A deeper look at our new Eve V

Hi community,

Today’s update is packed full of information, and as usual we’ve got a few questions for you. Let’s get straight to it!

mynameis

Eve V is the official product name

When we set out to name our new 2-in-1, we wanted to make sure we ended up with the name that best suits the device. We were surprised to see the popularity of ‘V2’ – sure, it was the obvious successor to V, but perhaps a bit too obvious? Turns out, you all didn’t think so!

That said, there were also valid concerns about this name, and we have heard them. Though arguments could be made for reclaiming the name for something more positive, we would rather forego the association with some of mankind’s darkest times.

So if not V2, what then? Ultimately, we chose to stick with V. As we mentioned when we started this naming process, the name has its flaws. It’s not a perfect name, but it’s our name. And apparently, your name, too… Now it’s up to us to make it a success so everyone outside of the community will be as familiar with it as we are!

So how do we tell devices apart, if they’re all called Eve V? Well, we can refer to the new 2-in-1 with the same kinds of qualifiers that have been suggested during the naming surveys. It’s the 2020 edition of the V. It’s the second-generation V. It’s V, version 2.

In addition to that, we will make a better effort of applying model numbers. Though only eight different configurations were sold of the V, the only way to differentiate between various first-gen Vs, is to detail their CPU family, the amount of storage, and the amount of memory. We can do better there, and we will!

Sometimes you have to take a long journey just to learn that you were already home. So from now on, instead of discussing Eve’s new crowd-developed detachable 2-in-1 tablet and laptop computer… we can discuss Eve’s new V!

Design and form factor

A while ago we showed you our initial design directions for the new V, and asked a number of questions. This was mostly to do with the look and feel of the device, but our design team also experimented with some tweaks to the form factor. Your feedback showed that we shouldn’t try to fix what isn’t broken, and so we will continue on our planned path: our new V will be much like the old V. But more better!

Speaking of design… The team has been hard at work tweaking and refining their initial concepts based on your feedback. More on that next week when we take another deep dive into design. But here’s a quick sneak peek behind the scenes:

Don't worry. Next week we'll have much more than just whiteboard drawings!

We understand that we can’t beat content-consumption tablets for at ultra-portability, and that we can’t beat performance laptops at productivity. Those two are much larger markets, but they are also flooded with existing products. Where 2-in-1s shine, is in their versatility, and we believe there is a market for our product as long as we offer the right combinations of specs, features and price.

Let’s have a quick summary of what we have decided so far:

The new Eve V:

  • is a detachable 2-in-1 tablet- and laptop computer
  • has a kickstand, and a display cover that is also a keyboard
  • has a 12.3" pen- and touch-enabled display with a 3:2 aspect ratio

So what about you? Would you consider buying a device like our new V?

  • Yes, I’d definitely consider buying a device like the new V
  • Maybe, I might consider buying a device like the new V
  • No, I would rather buy a more portable Eve tablet
  • No, I would rather buy a more powerful Eve laptop

0 voters

About that…

So that thing about the 12.3 inch display, that’s new information right? With the industry contacts we now have in place we were able to get a lot more support from panel manufacturers than when we were sourcing parts for the original V. Looking into the available offerings from various manufacturers, we found that there aren’t really many viable panels for what we’re trying to do.

Increasing the size of the device too much will make it unwieldy in tablet mode. Reducing the size of the device too much will make it impossible to fit a keyboard with full-size keys in the cover.

We had hoped to be able to increase the active display area without making the device bigger, but were not able to find any suitable panels for that. What we can do, though, is reduce the bezels around a 12.3" panel and make the entire device smaller. That should not only look more ‘modern’, but also help with the way the device’s weight is distributed across your hand in tablet mode.

  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: That doesn’t sound right

0 voters

The king of ports

We like that phrase. Even though it may sound a little pretentious, it’s a fact that even years after its release no competitors can match the connectivity of the V!

But even though we’re pretty certain we’ve got a good selection, we’re always curious to hear your feedback on these things! Let’s have a look at the ports we had, and what happens if we bring them up to date with modern technology:

Port V (2017) V (2020)
1 USB Type-A USB3.0 (5Gbps) USB3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
2 USB Type-A USB3.0 (5Gbps) USB3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
3 USB Type-C USB3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps)
USB-PD
USB4.0 (40Gbps)
USB-PD
Thunderbolt 4 Alternate Mode
DisplayPort 1.4 Alternate Mode
HDMI 1.4b Alternate Mode
4 USB Type-C USB3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
USB-PD
Thunderbolt 3 Alternate Mode
DisplayPort 1.2 (part of TB3 spec)
HDMI 1.4b Alternate Mode
USB4.0 (40Gbps)
USB-PD
Thunderbolt 4 Alternate Mode
DisplayPort 1.4 Alternate Mode
HDMI 1.4b Alternate Mode
5 3.5mm minijack analog audio output
with TI TPA6133 amplifier
analog audio output
with contemporary equivalent amplifier
6 SD reader microSDXC SDUC

USB Type-A

For ports 1 and 2, there isn’t much to do. USB-A ports are not supported by the USB3.2 spec and beyond, though many such devices are still backwards compatible with the port. But if the port can handle 10Gbps, we should support that, right?

  • USB Type-A ports sound good to me
  • I don’t use USB Type-A ports anymore, these ports are useless to me

0 voters

USB Type-C

Ports 3 and 4, on the original V, are very different ports. One supports Thunderbolt, HDMI and DisplayPort, the other can only do USB and charging. If two ports look the same, it makes sense they function the same, right? So for our first trick, let’s add that functionality to both Type-C ports!

Additionally, we should be able to support USB4.0. That by itself brings a lot of the functionality of Thunderbolt 3, which Intel has made available to be integrated into the new USB spec. But even so, Thunderbolt 4 may bring additional performance, in particular for external devices where speed is of the essence – and since it’s a Thunderbolt device, speed is probably of the essence! :wink:

As a final note, with Spectrum we have seen a lot of people asking for newer HDMI and DisplayPort versions. Because of the way the Alternate Modes for USB-C are specified, we do not expect our device to support anything beyond the stated versions. Yes, we know Apple does it with their Macs and monitors, but keep in mind those monitors won’t perform like that with any other computer. That’s the price of proprietary solutions… We’d rather stick to the spec!

  • USB Type-C ports sound good to me
  • I don’t use USB Type-C ports yet, these ports are useless to me

0 voters

3.5mm minijack

Wait, who still uses audio jacks in 2020? Quite a few people, it seems! We have the room to add one, so leaving it out seems a waste. In the 2017 version we added a headphone amplifier to add to the output volume of the V, though of course it does also use more power.

We can see what amplifier we can source to satisfy audiophiles, or save some battery at the cost of headphone output volume.

  • I’d love to see a headphone amp built into the 3.5mm audio jack
  • I’d love a 3.5mm audio jack, but don’t need the amplifier
  • A 3.5mm audio jack is so 2010, get rid of it altogether!

0 voters

SD reader

In our 2017 model, we added a microSDXC reader underneath the kickstand. We want to offer at least that functionality this time around, but we also think we can do better! Technologically, SD card speeds and capacities have improved, with the new SDUC standard supporting carts of up to 128TB. Cards of such capacity aren’t on the market yet, but supporting SDUC will allow the new V to read SD cards of over 2TB in the future.

It’s also been pointed out to us that photographers and videographers will likely use full-sized SD cards in their cameras, which they then can’t use in the V. And what use is an integrated card reader if you need to plug in an external reader after all? So this time around, we’re looking to implement a full-sized SD card reader.

  • A microSDXC reader like in the original V is enough for me
  • I’d like to see support for higher-capacity cards, but microSD is okay
  • I’d like to see support for full-sized SD cards, but SDXC is okay
  • I want support for both full-sized and higher-capacity SDUC cards

0 voters

Passive or active cooling

We are big fans of informed decisions. As much as we like to see as many people as possible voting in our polls, the information is most valuable when the people taking the survey know what trade-offs they are making. Sometimes our questions are very simple, and speak for themselves. Sometimes we need to preface a question with a lot of information. The result: a wall of text that may put some readers off from thinking too much before voting! So if you are a fan of TL;DR but still want to make informed survey choices, we’ve got something for you: we call it Poll Primer!

Click here if you want all the information without watching the video

Poll Primer: Fan vs Fanless design

Hello Community, today’s first ever eve.community Poll Primer, is all about making an informed decision when choosing between a fan- versus fanless design for the upcoming 2-in-1!

For the original Eve V, the community ultimately decided against having a fan in the final design. For those who are interested, check the link below to take a trip back to 2016 when the quest for the perfect CPU for the Eve V was underway.
(What happened in February 2016)

Types of cooling

Higher performance CPUs generate more heat than less-powerful ones. This is not a problem in desktop computers where there is plenty of room for elaborate cooling solutions, but in small, light-weight devices this can be a limiting factor. When a CPU reaches its heat limit, it slows down to prevent damage. This is called throttling – we don’t like throttling.

In portable devices like phones and tablets, passive cooling is used to prevent the CPU from heating up. This generally involves connecting the processor to something that can soak up a lot of heat energy, called a heat sink. This can be a slab of copper that is placed against the CPU, or the metal housing of a device. From there, the heat energy will gradually be transferred to the surrounding air.

In larger devices like laptops, so much heat is produced that active cooling is required. Here, the heat sink doesn’t rely on being able to hold a lot of heat energy, but instead relies on a large contact area with the surrounding air, and a fan to move air so that the heat is exhausted from the device. Because it actively expels the hot air, it can deal with more heat and thus allows for higher performance CPU’s.

So an active cooling solution with a fan allows for more performance. Easy decision, right? The choice between fan or fanless impacts more than just how far we can push the V2’s CPU. Here are a few other important factors to consider:

Size and weight

Adding any component will increase the size and weight of the device. Adding active cooling is obviously going to take up extra space in the device and thus make it bigger. Although a fan is relatively light, you will need an additional heatsink to properly transfer heat from the CPU to the air, where it can be expelled by the fan. This heatsink will add additional weight to the device. Since the new 2-in-1 is supposed to be portable, size and weight are really important factors.

Noise

Because of the limited space available in a 2-in-1, a small fan will be needed. These tend to generate a higher-pitched noise, and need to spin faster than larger fans, so their small blades can move as much air. As the CPU heats up, the fan will make more noise which might not be pleasant for you, or anyone else in the room.

Battery Life

A fan doesn’t require much power, but the whole point of actively cooling the device is to allow higher performance from the CPU. When pushed further, the CPU won’t just create more heat, it will also draw more power, decreasing the battery life. This can be counteracted by increasing the size of the battery, but that will of course also have an impact on the size and weight of the device.

Maintenance and reliability

A fan is a mechanical part, making it more susceptible to wear and more likely to be damaged if the device experiences a fall or shock. In fact in a 2-in-1 form factor like the V, which uses flash storage, the fan would be the only moving part. This means it would likely be one of the first components to require repair or replacement.

The need to pull cool air into- and expel hot air out of the device also requires ventilation. These vents create openings that make it easier for liquids or dust to enter the device.

Round Up

As you can see, the choice between a fan or fanless design has far reaching implications which can impact almost every aspect of the design, so our decision here is crucial. We’ve aimed to arm you with enough information and context to make a good decision so that our next 2-in-1 will truly be a device that the Eve community can be proud of!

Now that you have a good idea of some of the different factors involved, please cast your votes below!

  • I think passive, fanless cooling is best suited for the new V
  • I don’t know which cooling method is best suited for the new V
  • I think active cooling with a fan is best suited for the new V

0 voters

Also, what did you think of our first ever Poll Primer video?

  • :+1:Much better than reading!
  • :-1:I’d rather read the information myself

0 voters

Just the tip of the iceberg

This was just our first dip into the specs for our upcoming 2-in-1. We have a list of well over 100 points where we intend to iterate or improve on the original V’s design, and we’ll make sure to run all of them by you when the time is right. So stay tuned for more about this project, or sign up for our newsletter!

18 Likes

So first let me say that I completely agree with having feature parity across ports of the same type. Thank you for seeing that this is an important feature to have.

I will say though, that if you’re targeting USB4 anyway, it may not make sense to go for TB4 on top of that. The actual bandwidth limit for TB4 is the same as TB3. USB4 fully contains the TB3 standards, ergo, USB4 bandwidth = TB4 bandwidth. At this time, there is no compelling reason to go TB4. Now, I will freely admit that Intel still hasn’t released the full specs for TB4, and there may be a technology included in the spec that is a total game changer. I find it unlikely though. Additionally, Intel historically has been VERY restrictive in its TB licencing. I just read an article the other day about the first AMD motherboard ever to get certification from Intel for TB3. I imagine TB4 will be just as restrictive, requiring the device to use an Intel cpu or else no cert. Now, that’s not necessarily a problem if the community decides to go with Intel for the cpu, but let’s be honest, AMD is ruling the cpu roost right now and has a lot of community support to go along with their compelling products.

tl;dr
Don’t make a final decision on targeting TB4 until the final spec is out and the community decides who the cpu manufacturer should be

14 Likes

I agree with you. I want to see what an AMD cpu can offer.

13 Likes

I think till i5 models we can have passive cooling, but in higher config processor system it will be good to have active cooling.

10 Likes

When will you guys make a dedicated 13 inch ultrabook. I really would like one

4 Likes

I was hoping for an increased screen size by slimming the bezels but oh well. I’ll wait and see how it goes.

With the panel issue… I secretly wish that we could just increase the overall device size to around 13 inches. I’ve used the Surface Book’s tablet portion solo (general media consumption) before and I’ve found it to be pretty comfortable. Sadly I’m getting the impression that the idea won’t be popular here.

The new intel processors supposedly have thunderbolt built in so it would make sense to use them instead of AMD. Although I’d be fine with anything really as long as battery holds up and whether I’m getting the best performance for my buck.

Port set up for me would ideally just be 2 Thunderbolt usb-c and 1 usb-a. I love the idea of getting a full SD Card reader though.

Edit: Just for clarification, when I say 13 inches I mean whatever panel is available that is greater than 13 inches and then building a 2-in-1 tablet out of that. Maybe Eve can offer a couple different sizes similar to what apple offers with their iPad Pro lineup?

12 Likes

Thanks for the video!! and the fantastic explanation. My two cents here: fan-less is the way to go. The ultimate portability should be the aim of a device like this: reading, consuming media and learning. My idea for the best 2 in 1 is also to provide a “portal” to connect with a remote server where you can run absolutely anything there on a virtual desktop (Something like ShadowPC or my own custom pc tower). So for me the 2 in 1 should be powerful enough to run most of the office related tasks and let the cloud help with the high-end performance.

4 Likes

I’ve got the existing V so I don’t know if I’d be (allowed to be) in the market for a new one. But I’d like to be.

If one can be sourced other than from Goodix it would be great to have a fingerprint reader. Although mine hasn’t worked for ages it was really useful when it did.

For me, weight and portability are important, hence my choice of fanlessness. If someone is not too concerned about weight why not buy a more powerful, and possibly cheaper, laptop instead.

Since voting I’ve also slightly rethought my answer on microSD/SD - I voted for both but I’d be happy with micro only. SD-USB adapters are cheap and readily available - I don’t find it much of an inconvenience with my current V.

5 Likes

The main thing for me is getting the bezel down to as close to nothing as possible.

I know that makes it harder on tablet mode but it has to be done.

6 Likes

I would really like to see what would be possible if we step up a bit from the 12.3"
What would be the next viable size option for the screen and the device? I would not mind it if the device would be a bit bigger.

I absolutely agree with you! :wink:

4 Likes

Regarding the USB-A ports those should be there but the quality of those ports should be improved in the upgraded V. I have faced a lot of issues in my existing V whiling using pendrives when it was not working or getting loose.
Also if we are keeping the V a 2 in 1 device we should not look for active cooling, it will just hamper our the battery life which is a big requirement in such devices.

Reinforcing the passive cooling preference. Fanless provides strong market differentiation in my opinion. I will only be considering the new V if it avoids an integrated fan.

6 Likes

A fan that would fit in the eve v would most likely need less than 0.25w at full power, so the battery will be fine but i think active cooling should really be included so that they wont need to downclock the cpu

1 Like

If a closed loop system could be used AND the fan would only kick on to prevent throttling then I’d be very interested. Or if there was a way to switch between an low power fanless mode and a high power fan cooled mode. By closed loop I mean that the heat is pushed to an outside chamber (all internals are sealed) via conduction and there is an air chamber between the outside surface of the inner casing and the outside body of the table. The fan blows air thru that chamber.

Edit: I forgot to refeerence the post by @eldelacajita.

This might be cost prohibitive and/or not really provide enough performance gain to be worth it. If that’s the case then fanless is my vote.

7 Likes

How about V² instead of V2?

3 Likes

Separate from the poll questions, regarding the display and pen interface, it would be interesting to see if it was possible to source higher refresh rate 12.3" panels and/or lower latency digitizer/pen combos. If the panel supported VESA adaptive sync, that could potentially alleviate any battery concerns from integrated graphics pushing that many pixels.

The original Eve V caught my eye as a very good alternative to the Surface, but the iPad Pro is leaps and bounds ahead when it comes to creative work because of this. I realise it’s a relatively niche use-case, but if the next V took advantage of the new ULV AMD SKUs, I could see the potential for it to also compete with the standalone Wacom devices, especially for people who want the desktop Photoshop/Illustrator/ZBrush/Take your pick of 3D sculpting software experience.

Disclaimer - This is probably more me rambling than anything.

2 Likes

In regard to cooling you should take a look at eldelacajita’s post in the other thread and at my post. eldelacajita has found a nice solution for closed passive cooling and if you add active cooling in a Surface Book like keyboard-dock you could implement two performance modes without throttling.

I would also second the idea of a bigger screen like in the Surface Book. For serious coding work the old V’s and the proposed screen sizes are to small.

2 Likes

Just want to note the reasons for some votes.

About that…

because I do not like small bezel devices. My hands are a bit bigger and I just can not use devices like Surface Pro x because of the horribly small bezels. Agree it looks cool but it is not practical for use and also for internal specs. Smaller device=less internals and more heat.

3.5mm minijack

Know everyone will want a 3.5mm jack. I personally do not have any 3.5 devices anymore but the only reason I would not want a 3.5 jack is because it is always such a perfect hole for dust and liquid to get in and it is hard to get out. So if it is in a little rubber plug or cover to help keep it clear would be great.

Love the possible connectivity specs and that would be the top reason for me to get the EVE V 2020. Especially a full size card reader though.

SD reader

Does not have to be SDUC but it would be nice. Am a photographer so having an SD card slot would incentivise me to get this over a full device like Aero 15x

Passive or active cooling

Definitely would rather a slightly bigger device if it could run better. Know it would complicate device production but honestly think the higher end cpu should be active while the lower end versions passive. This way the people just doing emails and excel can get a lighter device while the photoshop and lightroom users can get the higher end that is actively cooled. So they do not have to worry about huge performance drops when they are doing what they bought the device for. Believe Microsoft did this with the Surface Pro 7.

Like the poll and looking forward to more news!

7 Likes

Alltogether the last V was sort of in the class of a Surface pro.
I would rather have it close to a Surface Book hardware- and performance wise and pay more.

2 Likes

Passive cooling up to i5 processor and then active cooling for the i7.

3 Likes