Eve V i5 mini review


#1

I’m ignoring all software problems assuming these boil down to Microsoft and Eve doesn’t own them. I’m an HEB and was watching, participating for nearly a year before the Indigogo campaign

Working Well

  • Tablet Mode
  • Lightweight
  • Pen works well

Pleasant surprises: I had hoped the V would work well in tablet mode. I had no idea how well. I’m using it for primarily for reading and makimg notes on PDFs. I read alot of research papers and the V coupled with DrawBoard PDF (or Nitro) make it easy to annotate them. From that research and other references I’ve found I have over a 2500 articles in Evernote that need tagging and rereading. The V has proven a boon for these. Finally the excellent surprise, coupled with the RSS Feedreader - NexGen - I can read 30-40 articles in an hour, then buffer (i.e. bufferapp.com) the ones that of interest to my clients.

Fails

  • Typing with the device sitting in my lap - is meh at best. Example sitting in the back of a taxi right now. I need to keep my legs open wider than normal, just to stabilize the device. It feels awkward.
  • Trackpad is so awful in terms of precision, I’ve wasted a a fair amount of time recovering from the mistakes I make with it. I’ve tried the current generation SurfacePro and its much better. Still not as a good as a MacBookPro mid-2015 but better than the V. The trackpad is so awful I briefly considered asking for a refund
  • Battery life - I’m getting 5-6 hrs only as good as my 2015 MacBookPro - to get even this, I only use Edge as a browser and never have more 10 tabs open at one time. I keep other open software to a minimum. Background CPU hovers around 15%. My MacBook running Safari frequently has 50+ tabs open.
  • Magnets for the pen not strong enough. There are clear reasons why, I suspect stronger magnets would cause other problems. In that case the Eve should have had another pen holder. As it stands it means I have to decide whether or not I will use a pen at before I stow my briefcase when flying or getting on a train. As documented elsewhere on one trip I had 5 instances of the pen falling off. Basically I nearly lose the pen everytime I take it out while on a train or plane.
  • Flex in the keyboard is really noticeable, making it difficult to type longer documents without getting frustrated.

Summary: The ‘V’ is great content consumption device and adequate creation tool for a writer/consultant. The otherwise good experience is marred by the awful trackpad and only adequate battery.

Warning if you’ve not been a Windows user for a few years, get 16 GB of RAM. I keep on having surprising moments when MS Word says it has too little memory and won’t load. Its funny when I purchased this I worried about SSD space being the limiting factor instead its RAM and battery life.


#2

…and yes as an early commenter/promoter I had loads of chances to comment on the importance of a good trackpad/keyboard. Clearly I should have spoken up.


#3

I suppose you had already a change to update the track-pad (and others?) drivers.
In general there are very few complaints about the precision of that thing (as far as I’ve seen up to now).


#4

Maybe precision isn’t exactly the right word. On MBP mid-2015 when I use the trackpad to drag or select something I generally get the result I expect. With the V, sometimes I select the email I want in GMail sometimes I don’t. Net result I rely on the pen even when I would prefer not to.

On another occasion I rejected edits a Team Member made to a word document when I was trying to accept them. There have been a few occasions where I dragged files to a new file folder, dropped them in the wrong place and do much more to fix.

All of this I can tolerate but its add up a Meh impression.


#5

Totally agree, Im thinking to make some sort of 3D-printed accessory with hinge, essentially making the V into something like a Surface Book. The keyboard would just slide in to the assembly, and the V slides in afterwards, held by friction like the Brydge keyboard. That allows us to keep the awesome keyboard with its RGB backlight, Alcantara, etc.

@Attiq ?


#6

I would recommend a pen loop. I use this one https://www.leuchtturm1917.de/pen-loop-stiftschlaufe-format-40-x-40-mm-15-mm-elastische-schlaufe-selbstklebend.html from the SP3 to the iPad, but you can also grab Microsoft’s if you like and it will stick just fine.


#7

Something’s definitely wrong. Check out the battery wiki here. Most importantly, check the process that uses CPU in the background. Its usually Google products of some sort, but might also be Spotify, Windows Defender, etc.


#8

I doubt you could reliably make a laptop style hinge out of plastic, it will wear down and loose friction over a few openings and closings. So making it purely out of plastic is a no go

You could probably repurpose a laptop hinge along with a 3d printed base but this will be extremely tricky to do and will require a significant amount of trail and error


#9

Apparently a lot of quirks are to be solved by driver, windows and Bios updates.
In the latest “13.04 Live-stream summary” there are some new developments announced.
Announcing is not always the end solution (oh oh :upside_down_face:), but at least there is improvement in the pipeline.
Hopefully it will bring you farther on the road from “Meh” to “Hey” :hugs:


#10

Thanks i bought a pen loop. Now I have different problem - where is it least annoying to have an extra piece if fabric attached my machine :-).

I guess much of what I’ve noticed about my V is that is a great idea with only adequate execution.


#11

“15% seems high” - not really, my MBP spends most of its day there and I get better battery life. I guess the observation is that I abuse my MBP and get ok battery life. My V gets babied (hint 10 open tabs is nothing) and my battery life is no better. I’m sure if I pored over the task explorer constantly I could reduce the usage but I bought the device to be practical.

Thanks for all of the replies.


#12

As I’m sure remember over a year ago some of us ask the Eve team for something like this as commercial product. No dice.

I’ve been searching for tool that solved this problem since my first Newton (25 yrs ago). I had hoped the the V would be it, but no.

I will use my V for 18+ mths and then see if either Surface Books/Pros/iPads have advanced enough.

Sadly I think that small Finnish technology companies are probably finished for me, too many little issues.


#13

Perhaps the driver updates will help. I’m just not sure how I will get them, perhaps via the Windows store. Perhaps via magic incantation.

FYI my is one of the ones with the wonky top USB C port. There are marks on my screen from the keyboard, so I assume that my screen will lose its coating over time.

I knew I was taking a chance backing a hardware via crowdfunding. I did it anyway. I’m impressed with the community (thanks to all who frequently reply), but less so with Eve the company, their contract manufacturer (least of all).


#14

Yeah the hinge would definitely some off-the-shelf component from Aliexpress or something. The main compartment/chassis wouldn’t be bad to 3D print, no?

For me it’s for the pen on the right of the top side. The idea is the pen shouldn’t interfere with the ports or buttons, so left and right side are out. Bottom side can’t be used due to the keyboard. That leaves the top side. As I use the device in portrait with the USB-C ports on the bottom and buttons on top, I’d put the pen on the higher position there, which corresponds to the right of the top side in laptop mode.


#15

It’s definitely doable but it would require significant trial and error, making the base for the keyboard is straightforward the hard part is finding a strong enough set of hinges and creating a strong enough arm/clamping thingy that holds the V whilst still aloowingnthe keyboard to dock. It would be much easier to do without keeping the existing keyboard working which is essentially what the brydge is.

If the brydge works with the V it would be much easier just to go buy that.

The main issue is how would the V be held because the minimal keybaord clearance for a clamp to fit around the V like the brydge does

The fabrication method is the least concerning the clamp design and hinge strength are the main concern. I bet the brydge has very sturdy hinges

You would probably also need to add weight to the base for balance which isn’t difficult to do but will result in a much heavier product


#16

The Surface version of Brydge does, I believe someone has tried that in the community. However, it doesn’t work over the pogo pins, only BT,and therefore PTP is not available. Also the RGB and V/oops branding is kinda cool to have. The main concern for me is PTP.

Since the V keyboard has two “hinges”, there could be a way to make room for it. Another way is to clamp the V together with the small part of the keyboard (the second magnet), so the front side of the clamp would hold the keyboard instead of the V itself.

Yeah, I hope there’s an adjustable hinge where you can adjust some screws to adjust it’s friction


#17

This ones to be expected. An HDD would be great if the pogo pin specs are out. Otherwise dummy weight. Also I discussed to have the dock with the “butt” for better balance. It was with you, I believe.


#18

The Brydge is heavy enough to keep the screen upright and provide as such a stable platform.
I measured the distance between the Brydge hinges, it seems to be able to fit on the V screen.

There is still a ‘no knowledge area’ as far as it may yes or no hasten to crack the V screen


#19

It’s definitely doable but it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. The kickstand, type cover arrangemnt isn’t all that bad. It’s not as good as a brydge like solution on the lap but then it’s far more portable than the brydge. If I had a V and a free week I might have given it a shot but I don’t and I doubt its really worth the effort


#22

More time, more use from the road and more reflection.

The trackpad issue is a killer when I try to drag and drop files. Especially when working from my lap :frowning:

Before the release I was very gung ho about the V - I’m backer number 19. The silence from the team around many things: drivers; wonky usb ports; reviews like mine; better lap ability etc. has killed really taken my satisfaction down a notch.

Sometimes when you leave comments/questions what matters as a stakeholder is feeling heard. I don’t feel heard. I can’t get the feeling of not being heard with less risk and better warranty from Microsoft.

That makes me sad because it isn’t the promise of “made by them us”.