Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

A Jack of All trades laptop that can handle most workflows

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is a jack-of-all-trades laptop that handles various workflows competently

Pros

  • +

    Simple, straightforward sleek styling

  • +

    immersive 16:10 aspect ratio display

  • +

    quality audio

  • +

    Solid consistent performance

Cons

  • -

    below average display brightness

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Dell Inspiron 16 Plus specs

Price: $1,249 (base), $1,599.99 (as reviewed)

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H processor

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti 4GB VRAM

RAM: 16GB

Storage: 512GB SSD

Display: 16-inch WVA 3K (3072 x 1920) 16:10 Aspect Ratio 60Hz

Battery: 10:30

Size: 14.05 x 9.92 x 0.75 (at the rear) 0.67 inches (at the front)

Weight: 4.5 pounds

The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (late 2022) is more minor tweaks based on Intel 12th Gen and Nvidia 30-series components than a massive overhaul. The Inspiron 16 Plus is a thin 16-inch tweener laptop capable of handling all your productivity needs, with a little content creation and gaming thrown in to create a well-balanced laptop that is aesthetically pleasing. 

It seems the idea behind the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is to appeal to a broad swath of buyers by giving you a little of this and a little of that. It’s not a true workstation or a true gaming laptop; however, it can handle a bit of both. It’s a hack of all trades, master of none, and depending on your needs, that might be perfect.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus pricing and configurations

The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is interesting because it doesn’t have a massive array of upgrades available, with the only upgrade in my review unit being the move from Windows Pro vs. Windows 11 Home Edition. 

For $1,599.99, you get the Windows 11 Home Edition with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700 CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM, 512GB SSD, and a 16-Inch WVA 3K display. 

For $1,659.99, you can kick things up a notch and get Windows 11 Pro, 32GB RAM with a 1TB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM. 

With such a negligible price difference, I recommend getting the more powerful system which also nets you double the storage.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus design

Designwise, the Dell Inspiron 16 is seriously sleek. It’s got a clean, modern, minimalist look with a touch of color thanks to its metallic-flecked dark green hue. You will find the black Dell logo along the back of the Inspiron 16’s lid. It’s funky and adds a little flair to the look. At the laptop’s rear sit heat vent cutouts. It’s a style that has worked for Dell’s XPS series, and it sure doesn’t hurt the Inspiron one bit. However, the 16 Plus doesn’t stand out, and maybe that’s on purpose, as with everything Dell does, there’s a great deal of thought behind its simplicity.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

Opening the laptop, you’re greeted by a massive display that pulls your eyes in. Hidden within the tiny bezel, you’ll find the barely visible webcam with a manual privacy shutter. Let your eyes slide down towards the keyboard deck, and they meet an unassuming speaker grill, followed by the generously sized keyboard sitting within the massive deck that gives your wrists ample space. 

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

Beneath the keyboard is a large 3.1 x 4.5-inch buttonless touchpad. The other little design feature I like is when you open the laptop, the hinge lifts the rear of the laptop, placing the deck and keyboard at an optimal typing angle. It’s not uncommon, but it’s always appreciated.

The Inspiron 16’s 4.5 pound, 14.1 x 9.9 x 0.8-inch frame is well balanced. The HP Envy 16 comes in as the big betty of our group weighing in at 5.1 pounds, 14.1 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches. Our other comparison laptop is the MacBook Pro M2 13-inch, which, unlike the others, comes with a 13-inch display and weighs just 3 pounds, with measurables coming in at 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches. 

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus security

Dell secures the Inspiron 16 Plus via its fingerprint reader and Windows Hello (opens in new tab)-compatible webcam. The FHD webcam also has a physical shutter to keep unwanted eyes out. There is also a 30-day free trial of McAfee Life Saver, and Windows Defender offers antivirus and malware protection.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus ports

The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus comes with a solid selection of useful ports. On the right, there’s a combo audio jack, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, and an SD card reader.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

On the left, you’ll find a USB Type-C port (Thunderbolt 4), an additional USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.0 port, and the AC charging port.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus display

The Inspiron’s 16-inch 3K (3072 x 1920) 16:10 aspect ratio display is large, immersive, and vivid. Although not the brightest, it does produce sharp text and can be color calibrated via the Dell Cinema Color app, so it’s not bad for editing videos. Color saturation was more than acceptable, with no obvious color bleeds.  I enjoyed using the low blue light panel with my eyes never tiring.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

Watching the latest Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer on YouTube was fun on the huge 16-inch panel as it gives a personal theater experience thanks to its 16:10 aspect ratio. The scene where we see Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie in the Quantum realm for the first time was beautifully rendered, with all the red and black on Ant-Man’s super suit reproduced with nice deep warm tones. The display produced excellent shading and contrast, with very accurate skin tones.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

We measured the 16 Plus display with a colorimeter, covering 70.4% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which scored below the mainstream laptop average of 99.2%. That placed it at the bottom of our group, with the HP Envy 16 leading the way as its display covered 138.1%, followed by the MacBook Pro M2, which covered 75.9% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

During our brightness test, the Inspiron scored an average brightness of 288 nits, which fell below the average of 349 nits. This result seemed bothersome to me as I didn’t find the panel lacked brightness, but the test knows best. Our group leader was the MacBook Pro which averaged 489 nits of brightness, followed by the HP Envy 16, which averaged 360 nits of brightness.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus audio

The four top firing speakers located above the keyboard perform nicely, producing clear, small room filling audio with nice discernable depth. Like most laptops, you’re not going to enjoy earth-shaking bass, but this four-speaker setup creates excellent separation between highs, lows, and mid tones. 

I listened to Meg Thee Stallion’s “Her” as it has become one of my favorite songs to test out laptop audio performance thanks to its thumpy bassline. The four speakers performed nicely, easily handling the deep baseline, no matter how much I cranked it up. However, I did find the highs from Dell’s four speakers sometimes to be a bit tinny. Other than that, the sound quality is solid. 

As I binge-watched Luther on Netflix, I found the vocals were crisp, clear, and accurately reproduced. However, if you want more audio performance or have a need for privacy, a pair of wireless headphones may be a better option.

If you’re like me, you’re hybrid working, thus doing a lot of video calls. In that case, the performance of Dell’s dual array mic setup does an excellent job of capturing your voice in both Google Meet and Microsoft Teams

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus keyboard and touchpad

Dell built the Inspiron with a large keyboard that sits centered on its huge deck that has ample space for resting your wrists while typing. The warmly backlit Chiclet keyboard is a joy to type on. Especially for those with larger than average hands like myself. 

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

During the 10FastFingers.com test, my mutant-sized, battle-tested hands performed with uncommon agility producing a record speed of 99 words per minute with a 92% accuracy. That's above my normal average of 80-to-85 wpm with 90% accuracy. 

The 16 Plus’s touchpad measures 3.1 × 4.5 inches and is centered on the deck, and is more than ample. It was sufficiently clicky and responsive while using Windows 11 gestures, including two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus performance

A 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, 16GB of RAM, Nvidia RTX 3050Ti GPU, and a 512GB SSD are solid offerings that will allow this laptop to handle all your document pushing, and photo editing duties with a little gaming and video editing thrown in. I didn’t waste any time. I got cracking to see what the 16 Plus could do. 

I opened 45 tabs in Google Chrome with eight YouTube videos playing simultaneously. Then I opened a Google Doc and started typing away while running Capture One (opens in new tab)to export some images I shot at CES2023. I can happily report the Inspiron held up nicely, with no laggy performance; although the fans did get a tad loud, the system remained cool and performed all tasks well. 

During the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test, the 16 Plus scored 11,939, which blew away the mainstream laptop average of 6,611 and led our group. The  HP Envy 16  came next (11,621 Intel Core i9-12900H CPU), with the MBP coming in at 8,919 (Apple silicone M2). 

During the Handbrake video transcoding test, the Inspiron was solid, taking 5 minutes and 49 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p. It easily surpassed the 11:19  average, as did the Envy (5:53) and the MacBook (7:52).

The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus’s 512GB SSD didn't perform well on our file transfer test, duplicating a 25GB multimedia file in 66.4 seconds at a rate of 404.24 megabytes per second, which fell way beneath the 481.85 MBps category average. Meanwhile, the Envy also fared well (1TB SSD) at 1,656.24 MBps. During our Blackmagic Disk Speed Test the MacBook Pro M2 averaged 2,210.6 MBps, which is pretty darn quick. 

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus graphics

Dell’s Inspiron 16 Plus comes with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM.  It's not a graphics card many will get excited about, but it handles just about everything you throw at it smoothly and steadily – within reason. It never faltered or suffered any poor performance while editing videos with Adobe Premiere or DaVinci Resolve. When I shot photos tethered to it using Capture One, the lag between shots was minor, and images transferred within an acceptable amount of time. 

Once done with my editing chores, I took the Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU for a spin and slaughtered some enemies in Borderlands 2, averaging 52 Fps. The 60Hz panel isn’t meant for gaming, but it held up with solid performance with no visible lag. 

During our Grand Theft Auto Vi: Gathering storm benchmark, the Inspiron averaged 58.47 Frames per second in 1080p. The HP Envy (Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060) averaged 81.63 Fps in 1080p. 

During our synthetic 3DMark Fire Strike test, our Dell Inspiron scored 12,088, which easily surpassed the average of 4,742. Our HP Envy tallied a result of 17,349, totally obliterating this benchmark.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus battery life

The Inspiron 16 Plus is a mainstream laptop that has some horsepower that is below true workstation levels but can handle a good deal of workstation tasks. Even better, it doesn’t suffer from workstation battery life. 

During the Laptop Mag battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the 16 Plus lasted 10 hours and 30 minutes, easily surpassing the mainstream average of 8:55. The Envy totaled 9 hours and 21 minutes, which puts it a little over the category average. However, the Apple MacBook Pro M2 13-inch just owns this space, with its 14 hours and 6 minutes of battery life. If you haven’t heard, Battery life is kind of Apple’s thing.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus heat

The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus uses a five-heat pipe dual fan cooling setup that works rather well. However, I did find they tend to come on quickly and can be a bit loud at times.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

During our heat test, which involves playing a 15-minute fullscreen, 1080p video, the underside measured an acceptable 94 degrees Fahrenheit, just under our 95-degree comfort threshold. The touchpad was cooler at 83 degrees, with the temperature between the G and H keys reaching 88 degrees during testing. I never experienced any extreme heat issues, not even while rendering videos or playing a game.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus webcam

Dell’s FHD 1920 x 1080p webcam performs very well, producing improved images thanks to it being a FHD webcam instead of the 720p HD cams we have been getting for so long. However, there was some pixelation regardless of the lighting, which I found bothersome.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

During Google Meet calls, my viewers reported crisp, well-lit, color-accurate images and FHD 1080p video. The autofocus is speedy, the camera adjusts quickly to lighting changes, and I’m happy to see laptop makers leveling up their camera game.

However, If you need a better-performing shooter or something in the 4K realm, you should check out our best external webcams.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus software and warranty

Dell does a good job of keeping the bloatware to a minimum. Dell includes some proprietary software to help manage your system. You will find Dell Delivery, Dell Cinema Color, and the Dell system management app, which lets you adjust settings and optimize battery usage,  the noise cancelation of the mics,  and other system settings.

It does come with some standard fare like Netflix, Xbox Game Bar, Spotify, Alexa, and the  Edge browser.

The Dell 16 Plus comes with a 1-year limited warranty. See how Dell fared in our annual special reports, including Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands.

Bottom line

The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is a very likable mainstream laptop that reminds you that stability is a good thing – basically, it's Paul Rudd. Although it lacks a wow factor, its solid, consistent performance will cover the needs of most users. The Inspiron does enough of everything well and adds all-day battery life. It’s not the Hulk, but Ant-Man is a superhero and gets the job done.

At the end of the day, the HP Inspiron 16 Plus ($1,599.99) compares favorably with its competitors in every way and allows you to not only create and edit content, but get a little gaming in. If you’re sold on getting a MacBook Pro, it’s an excellent laptop with the exception of gaming natively on it, but thanks to Nvidia’s recent GeForce Now upgrades, you can circumvent that problem. However, if you want the larger display or simply aren’t a macOS fan, the Dell Inspiron 16 is an excellent and relatively affordable performer.

Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.