Hi John, I’m biased because I work at Lambda but I also use a TensorBook as my daily driver.
To answer your questions:
Can anyone comment on their overall experience including keyboard (is it mechanical?)
The keyboard is mechanical typical butterfly keyboard but ‘chiclet’ style.
It’s an OK touchpad, sometimes I will accidentally activate it when I type but that’s because I’m used to an Apple touchpad and eventually that stopped happening too frequently. I would give the touchpad a 65% rating with Dells having a 85% and with Apple having a 100%.
fan noise, heat dissipation/throttling
If you’re running a GPU training job the fan will go at max speed and the machine will be hot. This is the life and cost of having a GTX 2070 with 8 GB of memory on board. It does run hot and when it’s being used to full capacity keep it on a desk otherwise it’s uncomfortable.
battery life (for non-GPU intensive applications)
If you have Windows it’s not bad, a couple of hours, but with Linux we still haven’t figured out how to disable NVIDIA graphics when it’s non GPU intensive so the GPU still runs the 4K display. This causes the battery life to be pretty pathetic, around 1 hour if you’re not doing GPU intensive work.
I don’t know what the numbers are for Windows because I only use Ubuntu 18.04.
The display is really nice. It has a 16.1 inch matte (to reduce glare) display with 1920x1080 resolution. This resolution provides an optimal balance between battery-life and image quality. Higher resolution screens negatively impact battery-life without noticeably improving image quality.
It’s not a MacBook but it has build quality on par with a Razer, HP, or ASUS. Dell has slightly higher build quality on the XPS but (of course) the major selling point of the TensorBook is that it has a 2070 GTX GPU with working Linux and deep learning framework, which no Dell has.
We repair and replace any issues you have. I’m happy to introduce you to one or two customers who have had issues that needed to be RMAd. We shipped them a brand new laptop immediately and then accepted their first one as an RMA. (This is called advanced parts replacement because we ship the new one to you before you ship the old one back.)
The Tensorbook configurations can be found here: