Hello fellow Eve designers
The upcoming Pyramid Flipper is soon entering the "tooling" phase of development: Tooling phase is basically a phase of "designing tools": fixtures, molds and tools are developed to enable us mass produce physical parts that enclose the components leaving the industrial design for us to behold.
This post summarized:
1) Speakers on the sides seem to have more favorable affects regarding industrial design toughness while not reducing sound quality as much as we've feared.
2) Very high quality microphones seem likely to be introduced in the PF as the cost is reasonable and they are supported by the dedicated audio chip.
3) No rounded edges on glass corners. Sometimes flashy things just cost too much to be justified, read more below.
4) Community has been pretty happy with ports. The only question left is the fate of display ports (or not having them, apart from TB3).
5) The 4G version of Pyramid Flipper is most likely going to have plastic part on top of the device to support proper signal levels.
Read full post below for maximum details.
We've worked hard for the past few weeks and I thought It would be nice to provide a little bit more information about where we stand with the industrial design currently.
There were a couple of key questions that needed to be locked down for us move forward.
1) Where to place the speakers?
This one was a hard one. eve.community was strongly in favor for front facing speakers. We met with Cirrus Logic however, and based on what we learned, it seems the audio quality would not suffer solely depending on the placement of the speakers.
There are good and bad sound qualities available on both camps.
Most of the tablets use 0.5 to 0.7 watt speakers but we intend to go for 1.5 watts with high quality sound processing unit.
Some of you may remember concept called "Connect" and how it speakers looked like. The speaker part of Connect was my personal favorite of all the concepts' speaker designs.
We are now leaning towards putting the speakers to the sides.
This is because of the said facts effecting the sound quality, as well as recommended to us by Corning Glass: every hole, every edge, anything alternating the glass from the plate not either costs more but also makes the glass less durable.
Most of eve.community seems not to care about the design over the performance, so as long as we get great Audio (considering the form factor) in Pyramid Flipper, we should be okay!?
2) How about the microphone?
Once again. Different solutions available. Surface has the microphone hole drilled in the glass - Macbook has two small holes drilled to the (AFAIR) right hand side of the device. Both are doing "ok" in microphone department but not great. I'm too lazy to link pictures ATM but you can google "DEVICE NAME + microphone" and see the different offerings on the pictures tab.
However I fell in love of 85% signal to noise reduction achieved with a dedicated codec (component) and quad microphones. Think about it: 85% less noise in your calls (whether Skype, or other)! Great for meetings, great for communications. And don't worry, it won't raise the price of the device.
Going quad-way would guarantee high class microphone performance and speech recognition (cortana) and provide us a lot of breathing room in terms of the glass design.
3) Rounded edges around the display or "straight-plate" glass design?
This was an opinion splitter. Some people like it more edgy, some more curvy. Well the realities of manufacturing made this decision for us.
Rounded edges are not going to be implemented. Within the size class of the upcoming Pyramid Flipper the cost would be tremendously unjustified: by doing so (and keeping manufacturing cost the same) we would have to let go two channel-two antenna MIMO chip (opt for cheaper AC chip), get rid of, waterproofing keyboard AND GPS.
Additionally, it would again have compromised the durability of the glass. And hey, what's the point of paying the gorilla premium if its gonna break anyway after all fancy stuff is polished on top?
Do you agree its not worth it?
Everybody seemed to be happy with our port selection from "suggest a port" -thread and although I am not as driven by the principle: "function over form" as some of you here, in this case I am.
We are creating a portable device and that goal would be jeopardized if the device didn't have the ports that are needed in everyday life. We are still considering the possibility of miniDP or miniHDMI as that seemed to be often wished, but will only do so if we really have to (if we can't for example provide an adapter OR TB3 doesn't do the trick otherwise) or if it really makes sense (the design would not be compromized).
5) LTE model's antenna "lines"?
LTE antennae need plastic enclosure around the antenna. The signal is too weak to penetrate through metal. Alternatively you can cover it with glass, as is done in some devices, notably Spectre X2. '
To enclose the antennae, there are a variety of solutions available. Arguably, the best looking of them is the one done with technique (introduced originally by HTC) called the Nano-injection-molding
property of androidcommunity.com
Later adopted by other players, such as Apple and Meizu.
More common and much cheaper alternative is just making the rear plate tool have a gap that where a plastic part will be placed.
to compare these two techniques, check out this picture from 9to5mac.com:
I think we all can agree the nano-injection-molding version to the right is the better looking one?
Ok Ok, I know. That was a closed question (hey but you could answer no )
Now it might be the sad-but-true (truth) that we can't make the cool looking one. However we don't have to make it ugly either.
Here is a sneak peak of an LTE version. Its a design concept but as you can see, the "plastic cover" does not necessarily have to look horrendous:
What does the above design look like to you?
- Good (happy to own it)
- OK (I can live with it)
- Bad (can live with, but greatly reduces the appeal)
- Ugly (OMG get it out of my face, my eyes melt)
- Don't care (I would not get the LTE model anyway)
Bear in mind colors affect the visuals a lot!