The new V is ALIVE!
Back in November, our team reviewed a mock-up that represents the new V in its look and feel. Since then, our team has been hard at work tuning every aspect of the hardware, involving moving the vent holes to an optimized position, craftily customizing the V Pen design to match the tablet’s aesthetics, and testing different magnets that help connect the V Keyboard. After the imperfections found on the latest mock-up have been taken care of, the engineering team put together five V prototypes with actual components and lit them up. After one week of continuous tuning from the firmware team, aside from booting into Windows, the new V can make use of most components. Here is a complete list of the unlocked functionality:
|Audio & Visual||Buttons||Camera||Connectivity||Mechanical parts|
|Speakers||Power button||Windows Hello webcam||3.5mm audio jack||Fan|
|Display||Fingerprint reader||Rear camera||SD card reader||G-sensor|
|Touch function||Volume buttons||–||USB Type-C ports||Kickstand|
Some components not only work but perform pretty well. For example, even though the V Pen is yet to be tuned by Wacom, it already offers a smoother drawing experience than the first-generation V in terms of line control and palm rejection. The speakers produce a clear sound right up to its maximum volume, and the display is bright and vibrant.
One of the touch panels arrived at the factory in a broken shape. The reason turns out to be insufficient protective material – the shipper merely added some plastic foam and packed the unit into an EPE bag. This will be corrected in future shipping by replacing the plastic foam with a tray made of stiff plastic that fixes the touch panel in place to prevent any movement during transportation, and adding a bubble bag as an extra layer.
The matte black, anodized aluminum alloy comprising the new V’s housing is observed to be a fingerprint magnet similar to other devices with the same type of finish.
During our visit to Spectrum’s paint supplier Cashew, we learned that some of their matte, transparent paint might be applied to the anodized new V finish with added special powders in the coating to add fingerprint resistance. They can also adjust the color of the paint according to our target. Furthermore, removing the step of anodizing and spray the paint directly may achieve a better result than applying the paint over the anodized surface. We plan to send a couple of mock-ups over to make samples and review the outcome.
The power indicator is red and bright in these prototypes; we will change it to a white and dim LED that won’t illuminate the room when the new V operates.
The tablet mode and keyboard input are some of the tickets the firmware team is working on. The engineers frequently add new components and refine the internal layout, such as tweaking the heatsink, speakers, and housing parts. Soon there will be fifteen more prototypes assembled with improved PCB, structure, and firmware. Our team will use them for more advanced testing.
There is still much to be worked on and improved, but already, the new V shows a great leap forward in functionality. Enjoy our V update? Let us know what you think!