[Donald Dock][Step 3.1][SUMMARY/POLL] Decide product type

official
development
poll
project_donald_dock

#1

*** This post is part of the Donald Dock project development.
*** Please check the master thread for whole project information

Purpose: understand and decide what product type for the project
Duration: 15.11.2017 – 22.11.2017

Dear community,

Wow, wow, wow, we didn’t expect such explosive discussion in Step 2.2 – this is really an awesome community! :sunglasses:

And I am sorry that I couldn’t participated in the discussion, as you know producing the V is still priority number 1 and I really had to focus in China! :factory:

In the past few days, with Dario’s help, I went through your comments in the previous post. And here is my summary, overall understandings, and add-on of the topics with most concerns.

Thunderbolt 3?

...

Pro

  • Fast: up to 40Gbps speed, fastest option now in the market;
  • All-In-One solution: one port for video, storage, charging, and more; daisy chain possibility)
  • Industrial trend: more compatible peripherals in the future)

Con

  • Expensive: additional certification cost + higher engineering cost + higher components cost
  • High entry barrier: Intel requires the sales volume of every Thunderbolt 3 device to reach at least 10K, otherwise we cannot get any support from Intel

For feather weight, TB3 will make it too pricey and the benefit is not obvious for its use cases.
For light weight and middle weight, as “dual monitor or even more” and “future proofing” are popular needs, besides, V also support TB3, so it make sense to use TB3.
For super weight with eGPU, TB3 is mandatory.

Modularity?

...

I am sorry to say but this time we wouldn’t go to a modular design for Donald Dock. Here are the reasons.

  • No volume support. One purpose for modularity is to reduce the product price: providing a range of modules, and consumers only buy the modules they need to build up the product – do not waste money for unneeded features. However, to reach this purpose, high volume is required for each module. Otherwise the result is opposite – price become higher because of non-recurring engineering cost for each module.
  • Higher risk. Modularity will significantly increase the difficulty for design, including aesthetics, structure, and circuit. It’s also harder to find suppliers and partners to cooperate.
  • User experience may be compromised: “Just one plug-in for all peripherals and power supply” is one of the most mentioned need from Step 2.1. Let’s assume we modularize feather weight and middle weight: take feather weight module on the go and attach it to the middle weight at home. But every time of attaching/detaching you also need to plug-in/plug-out all the peripherals connected to the feather weight.

Modularity is cool, and I am sure it will make Donald Dock unique and special. But modularity is not a need. It’s just one of the methods to fit the needs. If this method is not suitable, then we should probably use another one.

Power supply unit (charger)?

...

@Alexander_Halbarth’s and @iKirin has discussed it very well about including PSU in the housing or separate it. We will make the decision in next phase

Light weight VS middle weight?

...

The idea of light weight is for the people who sometimes need to carry Donald Dock moving from different places, and feather weight is not sufficient.
Middle weight is primarily used at home/office, with more ports, features, and power.
If you just want to use the Donald Dock to connect some core peripherals (display, speakers, keyboard & mouse, SD card, hard drive), possible with PSU integrated, light weight can just fit that purpose. However, if you need something more, like dual 4K displays, daisy chain, a bunch of other USB devices, and they all need to work at the same time with high performance, middle weight is the choice.

Middle weight 1 VS middle weight 2?

...

Middle weight 2 share the same features of middle weight 1, in addition, it can also holds your notebook to different angle. The design from @LazerCut is a very good example, and I personally love it!

However, Donald Dock is an independent product. It should work with V, Eve’s future products, as well as other notebooks/2-in-1s. So making something like @LazerCut’s design will limit Donald Dock to only an accessory of V. After discussion with the manufacture, I think the best way is to make only middle weight 1 as the core product, and if really needed, we can develop different supporting mechanical parts as accessorises to e.g. holding V, hanging Donald Dock under the desk, or behind the monitor.

So middle weight 2 will be withdrawn from the voting, and middle weight 1 will be added possibility of supporting accessorises.

eGPU?

...

To be honest, when heard from Intel that the minimum sales volume of any TB3 device is 10K, I was planning to delete the superpower weight option: its price and the amount of potential customers make it almost impossible to reach this volume. But I think it is community that needs to decide it, especially after seeing so many discussions about eGPU.

So superpower weight is still open for voting. If people really want an Eve brand eGPU box (no matter with or without integrated GPU), we will try our best to find a way out.

Price?

...

It’s very hard even to just estimate the price before we know exact spec. However, we can always see existing product price as a reference. See what @eldelacajita writes in reply 182, you can have a rough idea

Below is the updated information of product types. Thanks to Dario again!

How to vote?

We are making product(s) that people will buy.
So it is crucial that the voting result really shows what people really want, instead of some political trick – I don’t like A, but I hate B, so I vote A.
@eldelacajita has showed different scenarios in reply 132. In order to make sure no compromised votes, below are the rules

  1. Vote only product type you really want to buy. If you don’t want anything, vote “No one is appealing”.
  2. Read at least Step 2.2 and all above information before you vote.
  3. If you really want to buy 2 different types, and they are linked (means you only buy both or nothing), write it in the reply.

Based on the voting result, Eve team will decide what product type(s) to make for Donald Dock.

What is the product type for Donald Dock you want to buy?

  • Feather weight
  • Light weight
  • Middle weight
  • Superpower weight
  • I want to buy a bundle (please specify the combination)
  • No one is appealing

0 voters


EVE V Stand with modular dock
[Donald Dock] [Step 4.1][DISCUSSION] Painpoints and existing products/solutions
[Donald Dock] [Step 4.3] [POLL] Decide product specs & features
[Donald Dock] [Step 4.1][DISCUSSION] Painpoints and existing products/solutions
Community Digest 21.11
#2

#3

@Xinjie - do you have any feeling as such as device would be available to buy, as that may influence peoples choices as to “what they would buy”. e.g. are we talking Q2 2018, end of 2018, etc.?

For example, in my situation, I will definitely be buying a featherweight “dock” for the ports that the V doesn’t have but I’ll need that immediately so I won’t be buying that from Eve - I’ll get one of the many that are available elsewhere. Therefore, I will not choose that in the poll. However, I would be happy to wait to purchase a larger desk-based dock from Eve as I can survive without one for the moment.


#4

Hi Xinjie - I don’t see LTE as a functionality as an option for any version? Is it definitely not a possibility?


#5

I just want an old school laptop docking station / port replicator. I want to drop the V in the dock when I get home and have monitor/keyboard/power/ethernet hooked in already. Similar to this, but more stylish and supporting multiple 4k monitors.


#6

I talked to the supplier about development time. Here just a rough schedule about normal project development. Don’t treat it as a promise, only as a reference, as any features can affect the schedule and community design can make it longer

Feather weight: 2-3 months
Light weight: 4-6 montns
Middle weight: 5-8 months
Superpower weight: more than 6 month


#7

LTE is interesting, no one mentioned it before. I am not sure, but I think it may be possible to add it to feather or light weight


#8

My take is that if we add LTE, perhaps make it as a Hotspot, otherwise it essentially would be as USB tethering from a phone which means one cannot unplug and continue working.


#9

All options look too late for me.


#10

What do people prefer?
An upgradeable eGPU which trades portability for being future proof, or one that cannot be upgraded, which makes the device thinner?
Which one of these options is more feasible, and why?
Just wanted to know :sweat_smile:
We should probably have a thread for this too with a poll… Hmm…


#11

Please no Lte. Most people have a smartphone and can use tethering.


#12

@Xinjie Will the price estimate from the post mentioned be affected by Eve-tech’s “no middleman” marketing strategy? This will strongly affect my vote.


#13

Would adopting some form of reference board design into the process help expedite it a bit?
Just as an idea, I know there are a multitude of other factors affecting the timelines


#14

Awesome work @Xinjie

If I needed one it would be the Lightweight version. But since I had to buy a new desktop computer in April (my laptop broke) and couldn’t wait for the V as main device, I now no longer need a dock.


#15

@Xinjie do you have an estimate to what the dock would cost with and without thunderbolt 3? For me it’s the defining factor to choose between the lightweight and middle weight one. :slight_smile:


#16

eve got me on my eggs since I read about my 5% HEB lifetime discount. I will f…ing buy everything anyway… Maybe even a second V… But I want a eve eGPU to make my i7 V run a WindowsMixedReality headset…


#17

Lightweight for me. I have a desktop and a laptop, so I don’t want anything that sits on the desk. Featherweight doesn’t offer enough use. If it had LTE, it would be awesome. Without it would be useful but not essential.


#18

Kudos again to @Xinjie and Dario for the summary and the useful notes!

What does this exactly mean? Is that the minimum volume Intel sees as viable, or is that a hard limit somehow established by them?

Also, you say “any TB3 device”. In that case, this minimum volume would also affect the “middle weight” model? Because if that makes the “TB3-capable middle” impossible to achieve or very pricey, I think many people that voted for that form factor would have been better off taking the lightweight instead. A non-TB3-capable middleweight adds very few features over the lightweight, as you said.

Also, thank you for the estimation on development times. I suggest adding it to the first post in this thread, because it’s an important decision factor.

For example, as soon as I get the V I will be looking for a featherweight adapter for my travels, or a light one I will also use as dock at home. I can’t vote for those form factors because I wouldn’t be buying them. The only thing I can really wait for Eve to develop (a year, or even more) is the eGPU, to increase the power when the processor/iGPU alone start feeling less powerful. Actually, I will be waiting some time, until one of these three things happen:

  1. TB3 boards get cheaper and I can get one to build a DIY solution.
  2. TB3 boards get cheaper and Eve develops an affordable eGPU.
  3. TB3 boards get cheaper and another brand develops an affordable eGPU.

So, basically, it’s up to TB3 boards :joy:
But the only thing I could honestly vote for was the eGPU. I’ll wait for that one if you go for it.

PS: This shows how a “community vote” doesn’t represent the market. Many V owners will quickly get a readily available dock, so not vote for Eve to create one. But the people who would buy one are people that will be buying the V or other devices in the future… and most of them are not here to vote yet. So it would be wise to combine the community voting with a quick market research, or spread the word about the Donald Dock project, as you did for the V, so you can get votes from a bigger community of potential buyers and not only for the existing community, which may not be the best target.


#19

I agree, there is no significant reason to have LTE functionality in a dock. 95 to 99% of the people buying a V have a smartphone with LTE functionality.

It’s important to have unique features that actually add value for most people instead of being unique just for the sake of being different.


#20

Pardon my ignorance… If Light Weight has HDMI and Thunderbolt 3 (plug in a T3-to-HDMI adapter) doesn’t that equate to having Dual Monitor Support???