Dell Inspiron 16 5630 laptop: mostly good, one flaw

So, I needed a laptop with a USB-C connector because I bought the Tilt Five Augmented Reality system. I hope they work with the publisher to finish the Settlers of Catan game. But I digress.

I needed a laptop with a USB-C connector, and I also wanted something with reasonably good hardware specs. So I went shopping at my favorite shopping site: > Categories > Computers. This was a while ago.

When they mark an item as an Editor’s Choice, I have found it to be good, and a good deal. They had applied that Editor’s Choice logo to the Dell Inspiron 16 5630 laptop deal they had found, and indeed, it was pretty good. $700 for a 13th Generation Intel Core i7 that can hit 5 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive, and a 16″ screen.

Of course, today they have a similar machine for $520, which shows you what seven months can do with Moore’s Law. But I digress.

Anyway, I’ve been pretty happy with this laptop. It has an interesting feature, where the lid hinge has feet that stick out. When I lift the lid, the feet rotate down, and lift the body of the laptop up off the table.

Also, lifting the lid powers the device on, which is a nice touch. We used to get features like this in the early days of computing. I’m still a little sad that every computer doesn’t get powered on by hitting the space bar. Apple started that, and then some PC makers copied it. But today, I don’t know of any PCs that support it. My main home machine goes from boot to login screen in about 20 seconds. This makes it convenient to power off when I don’t need it: man, electricity bills will be bad in the future. But I’d really prefer to just hit the space bar to power on.

There is a problem with using the lid hinge to rotate feet into lifting the body up for airflow / cooling. You see, the air vents are on the underside of the laptop body. The lifting is needed because otherwise the cooling fans are sucking on a (poor) vacuum: the body, flat on the table, sits flat on the table. There’s maybe a 1/16 inch or 2 mm of space provided by the little rubber feet underneath.

I got the bright idea to hook this laptop up to my TV as an external monitor. It’s a great TV, and what could be better than running Civilization 6 on a large screen with a fast computer in my easy chair? Add in a Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball, and I’ve got a great gaming setup.

Well, I don’t want to look at both screens: so I configured Windows to keep running with the lid closed.

But closing the lid raises the little feet and cuts off the airflow. Whoops.

I’m a little sad that I need to find a way to prop up the backend of the laptop so that it doesn’t go into thermal shutdown when operating in lid-closed mode.

But other than that, I like this laptop.

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