Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (cn76107) review: a cheap laptop for creators

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Construction

Dell has accustomed us to excellent build quality with its XPS series, and this Inspiron 16 Plus sticks to it. Its bluish aluminum frame is very solid and the finish is impeccable, including a chrome edge that decorates the perimeter of the frame and the touchpad. The thin edges of the 16:10 screen also enhance the premium aspect of the PC without being on par with its cousin XPS.

Nothing to report on the side of the keyboard where it is comfortable to type. A numeric keypad is built-in on the right, as well as a fingerprint reader to quickly unlock the computer. The backlight is only adjustable to three levels, which is a bit light. The touchpad is quite large and fluid to use; however, we regret that it sinks a lot under pressure, especially at the low end.

The keyboard has a numeric keypad and a fingerprint reader.

The keyboard has a numeric keypad and a fingerprint reader.

The 720p webcam is not Windows Hello compatible and therefore does not offer face recognition. On the other hand, it has a manual lid that you just have to push to deactivate. A security feature that we see more and more appearing on the latest PCs, practical for e.g. to cut video in meetings. Unfortunately, the reproduction of webcam is not very good and as soon as the brightness drops a bit, the image is quickly pixelated.

The webcam has a manual cover.

The webcam has a manual cover.

The connection is complete on the edges. There are two USB-A 3.2 ports, a DisplayPort-compatible Thunderbolt 4 port (allows PC charging), an HDMI 2.0 port, an SD card reader, and a mini-jack connector. Enough to satisfy almost any application.

The connection is included.

The connection is included.

Dell chose Phillips screws on the outside and inside of the PC chassis, a good idea that gives the largest number of people access to the components without specific tools. Inside, under metal and plastic covers, we discover a removable M2 SSD, two RAM bars (also removable) and a free slot for a small M2 2230 SSD. This complete scalability is a good surprise, all the more so as the battery can be replaced without major manipulations.

An available slot for the M2 SSD in addition to a removable SSD and RAM sticks.

An available slot for the M2 SSD in addition to a removable SSD and RAM sticks.

The cooling system works well as the temperatures remain contained despite the heat generated by the graphics card. There’s a hot spot around 46 ° C at the top of the keyboard, and a little over 47 ° C at the full outlet air vents, which stays pretty cool. Inspiron 16 Plus, on the other hand, makes noise when the ventilation is running at full speed. We thus noted a peak of 41.2 dB: smaller than large PCs gamebut clearly audible.

The PC warms up slightly on top of the keyboard.

The PC warms up slightly on top of the keyboard.

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Performance

The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus we are testing here is equipped with an advanced Intel Core i7-11800H processor, GeForce RTX 3050 graphics, 16 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD. This H-Series CPU is clocked at 2.3 GHz with a 4.6 GHz turbo. It benefits from a high thermal envelope of 45 W. It was thus able to reach an average of 2.9 GHz on HandBrake, a good performance that explains its high CPU index, which places it very slightly ahead of Ryzen 7 5800H.

The PC’s dedicated graphics card allows it to enable hardware acceleration in certain applications such as Photoshop or Adobe Premiere, making it particularly interesting for professionals and creators. The processing times are thus much faster than with a single processor, although the PC is obviously not as efficient as the models equipped with RTX 3060, 3070 or 3080. Under Blender, the 3D rendering time of a project for example is halved with activating GPU acceleration, but RTX The 3050 is still twice as slow as the RTX 3060.

GPU acceleration provides huge time savings in any software.

GPU acceleration provides huge time savings in any software.

If this PC is above all dedicated to this type of tasks where it has proven to be effective, it can of course be used for gaming and its RTX 3050 benefits from DLSS and raytracing technologies. Unclaimed games like Diablo III (high graphics) and Overwatch (weak graphics) was able to exceed the 60 i / s that the PC’s 60 Hz screen can display by setting the definition to 1920 x 1200 px (153 i / s and 162 i / s, respectively). On Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the graphics settings set to Ultra are a bit too demanding for the PC which only reached 40 fps on average. It will therefore be necessary to lower the graphics for more fluid and approach 60 fps.

Strengths

  • Nice finishes.

  • CPU performance.

  • Hardware acceleration and play possible thanks to the graphics card.

  • Full connection.

  • RAM and storage scalability.

Weak points

  • A little heavy.

  • Limited maximum brightness.

  • 720p webcam.

  • Net block in proprietary format.

Conclusion

we tested, we liked
Global brand

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

How does grading work?

The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is a pleasant surprise. This PC has many qualities, whether it is the finish, scalability, performance of its processor and its graphics card, which should satisfy creators, or its well-calibrated 3K display. In addition, there is an included price for this type of computer. In the end, we can only blame it for being a little heavy and for hosting a slightly flattering webcam.

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