New Design Idea for a tablet/laptop hybrid

#1

So far, the Eve V is nice clone of the Surface Pro. But even the Surface Pro design has flaws. Now that Eve has gone past the achievement of making the Eve V, I hope it is in a position to make something different that does not exist on the market.

I have already mentioned this new tablet design in the "Ideas for Gen 2"

Here I would like to stress here the merits of this design:

  1. The pen is always safely stored in a protected space on the side of the tablet. No more lost pen! Most tablets or tablet PCs do not offer a way to store the pen, which can get lost very easily. The Surface Pen attaches magnetically to the Surface Pro, but that attachment is very insecure.

  2. The pen is always easily accessible. In lanscape mode, the pen is just in front of the user, equally accessible to left-handed and right-handed users (unlike the Surface Pro which has the pen on the left side for some strange reason). In portrait mode, the tablet can always be held such that the pen is on the most natural side for the user. In "drawing board" mode, the display is sightly shifted and reveals the pen just in front of the user, as an invitation to grab it and start using it. One of the reasons there is no storage for the pen in many devices today is that many customers and the makers themselves do not care so much about the pen - they just see it as an extra accessory that some people may want to use. The makers prefer to focus on making the slimmest tablet, and do not want to impose an unnecessary storage space on the tablet to the majority of customers who do not buy or use a pen. At best, they just offer to stick a loop to hold the pen, as if it was an afterthought. As result, most users do not even know about the pen. I think it is time a maker finally embraces pen computing, not just as gimmick, but as something fully integrated in the ergonomics of the tablet and rightfully promoted.

  3. When closed, the device is just a tablet, inviting users to use it as a tablet. This is opposite to most of hybrid devices today, which are mostly laptops that may be used a tablet. But their tablet mode is not so convenient or inviting: it has an annoying keyboard on back, or is thicker than the closed laptop, or necessitates to physically separate the keyboard from the display (which is often annoying: where do you put the keyboard?). In practice, I see many people just use these devices as laptops. Even the Surface Pro, which is supposed to be a tablet, seems to be mainly used as a leightweight laptop. Another reason is that most people expect to use Windows on a PC with a keyboard. It is time to make a hybrid device that can be used naturally as a tablet.

  4. When open as a laptop, it just works as a regular laptop. This is unlike the Surface Pro design which is very compromised in this respect: the screen does not hold by itself and requires a kickstand that is quite uncomfortable and unstable on the lap, the keyboard is floppily attached to screen, so that it just hangs or flips uncontrollably whenever the device lifted. With this design, you get an uncompromised laptop experience.

  5. The transition between tablet and laptop is very smooth. Suppose that you are using the device as a tablet, and suddenly need the keyboard to enter a lot of text. You simply lift up the screen, revealing the keyboard, while still looking at the screen, and without moving the device itself, whether it lies on your lap or on your desk. There is no distraction about attaching a keyboard, or fetching it from behind the screen, it just appears and is ready to use while you are still focusing on your thoughts and continuously watching the screen.

I hope you can get inspired by this design. Only a few makers have come somewhat close to this design (mainly Sony VAIO with their former Duo and Flip models, and more recently HP with the Spectre Folio). But these attempts are still quite far from the proposed design in terms of ergonomy (none have a satisfactory storage for the pen, none can be comfortably used in portrait mode, and so on). Let me know what you think.

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#3

Hmmm…in my eyes, this is not a tablet, nor could it be used as a tablet. The V is used as a tablet for me in my work, and it pushes the limits of weight without the keyboard attached. With it attached? I’d rather have an iPad at that point, meaning I’d be completely throwing my money away on the premium price of a 2 in 1.

if you’re doing a two in one design, first and foremost it must be good at being two devices in one. This would not be good at being two devices in one, solely on weight alone. if you could get the weight of the entire device down to, say, 700 grams? Maybe. But you’d probably be getting two hour battery life at that point.

Not trying to be harsh, because the animation on that video was very very good. It illustrates your idea very well. I just don’t feel that it would be a popular or effective option for any of the target audience.

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#4

LOVE IT!

Shameless plug: for the “stable and accurate, imperceptible latency, low activation force” pen, I’d recommend going with EMR this time around. :wink:

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#5

I see that Konstantinos reached you :wink:

Now,
If this were the new laptop,
I AM BUYING IT :smiley:

This is Surface Book on a new level.
This is Surface Studio on a new level.
This is a 3 in1.

The possibilities are huge with this design.

I see this as a new project when this happening now is over!

THANK YOU

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#6

I like it. It’s not really an tablet. And it might even be better in 13" or 15" form factor. Though weight would be the most important thing to keep in mind.

And the ribbon cable to the webcam/screen and pen/touch input would have to be extremely durable. I’m not sure a cable can/should flex this much.

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#7

It is a tablet!
But it’s a laptop too. Or ultra book…
It can be closed either way.
And it’s a Studio as well :smiley:
A 3in1!

There are other ways then flex… Which would endure the stress.

And I want the 15” in a 14” body :grimacing:

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#8

This is definitely a step up from most 2-in-1s, as has innovative features like the pen storage, and works in many more modes while hiding the keyboard. It’s the best hybrid of this style I’ve ever seen. But…the weight factor alone is a definite no for me. It isn’t a tablet. You can’t use it like a tablet due to weight alone - no-one would use this the same way you would use an iPad or even a Surface Go, for example. There’s a reason most hybrids of this style aren’t very popular - they’re expensive, extremely heavy, and don’t offer a good tablet experience.

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#9

One thing that the V does very well is detaching the keyboard and using it in Bluetooth mode and drawing with the pen seamlessly. This sadly isn’t possible with this device. It looks nice and seems functional but I don’t see it being realistic at this point in time. Current tech doesn’t allow for this design to have the performance, battery life and rigidity at that weight.
Nice animation and ideas though.

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#10

But the sole purpose of being able to detach the keyboard is to turn it into a table or use it in studio mode and this literally does both, potentially better.

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#11

Exactly.
It is a laptop.
And it is so much more then a laptop.

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#12

Thanks for sharing this idea.
I really love that the transformation does not require detaching/ attaching parts here and there. You just flip and go. It would solve all problems with kickstands on laps.
:+1:

I believe manufacturers are working on something similar but the prototypes ended up being too thick.
If we want to archive both ideal weight, thickness and battery life, it would be costly to build.

Every time I use a surface pro in tablet mode, I have to detach the folio keyboard so It won’t be too heavy.:thinking: The actual laptop keyboard won’t be any thinner and lighter I guess. Slimming down the panel part means shorten battery life.
Therefore, we need to wait for technological breakthroughs so devices can be more power efficient and compact.
And the hinge have to be really rigid to support 3-in-1 transformation.

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#13

I guess I left too much room for interpretation. Here’s what I meant: i often take notes using both the keyboard and the pen. I put the tablet in front of me to draw stuff I can’t type. Then I have the keyboard behind the V on the same table to type stuff. I can switch between typing and drawing seamlessly. The only way to do both with this design here is to have the screen at a nearly upright angle, which sucks for the drawing part.
So no, it is not the only purpose.

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#14

Hmmm very interesting use case.

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#15

I knew it reminded me of something

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#16

Sorry but,
As much it is similar, it isn’t.
It’s DIFFERENT :blush:

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#17

Thats why I said reminded and not copied :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: does show its possible tho

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#18

Thank you to all for your feedback!

@Ervin No, Konstantinos did not reach me, but your nice comments helped me to be able to create this new topic. I hope @Konstantinos and the other people at Eve tech will have a look.

@marty @Mohammad_Hadi
Thanks for your encouraging comments! I agree that Wacom EMR would be best for the pen, unless it is possible to use the current Microsoft/N-Trig technology without the bugs!

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#19

@ToiletSheep It is true that this design does not give the possibility to detach the keyboard and use it in bluetooth mode. This could be a problem for artists who need to press modifers keys while drawing (this is why the Vaio Z canvas, designed for artists, also had a detachable bluetooth keyboard). Then you pointed out another use case, which is your personal way of taking notes with both the keyboard and pen.

For the first case, I should note that in the "drawing board" mode, the screen is a bit above the keyboard, making the keys at the sides accessible, like shift, ctrl, which are typical modifer keys. With minimal practice, it should be possible to use these keys while drawing. Not ideal, but workable. I also note that the necessity of pressing these modifier keys is very much a limitation of the drawing software itself that relies too much on the old paradigm of keyboard-based computers. More modern software have modifier keys on screen. Alternatively, one can use the "Tablet Pro" utility.

As for your personal use case, it is quite interesting. I would have never thought of taking notes like that. Personnally, once I start using the pen for taking notes, it is much more natural to just use the pen for everything, including writing text. I suspect I am not the only one, because this is how most people take note on a real sheet of paper. Clearly, my proposed design cannot cover every single possible use cases like this one. For such use cases, the current Eve V design is indeed better. But I cannot help feeling that such use cases are very specific to certain users, and that most people would find the proposed design more natural. What do others think?

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#20

@Walkop Clearly, being able to remove the keyboard enables to get a lighter and slimmer tablet. That is why most of the 2in1 manufacturers have chosen this path. But this is just due to technical limitations on how much processing power and battery one can put for a given weight. From the viewpoint of ergonomics, it does not make sense to have to constantly attach and detach some part of device (apart from the use case mentioned by ToiletSheep). As I pointed out in the animation, and as you also stressed, the design I propose will be really effective if it can be made with less than 1kg. Currently, this is a stretch, but we are gradually arriving at the point when it will become possible. The Surface Pro with the keyboard attached only weighs 1kg; the macBook with iCore 5 is also 1kg. So it would be in principle possible to make this design at around 1kg with decent performances. Of course, it is more realistic to expect something like the current weight of the Eve V+keyboard, around 1.3-1.4kg. Even that weight, while not ideal, is manageable. I used to use a VAIO Duo, with a somewhat similar double-hinge display.

Even though it was heavier (1.4 kg) than the Surface Pro (1kg), I found it somehow easier to use on the go. As soon as I took it of my bag, it was a tablet, ready to use; I put it on my lap and simply lifted up the screen and it became a laptop. In contrast, when I want to use the Surface Pro as a tablet, I have to take it out of the bag, detach the keyboard, put the keyboard away. When I am annoyed with detaching/reattaching the keyboard, I just flip it over, but then I have to hold it with my hands, to prevent it from unfolding down. And then to use it as a laptop, I have to fetch or unfold the keyboard, and unfold the kickstand and adjust it on my lap. That is not a very smooth experience. The only thing that frustrated me about the VAIO was the absence of storage for the pen. I always had to rummage in my bag to find it. The trackpad was also barely usable. That is why I came up with that design, which is an improved version of the VAIO Duo.

@TristanSchaaf Yes, as I noted at the end of my original post, the proposed design is similar to that of the Spectre Folio, but it is different in the sense that the Folio is primarily a laptop and is not suited for portrait orientation (16:9 screen and uneven thickness in tablet mode). Moreover, the pen storage (loop) is very poor, as noted by the reviewer in the video. But you are right, it shows that the double-hinge system is possible.

@HiTechElf About the double-hinge, I think there is no special issue. All laptops have a hinge, so one can just replicate the mechanism twice. I am not saying it is easy. We must of course take care of the ribbon, the mechanical strain and everything, but it is doable and has been done before sereral times by different methods:

Samsung ATIV Q

Sony VAIO Duo

Sony VAIO Flip

and now the HP Spectre Folio.

The thickness is also not an issue. I think it is fine to have a tablet that is 2 cm thick or more, as long as it is not extremely heavy. On the contrary, having a thick but light device gives the positive impression that it is lighter than expected. We routinely hold books that are 2-3cm thick and have no problem with that, as long as they are not too heavy. The reason most manufacturers have dismissed such designs is that they are in a ridiculous race for the slimmest device. The other reason is that they tend to copy their competitors: in the early days of tablet PCs, all the models were laptops with swivelling/rotating displays, then after the Surface came around with its kickstand and type cover, everyone tried to make a clone of it. They only differentiate themselves by some gimmicky features or specs, instead of starting from the whole ergonomics of their products.

Anyway, my main message is that we have an opportunity to innovate here, not just make a clone of existing products on the market. Even if the actual product ended up being 3cm thick and weighing 1.5kg, I think it would still be a very attractive device to many people. Eve Tech could lead the way with this innovative design, and later refine the product as technology makes it easier to produce light and slim computers.

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#21

I really like the leather on the folio tho :stuck_out_tongue:

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