but not anymore. A lot of premium Windows notebooks launched in the past few months have excellent onboard speakers. The speakers of this notebook are loud and clear with good separation, perfect for listening to music, watching movies or participating in video calls. Sure, the bass is heavy but the speakers deliver better sound quality. The Inspiron 16 Plus’ 720p webcam is serviceable but there’s nothing fancy about it. The webcam works well, but it’s high time premium laptops like these come with a 1080p webcam. Unfortunately, Dell didn’t add an IR-enabled Windows Hello camera. Windows Hello login is supported with a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button.

dell inspiron 16 plus, dell inspiron 16 plus review, dell inspiron 16 plus price in india, dell inspiron 16 plus specs, inspiron 16 plus review The keyboard layout is pretty standard, though the keys are well spaced and have a good amount of travel. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review: Keyboard and trackpad

It feels great to type on this laptop. As a person who types for hours every day, the importance of a good keyboard is paramount. It took me a while to adjust to the keyboard, but I must say I really enjoyed typing on the Inspiron 16 Plus. The keyboard layout is pretty standard, though the keys are well spaced and have a good amount of travel. To my surprise, there’s a dedicated number pad on the right, which is always useful. The touchpad, on the other hand, is not only spacious but also feels attractive and responsive.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review: Performance and battery life

The Inspiron 16 Plus uses Intel’s 11th generation H-series Tiger Lake processors, the company’s first consumer 10nm processor. The basic version of this notebook (which I got for review) uses an 11th-generation Core i7-11800H processor with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. It’s also packing an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU with 4GB of VRAM. Everything is on solder, which means you can’t upgrade anything on your own. So make sure you choose the configuration you really need keeping in mind the long term usage. Thankfully, the PCLe 4.0 slot supports drives up to 2TB in capacity.

dell inspiron 16 plus, dell inspiron 16 plus review, dell inspiron 16 plus price in india, dell inspiron 16 plus specs, inspiron 16 plus review The Mist Blue color scheme of the Inspiron 16 Plus might sound monotonous to some but I am glad that the notebook is not available in the traditional silver or gray color options. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Speaking of performance, the Notebook can handle my toughest days at work—dozens of Google Chrome tabs open, communication apps like Teams and Zoom, and editing software with no hassle. Thanks to the GeForce RTX 3050, you can use this machine to play AAA PC games or do video production. But, of course, this notebook has a limit and isn’t designed for heavy-duty content makers.

Battery life is impressive considering the notebook packs in a 3K display and a dedicated graphics card. Using the notebook with the screen brightness set to 50 percent, I was able to get eight hours of battery life. Of course, battery performance will vary when running more demanding graphics and video software.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus Review: Should You Buy It?

The Inspiron 16 Plus proves that there is a market for professional laptops that are aimed solely at budding content makers. This is not the ultimate content creator machine and Dell is not claiming it as such. Notebooks like this haven’t been highlighted by brands before, so it was a bit of a surprise when Dell sent the Inspiron 16 Plus in for review. A device like the Inspiron 16 Plus comes with a host of great features like 3K display, well-built and mid-level graphic card, along with enhanced performance and extended battery life without spending much. I see that the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is aimed at Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 processor.

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