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!
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:
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
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.
- That sounds about right
- That doesn’t sound right
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)
Thunderbolt 4 Alternate Mode
DisplayPort 1.4 Alternate Mode
HDMI 1.4b Alternate Mode
|4||USB Type-C||USB3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
Thunderbolt 3 Alternate Mode
DisplayPort 1.2 (part of TB3 spec)
HDMI 1.4b Alternate Mode
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
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
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!
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Also, what did you think of our first ever Poll Primer video?
- Much better than reading!
- I’d rather read the information myself
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!