Testredaktör PC för Alla, Tech AdvisorAUG 15, 2023 3:38 pm BST
Image: Mattias Inghe
At a glance
Excellent battery life
Simple, effective design
Good value for money
No pen included
If versatility is a top priority for you, the Inspiron 16 2-in-1 is a great choice. It’s an impressive all-rounder, with key strengths such as sound, cooling and battery life and only minor compromises.
It’s worth emphasising that this review is for the 2022 model of the Inspiron 16 2-in-1, which features Intel’s 12th-gen processors rather than the latest (at the time of writing) 13th-gen. The 2023 version (US/UK) therefor offers slight performance and power efficiency improvements, but it’s more of the same elsewhere.
So, not only can you save some money on this older model, it’s still a great convertible laptop. Expect a good experience during multitasking, web browsing and office work, all while staying cool and maintaining good battery life.
Design, keyboard & trackpad
The Inspiron is a solidly built laptop with a luxury feel, thanks to solid aluminium surfaces adorning both the inside and outside of the device. It combines with a nice matte glass surface that covers both the mouse pad and the surfaces next to it. This provides comfort and gives the computer its own style when open and in use.
You get a centrally located keyboard with no numeric keypad. It has well-built, responsive keys, albeit with a fairly low profile and short travel. The keys have some backlighting, but it wouldn’t hurt if it was brighter.
Above the backspace button is the computer’s power button, which doubles as a fingerprint reader. I often complain about this on laptops, as it makes it easy to accidentally activate power saving mode. But here, it’s less responsive and so less likely to happen.
As its name makes clear, the Inspiron 16 2-in-1 has a 360-degree hinge, allowing it to be used in a variety of positions.
It’s a touchscreen, so works with both your finger and a stylus, though the latter isn’t included. The touch control is excellent, but it misses some input using a third-party stylus.
However, the device isn’t the easiest to carry around, given it has sharp edges that cut into your hands and is also quite heavy.
The screen is an IPS LCD panel with a 1920 x 1200 resolution. That’s not exactly super sharp, but acceptable, with wide viewing angles and a pleasantly flicker-free image. It’s also good at blocking out mot of the harmful blue light for people who need to sit and stare at the screen all day long.
It has close to full sRGB coverage, but is a long way off on DCI-P3, so colour accuracy isn’t the best. Therefore, it’s best suited for office work, simple media streaming, browsing the web and note-taking, but less good for professional media work.
Good anti-glare treatment on the glossy screen is a plus, but not enough to make it usable in bright sunlight.
Specs & audio
But if the lighting conditions are favourable, watching movies on the Inspiron is still an enjoyable experience.
That’s primarily due to the good speakers, but also good manual control via the Waves sound enhancement software.
Much thanks to good speakers and sound enhancement software with good manual control from Waves. It gives a distinct sound with clear bass and lots of detail, as long as I stick to regular stereo sound. Surround sound isn’t quite up to the task.
In terms of connections, you get Wi-Fi 6E for fast and reliable internet access, alongside Bluetooth 5.2. Two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports are joined by two USB 3 Type-A, plus HDMI and a 3.5mm audio jack. However, do be aware that you’ll need one of those USB-C ports for charging.
The laptop can run fanless, meaning the only thing you hear from it is speaker noise and your keyboard typing. But I can’t find a manual control for it that forces it to go silent.
Fans kick in automatically, and it doesn’t take much for a low-volume cooling system to kick in. But unless you get close to its maximum load for a prolonger period of time, the noise isn’t very disruptive
The relatively high weight (2.1-2.2kg) is partly due to a larger battery than most laptops of the same size.
It has an 86Wh capacity, something which definitely translates to good battery life, especially when the processor and graphics are really put to work. You can work on these demanding apps for three to four hours, or comfortable use it for everyday tasks for an entire day.
I can forgive a slightly older processor and other minor flaws. The Inspiron 16 2-in-1 doesn’t screw up in any major way, although those who value sharper performance might want to go for the Intel 13th-gen version instead.