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Larger laptops are becoming more of a 'thing', with 16-inch screens providing significantly more space for work and play than 15.6-inch devices. Discrete graphics and powerful processors are obvious features to include with a large display, enabling creative and entertainment use cases. That's what Dell offers with its Inspiron 16 Plus 7610, and with several configurations available, you should be able to specify exactly what you need.
The Inspiron 16 Plus 7610 is large and heavy, weighing up to 2kg (4.4lbs) depending on the configuration. It will challenge your shoulder strength -- and that's without factoring the large power brick into the weight equation.
The laptop measures 355.28mm wide by 247.5mm deep, and is 18.99 mm thick at the back, tapering slightly to 16.80mm at the front (13.99in. x 9.74in. x 0.75-0.66in.). Apart from the large screen, the other reason for the size and weight is the sturdy chassis. Although there's no mention of MIL-STD compliance in the spec sheet for the Inspiron 16 Plus, the outer shell is aluminium top and bottom, and the lid of my review unit was reassuringly solid.
The Mist Blue chassis colour won't look out of place in a professional environment, although conservative eyebrows might be raised when the lid is lifted to reveal silver trim around the touchpad and three edges of the keyboard area: the hinge section of the lid is unadorned.
The 16-inch IPS panel is clear and sharp, offering 3K (3072 x 1920, 226.4ppi) resolution. The 16:10 aspect ratio provides a spacious working environment, and I found perfectly feasible to have two working documents open side by side. The display's 300 nits maximum brightness might be a little low if you work in a brightly lit office, or venture outdoors with the laptop, while the absence of a touch-screen option may disappoint some potential buyers.
Sound quality is disappointing. The stereo speakers fire out of the underside of the chassis, directing their output into the desk or onto the user's lap, which isn't ideal. The grille that sits above the keyboard and runs the full width of the laptop looks like it might allow the speakers to direct sound upwards, but if the evidence of my hands is to be believed, the grille is a heat vent. In any case, the audio is mediocre, lacking bass tones and heavy on treble.
There is room above the screen for a 720p webcam with a sliding privacy cover, but IR support for face authentication via Windows Hello is absent. You do get a fingerprint sensor, which is built into the power button in the top right of the keyboard area.
With just 1.3mm of travel, keys hardly seem to depress at all when they're used, and those who like a more responsive action may rue the lack of resistance on a downward press. This does deliver one advantage: I barely generated enough noise when typing to be noticed by people sitting nearby.
There's room for a number pad to the right of the QWERTY keys, and while its keys are slightly narrower than the main array they are still well spaced and easy to hit accurately. The Enter key is single-width and double-height: it took me a while to ensure I hit it accurately, but that was my only issue with what's otherwise a very well-designed keyboard.
The touchpad is enormous and very responsive, which is just as well, as there's no touch-screen option for this laptop.
Like most Dell laptops, the Inspiron 16 Plus 7610 is available in several configurations. There are two 11th generation Intel processor choices: Core i5-11400H or, as in my review unit, Core i7-11800H. Graphics can be handled by the CPU's integrated Intel UHD Graphics, or by a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 or GeForce RTX 3050 GPU with 6GB and 4GB of dedicated video memory respectively. My review unit had the latter, along with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. You can specify 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD in the UK, but US buyers get additional choices -- 32GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
My review configuration, comprising an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, 16-inch 3K screen, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD and 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU costs £1,249 (inc. VAT; £1,040.83 ex. VAT) in the UK. In the US, you must have a 512GB SSD if you select the RTX 3050, a configuration that costs $1,299.99. If you want a 1TB SSD, you get the RTX 3060 and pay $1,499.99.
Paring the specifications down to the minimum -- Core i5-11400H CPU, integrated GPU, 8GB RAM -- gives a starting price of £749 (inc. VAT; £624.17 ex. VAT) in the UK (with a 512GB SSD) or $917.99 in the US (with a 256GB SSD).
It's good to see an SD card reader among the array of ports and connectors, which also includes two USB-A ports, a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, a full-size HDMI connector and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. Power delivery is via a round-pin jack, which means the Thunderbolt port is always available.
Battery life is healthy given the large screen size, with a fully charged laptop falling to 63% in a three-hour working session using the web for writing and streaming pretty much constantly. An 8-hour day's work away from the mains could be feasible for many users, although after-hours relaxation will probably require a boost to the 56Wh battery.
Charging a low battery with a quick power burst could be helpful. At one point, with the battery at 29% it rose to 41% after 15 minutes of charge, to 54% after 30 minutes and to 67% after 45 minutes.
The Inspiron 16 Plus 7610's large screen makes for a sizeable and weighty laptop, but there's plenty to like here, including a good display, all-day battery life and plenty of ports and connectors. As long as you don't expect too much from the speakers or need a touch screen, this could be a worthwhile purchase for power users and creators.