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Students looking for a new laptop — or parents looking for a new laptop for a student — are sometimes on a tight budget. This is why, when shopping for a new device, you'll see many original equipment managers (OEMs) offering more price-friendly PCs. For example, Lenovo has IdeaPads, HP has the Envy line, and Dell has the Inspiron.

I usually review higher-end laptops that cost over $1,000, but I had the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (AMD, 2023) in my setup for a good month instead of my more expensive laptops, such as my Surface Laptop Studio. Surprisingly, this Dell device shares a lot of heritage with the more expensive laptops I am used to handling. It's not a cheap-feeling laptop, and it looks really premium, with great speakers, an excellent backlit keyboard, and a huge 16-inch screen. Even the performance is on par for everyday web browsing, thanks to the AMD Ryzen CPUs under the hood.

Only a few minor things might bother some people, like the fans making too much background noise, the lack of Thunderbolt, and the plastic touchpad. But even with all of that, this is still a great PC for students. It looks fancy and will easily get you through schoolwork, web browsing, and any day-to-day productivity, all for under $1,000.

About this review: Dell loaned me the Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (AMD, 2023) for this review and did not have any input in its contents.

Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (7635)
Source: Dell
Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023)
Recommended laptop for students
8 / 10

The Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) is an amazing Windows convertible for students to consider. It has a large 16-inch 1920x1200 resolution screen, fantastic speakers and port selection, and the AMD CPU under the hood performs great for web browsing and general productivity.

Dark River Blue
512 GB M.1 PCIe NVMe SSD
AMD Ryzen 5 7530U
Operating System
Windows 11 Home
4 Cell, 64 Wh
1x SD card reader, 1x HDMI 1.4, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A, 1x audio jack
1080p webcam with temporal noise reduction features and privacy shutter
Display (Size, Resolution)
16-inch FHD+, 1920x1200 resolution
4.40 pounds
MediaTek Wi-Fi 6E, MU-MIMO Bluetooth Wireless
2x top-firing speakers, 2x iuip-firing speakers, audio processing by Dolby Atmos Cores and Waves MaxxAudio Pro
Card Reader
Full-size SD card reader
  • Looks premium
  • Has great speakers
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Great performance for web browsing/productivity
  • Trackpad is plastic
  • Can run a bit loud
  • Might be heavy for some people

Price and availability

The Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) starts at $650 and is available at The unit I am reviewing had a few upgrades. While it still has the AMD Ryzen 5 7530U base CPU, Dell bumped the RAM from the standard 8GB up to 16GB. This model also has 512GB of storage, though a 1TB option is available. If you'd like, you even can choose the AMD Ryzen 7 7730U CPU. The choices Dell made bumped the cost of my model up to $900.

If you're a fan of Intel, you can get this laptop with Intel CPUs, too. It's slightly more expensive, starting at $800, and comes in both Platinum Silver and Dark River Blue, while the AMD models are only available in blue.


This almost looks like a toned-down Dell XPS in blue

Dell Inspiron 16 on a pillow showing the keyboard

The Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) is a great-looking Windows convertible. Unlike most other budget-friendly laptops, this one isn't made of plastic; the entire device is made of aluminum. When I pressed my hands on the keyboard deck and tried to flex the lid, there was no movement or bending.

Indeed this laptop is tough, but it is beautiful, too. I hate silver or black laptops, and since this one is Dark River Blue, it stands out when sitting on my desk. If you're a student, I'm sure someone will be jealous of you for using this Dell Inspiron in your classroom because of the cool color, if nothing else.

This laptop looks pretty beautiful.

I also love the speaker grills on the side of the keyboard deck. This design element is very similar to what you'd find on a laptop nearly triple the price of this one — the Dell XPS 17. Although there are no polished edges or other fancy touches like you'd get on the Lenovo Yoga 9i, this one still looks very nice for the price. The two top-facing speakers aren't just visually appealing, either. I opened up Spotify and jammed out to Post Malone's "Chemical" while working, and the song's level of bass and clarity was quite impressive.

The design has some faults, though. As a 16-inch 2-in-1, it's a heavy machine, which is the same problem I had when handling the nearly 4.49-pound 16-inch Lenovo Yoga 7i. The Dell Inspiron weighs almost 4.40 pounds, a problematic issue for carrying around for some people. However, the dimensions keep it pretty compact. Since it's 14.05 inches wide and 0.75 inches thick, it'll fit in a bag without issues. I definitely suggest a shoulder bag or a case for this laptop, not only for the weight but also because it can collect fingerprints like crazy.

The weight makes the lid hard to open, too. I found myself using both hands to open the lid, especially because the hinge is so strong. It wasn't always easy to move it between the various postures like tent, stand, and laptop. And holding this massive 16-inch device as a tablet? That just looks silly.

Ports: Leave the dongles behind

I can't forget to mention the port selection on this laptop. Since this is such a giant device, Dell doesn't have to skimp on the ports, which is a good thing for students who might not want to carry a dongle in their bag. There are so many connectivity options to enjoy. The left side of the device has an HDMI 1.4 port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports. The laptop's right side is equally good, with a full-size SD card reader, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, and an audio jack.

Since this is such a giant device, Dell doesn't have to skimp on the ports.

I connected all my favorite accessories to this laptop without a dongle: a keyboard, mouse, phone, tablet, and even a 4K monitor. I also used that SD card slot to grab photos off my camera. Just keep in mind that since this is an AMD-powered laptop, there are no Thunderbolt 4 ports onboard. As a budget device, there's no USB4, either, which offers bandwidth close to Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is only found on laptops with an Intel CPU. This means no access to external GPUs, but this laptop's target audience might not need that feature anyway.


Big and bright

Dell Inspiron 16 showing a statue of Dale Sr at Daytona Speedway

The large display on the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 is pretty pleasing to the eyes with an FHD+ resolution of 1920x1200. Unlike on the Yoga 9i, no other screen resolution upgrades are available, but that's fine with me, as this tall 16:10 aspect ratio screen is plenty good for stacking open windows side by side. My usual flow of using two sessions of Edge next to each other worked fine on this display, and I envision students doing the same with their favorite web browsers and apps.

The 16-inch display on the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 is quite pleasing to the eyes.

Since this is a 2-in-1, the display is designed to be used in different ways, for different purposes. For a multimedia experience, I flipped the screen over and watched a 4K YouTube video showcasing the Daytona International Speedway. I was surprised with how the display made the colors in the video look, right down to the bright green grass in front of the silver and gray statue of NASCAR Legend Dale Earnhardt Senior that sits outside the speedway's visitor center.

For a tablet experience, I flipped the screen into tablet mode and used an older Dell Active Pen to draw on the screen. Although a pen isn't included with this unit, drawing on such a large screen was super smooth, and my ink strokes felt natural. I didn't have to worry about running out of space like I would on my 14-inch Surface Laptop Studio. That makes me imagine this being a great note-taking device for college folks.

gamuts for inspiron

For more technical types, this display hit some pretty good color gamuts. Usually, OEMs might skimp on the panel type on budget laptops, but Dell made sure this panel is at the very least solid. It covers 93% of sRGB, 70% of Adobe RGB, 70% of P3, and 65% of NTSC color s[aces. Brightness is about 293 nits, and the contrast is 1,770:1.

I'd consider these numbers pretty decent, as anything around 70% is what I usually look for when I measure the Adobe RGB and the DCI-P3 gamuts. The near-full sRGB is important, too, since most content on the web is designed for this. The contrast, meanwhile, makes some colors look grayer than I'd hoped, but it's still decent for looking at images on web pages and Microsoft Office documents. The glossy panel certainly contributes to that feeling and makes things seem brighter than they actually are.

Atop the display is an FHD webcam. While it doesn't have Windows Hello features, it does have a privacy slider to keep you guarded against those who might try to hack your webcam. Dell also includes a fingerprint reader and a power button on the keyboard to compensate for the lack of Windows Hello IR.

Keyboard and trackpad

A great keyboard, but a bad trackpad

Dell Inspiron 16 keyboard and trackpad

I really enjoyed typing on the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023). The keyboard lacks a number pad, but it's backlit and has just enough spacing to make speed typing easy and accurate. The key travel is also pretty decent, and so is the actuation force since I didn't have to press too hard for the keys to go down in the chassis. Plus, the keycaps are a bit soft, which helps keep the noise down when typing in quiet environments like a library. There are two levels of backlighting without any bleeding, and it's even across the deck. I truly had a nice time working on this review at night in my dark room.

The keyboard has just enough spacing to make speed typing easy and accurate.

Of course, Dell had to make some cuts since this is a budget-friendly device, and I see that most with the touchpad. It's straight-up horrible. It's a plastic trackpad, and while scrolling on it might be smooth and accurate, clicking on it takes way too much force and makes too much noise. I really wish all laptops had glass trackpads, though I know that'd make this device considerably more expensive.

Software and performance

A decent AMD Ryzen CPU

Dell Inspiron 16 in use with webpages open

Under the hood of the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) is the AMD Ryzen 5 7530U, along with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The 15W CPU is part of the Ryzen 7030 Series family, once codenamed Barcelo R. It's a CPU built on the 7nm process and AMD's Zen 3 architecture. This isn't the new Zen 4-based Ryzen 7000 CPU that you've probably heard of; you'll see those only on higher-end laptops.

Basically, this is a more mid-range processor designed for mainstream thin and light devices. It has 6 CPU cores and 12 threads and runs at a clock speed of up to 4.5GHz, just a slight tick-up from the previous Ryzen 5 5625U, which had a clock speed 200 MHz slower. The CPU also features Radeon Graphics and has seven graphics cores that run up to 2 GHz.

That was a lot of technical jargon, but I want to assure you that this CPU is plenty fast for general productivity. My workflow of running Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Telegram, Slack, and other apps didn't slow down this laptop at all, on the native screen or when plugged into a 4K monitor. Usually, I juggle about 10 to 16 tabs in my browser, but even pushing beyond that and opening multiple media-heavy tabs with YouTube didn't cause the device to lock up or freeze.

The only thing all of this caused? The fans to kick in. This laptop gets pretty loud under regular use, such as running a video call. The fans are not too annoying, but they are noticeable. Luckily, they face away from you near the hinge, so there's no heat blowing at your fingers or body.


Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) (AMD Ryzen 5 7530U)

Lenovo Yoga 7i (16-inch) 2023 (Intel Core i7-1355U)

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) (Intel Core i7-1250U)

HP Dragonfly Pro (AMD Ryzen 7 7736U)

PCMark 10

5726 (On power) 4791 (On battery)




3DMark Time Spy





Geekbench 5 (Single/ Multi)





Geekbench 6 (Single/ Multi)





Cinebench R23 (Single/ Multi)





So, how about my benchmarks? Well, based on the PC Mark 10 scores, things on this device mostly align with its competitors. You'll get good performance when plugged into power for basic computing tasks like web browsing, but you'll see that performance drop when on battery. This thermal throttling is a problem that's plagued AMD CPUs for a while. That has been fixed in the Zen4-based chips, but this one is still Zen 3, which means you'll still experience that issue.

And if you look at Cinebench, which tests the encoding power of the laptop for photo editing, you'll see that the multicore scores really lag behind devices with Intel's 13th-generation hybrid CPUs. Even when running the test, I found it so slow that I thought it had frozen. That shows that this laptop will lag behind for tasks that need prolonged CPU power.

AMD Ryzen sticker

Gaming and video editing

The story is the same with gaming or video editing. Because of that low 3DMark Time Spy score, you simply can't expect a lot of power. In 3DMark Time Spy, when I was running the tests, I only saw about 10 frames per second. And when I tried to play a light game like "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive," the performance was at about 50 FPS on really low settings, and there were a lot of moments where the game simply froze and then unfroze.

A more demanding game like "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" didn't fare any better, hitting only 15 FPS average on high settings and about 25 FPS on low settings, with a lot of stutters. So, for these tasks, you'll want to consider a laptop with the faster Ryzen 7045 or 7040 series CPUs and RDNA2 or RDNA3 graphics.

Battery life

Battery life is pretty amazing. When I used the laptop with Windows 11 set to Best Power Efficiency, the laptop lasted for 10 and a half hours, exceeding my average expectation of 8 hours. So this laptop sure can last unplugged for a while, mainly because, as I mentioned above, the CPU throttles heavily when used on battery power.

Should you buy the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023)?

You should buy the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) if:

  • You're a student or parent of a student shopping for a new affordable 16-inch Windows 2-in-1
  • You want a convertible with a big screen
  • You need a laptop with good battery life

You shouldn't buy the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) if:

  • You're a gamer or video editor
  • You get annoyed by a laptop's fan noise

In using the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 for a month, I really enjoyed it. If your budget is small, and you're looking for a good Dell laptop, this is the one to buy. It has a really great 16-inch screen that'll help you multitask. The port selection is also pretty good, with all the essentials to avoid a dongle. If you happen to buy it, though, you'll have to keep in mind that it's only a device for general productivity, and you can't push it too hard for gaming or video editing.

Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (7635)
Source: Dell
Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023)

The Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) is an amazing Windows convertible for students to consider. It has a large 16-inch 1920x1200 resolution screen, fantastic speakers and port selection, and the AMD CPU under the hood performs great for web browsing and general productivity.