Hello community. Long see, no time. Some of you may remember me as the “Community Manager 2.0” from back in the days. Others may recognize me as “that person from the team that never posts, but has given out more than twice the likes of the next person”. And there’s undoubtedly people to whom I’m a completely new face. I’ve been absent from the team and the community while I’ve been at university, but now I’m back in force.
This week I’ve had the pleasure of writing about the experience a couple of our team members have had with one of the V prototypes, and how these manifest as improvements in subsequent prototype iterations. If you want to read more about how these prototypes were made, you can check out our previous topic about the V prototype assembly line.
A lot of what this topic will cover are bugs or problems with the prototypes. However, this should not be taken as a negative. Remember that the purpose of prototypes is to find all the flaws and iron out all the issues so that the devices that make their way into the hands of customers will not suffer from the same troubles.
This topic is not an exhaustive list of all the issues encountered with the prototype, but just an insight into the kind of problems that were encountered, and the actions being taken to resolve them.
The keen eyes of our designer noted down a host of places where the color matching between parts could be improved. Some of these are highlighted here alongside pictures to showcase them:
Because of a version mix-up with the schematic drawings, the cover glass fits perfectly inside the housing, but its cut-outs do not align properly with the internal components.
Corning actually recommends that one order more than one will need, because while their glass is sturdy, it’s still glass, and it’s a lot more time and money to have to do additional shipments if they break than to just increase the size of the original shipment. So because of this we ended up with a bunch of cover glass with mismatched holes.
But rather than throwing those away and waiting on a new shipment of cover glass with correct holes, the received ones were used in devices to be able to test the rest of the devices. After all, there’s more to the V than just the cover glass hole alignments. And of course future iterations will use the correct glass.
The V prototype features 2 indicator lights. One is a power indicator, the other is for camera activity.
The power indicator is lacking a signal for the device sleeping or being in standby mode. The camera activity light is very bright. In subsequent prototypes this dampened by a change in the bezel.
In addition to the visual improvements needed, there were also several notes on how the device feels in the hand, and several areas to iron out:
The kickstand movement does not feel smooth, because the force required to move the kickstand is not consistent. In subsequent prototypes the experience of opening the kickstand has been improved. It requires less force to begin with, and the force gradually increases. This is to prevent the weight of the device from fully opening the kickstand once it is past a certain point.
Cables plugged into the ports hold just fine. They click into place and won’t come out, and are all up to spec and by the numbers. But there is still some wiggle room, and we are confirming with our port suppliers to see if this can be eliminated.
There’s more to computers than just the hardware. They need drivers and software for them to work as they should and reach their full potential.
One thing immediately noticed by our testers is that there is a long delay between turning on the V and the splash screen showing up. There has since been a bios update to improve this.
While the V has a fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello, the prototype was not equipped with the fingerprint sensor hardware, so this functionality could not be tested. However, the webcam was able to quickly and reliably recognize faces to unlock the device.
As the keyboard is essential to turning our tablet into a 2-in-1, we’ll cover its prototype in-depth in a future topic