With all the news about Project: Spectrum, it may seem like not much is happening on the V front. With design tweaks, mechanical samples, and more in the works, this could not be further from the truth! We’ll bring you more details in the weeks to come. But to get the ball rolling, here’s the first V topic of 2021. Happy New V!
In our previous update, we announced the seven configurations in which the V will be available. We did not pick these at random; almost 2000 of you have responded to our SKU survey – a record number of voters for our community! These poll results were not just taken individually; they were combined into a master list that included all 128 possible combinations of hardware and software. All in all, there was an unprecedented number of data points for us to mull over and draw conclusions from.
We quickly noticed that if we wanted to reduce the number of SKUs, we would face a tough challenge from the near-50/50 split in preference for Windows 10 Home or Pro. Though it leaned toward 60/40 in favor of Home on the lower-end configurations and toward 60/40 in favor of Pro on the higher end, it soon became apparent that we would either have to double our number of offerings or cut an option. Since the price difference between the two versions is relatively small compared to some of the other options on the table and Pro can do everything Home does, we decided to make Windows 10 Pro the standard across our entire line-up.
Another tough call involved the display. When we introduced the Full-HD option, we had expected it to be a cost-saving measure that would allow us to match the entry-level devices with an entry-level display. Our expectations were off the mark: Firstly, when the component cost was revealed to us, it turned out that foregoing Ultra-HD didn’t save much cost at all, making UHD a popular choice even in the more affordable models. Secondly, our community rightfully pointed out that higher resolution doesn’t just increase image quality but also increases battery usage —a crucial consideration on any mobile device— which led to the popularity of the FHD panel all the way up to the high end.
We had predicted a preference shift from FHD on the lower-specced end of the spectrum to UHD on the higher end, which we could use to determine a point below which all models would feature FHD, and above which all models would feature UHD. Not only was this shift not nearly as pronounced as we had expected, the UHD panel was more popular across the board, usually by a significant margin. In the end, when we whittled down our list of offerings, only one option remained where the FHD panel might make sense, but at that point, the numbers no longer weighed up against the added complexity at the assembly line and component logistics like minimum order quantities for parts.
All in all, this one survey had been a great example of crowd development, where the community brought up new angles to consider, shattered assumptions, and changed the path forward. It shows once more that assumptions, predictions, and expectations can be useful when exploring potential routes, but nothing beats an enthusiastic community to help us pick the right path!
We ran into an issue where the cooling was being obstructed by the housing and internal components, which has led to a need to move the exhaust ports. As our original design did not look right in the new position, our design team has been hard at work re-shaping the vents to look their best.
Our survey on pen features showed that there was not much interest in added features like shortcut buttons, and that clips were preferred over tethers. With many good pens available that fit our main requirements, making expensive adjustments was hard to justify. As a result, we have left the pen’s development to the experts at Wacom. We do of course want to make sure that the look and feel matches that of the V, so that is the design team’s focus when it comes to the pen.
It has now also been confirmed that any users who want to fine-tune their pen experience will be able to make use of Wacom’s extensive driver application. This allows adjustments to pen pressure curves, tilt sensitivity, button assignments, and button behavior. It also features an optional radial menu for easy access to more functions, and allows you to track the battery status of your V Pen in the system tray.
Does the new V display offer a high refresh rate screen?
The display of the new V refreshes at 60Hz. The integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics adapter does not support refresh rates over 60Hz, nor are higher refresh rate panels available to us at this time.
Does the new V have an anti-reflective coating?
We are testing a glass treatment from Corning that should reduce reflections without reducing image quality or the durability of the cover glass surface.
Does the new V have rounded screen corners?
Despite reviewing many potential displays from several suppliers, no display panels with rounded corners are available to us.
What is the aspect ratio of the new V?
The new V features a 4K Ultra-HD+ panel with an aspect ratio of 16:10.
Does the new V feature a digital bezel?
Ports and other components around the display panel leave the V with inactive bezels. Though it would be possible to disable part of the display panel to create active bezels, it would ultimately leave the new V with a smaller usable screen.
What is the touch sensing rate of the new V?
The display can track up to 10 contact points at 100Hz per point when the V Pen is not in use. This changes to up to 10 contact points at 67Hz per point when the V Pen is used.
What are the limitations for external displays on the new V?
Displays can be connected to the new V through USB Type-C. The integrated graphics support up to three external displays at up to 8K at 60Hz if connected through DisplayPort, or up to 4K at 60Hz if connected through HDMI.
Is the Thunderbolt technology in the new V secure?
Some security concerns have been raised about Thunderbolt technology. Our Tiger Lake CPU has protections in place to guard your device against a number of threats, including ones based around the Thunderbolt port. Even so, any device can be compromised if it ends up in the wrong hands, so it is always a good idea to keep an eye on your electronics, especially ones that contain sensitive data.
Will the new V be compatible with external graphics?
The Thunderbolt ports on the new V will follow the Thunderbolt 4 spec as laid out by Intel. This should ensure compatibility with all Thunderbolt devices that also follow the specification. Of course, the ports on the V will be tested with a variety of peripherals, including external GPUs (eGPU).
Is the new V 5G compatible?
The new V is not compatible with 5G; no compatible modules are available to us to enable 5G support. We are looking to enable LTE on select models.
Why does the new V not have USB Type-A ports?
When we surveyed our community, the majority of respondents preferred to trade in USB-A ports for slimmer side bezels. As a result, the device only has Type-C ports, and the bezels are over a third smaller compared to the first-gen V.
Is the audio jack on the new V amplified?
Yes, the new V will have an audio jack amplifier; we aim to exceed the performance of the one in the first-Gen V.
Why were Intel’s Tiger Lake CPUs chosen to power the new V?
As much as we equally love both the blue and the red team, there was no fitting AMD solution with readily available engineering support accessible for us when we locked down the CPU. You can read more about the choice in this topic.
Is the new V suitable for real-time audio production?
The first-gen V seemed to have excellent low-latency performance. But as it houses different components, we cannot guarantee this for the new V, which is still in development.
What is the quality of the cameras on the new V?
We aim to provide higher-quality cameras than our first-gen device. For the rear-facing camera, our primary focus is on providing a good experience when scanning documents. For the front-facing camera, we are aware that image quality is crucial to fit your stay-at-home needs during the ongoing pandemic and are sourcing a camera that includes an infrared (IR) sensor to enable facial recognition through Windows Hello.
Can the new V be used as a display for another device?
Though the hardware does not support using the V as a monitor by plugging it into another device, it may be possible to borrow its screen using software screen projection or streaming. We expect support for Miracast and are still looking into the specifics.
How will the fan in the new V operate?
Though we understand the need for a fan to ensure the proper performance of our Tiger Lake CPU, we are also aware that silent performance was a popular feature of our fanless first-gen device. We intend to plot a fan curve that provides adequate cooling when required but turns the fan off completely during low-power use.
We are looking into the possibility of manually turning off the fan completely (a so-called ‘zero-fan mode’); however, it is important to recognize that such a feature may limit the maximum performance for users who choose to use it.
Does the new V support full-sized SD cards?
No, the new V only supports micro-SD cards. The limited space available on the daughterboard that houses the SD card reader did not allow for a full-sized SD card reader.
What speed does the micro-SD card reader support?
The card reader is limited to UHS-I speeds (up to 50MB/s).
Are the SIM card and micro-SD card hot-swappable?
Though either can be added, removed, or replaced whilst the device is in use (‘hot-swappable’), it is important to keep in mind that the SIM card and micro-SD card share a tray, so removing one will also remove the other. It is recommended to ensure the SD card is not being read from or written to and that you are not reliant on your LTE connection whenever you remove the SIM/SD tray.
What kind of RAM does the new V use?
The new V uses soldered LPDDR4X memory chips. Though these take up significantly less space than SODIMM modules, they are not user-replaceable or upgradeable.
What kind of storage does the new V use?
The new V uses an M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD for high-speed storage. Though we kept user-serviceability in mind throughout the design process, the SSD is hard to reach without specialized tools. This means that we do not recommend trying to replace it. However, in case of emergency, you should be able to remove your storage drive to get to your data.
Can customers provide their own SSD for factory assembly?
Besides the added risk of shipping your drive around the world, it will significantly increase the assembly line’s complexity: Instead of having a set number of models resulting in a pallet of Vs ready for any customer, each device with a user-provided SSD will essentially become its own unique model that will need to be individually tracked for its intended customer. This increases both cost and risk, thus not a service we can offer.
Is the new V user-serviceable?
As much as we would like the new V to offer easy accessibility of its internals, device thickness and structural rigidity became an issue when we explored various ways to safely open up the device. Gluing the new V was ultimately left as our only viable choice.
Will a repair kit be available for end-users of the new V?
We will first need to see what kind of tools are required to perform repairs to the device; however, everything can likely already be found in existing toolkits such as those from iFixit. A pre-cut adhesive to re-attach the display may be something we can offer as it will likely be produced for factory assembly, but nothing is concrete yet.
Does the new V support any form of (reverse) wireless charging?
The aluminum housing of the new V does not allow for wireless charging.
Will the new V be Intel EVO certified?
The new V should meet the requirements for Intel’s EVO platform, and we are looking to apply for certification.
Can the BIOS of the new V be accessed using the tablet alone?
No, accessing or configuring the BIOS will require a keyboard, either the V Keyboard or one connected through USB.
How does the new V charge?
The V charges through its USB Type-C ports using the USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) standard. The exact charging specifications will be locked down during the prototype phases.
Can all Type-C ports be used to charge the new V?
All USB Type-C ports on the V support the USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) standard. Because of this, it does not matter which of the ports is used to charge the device, and you can plug in your adapter from whichever side is most convenient.
What plug will the power adapter have?
This is yet to be confirmed. For the first-gen V, we tried our best to cover as many options by including an international plug set that included North-American, European, Australian, and British connectors. Given that there are over a dozen local plugs worldwide, it is unlikely that we can offer them all, but we will evaluate our options for the new V.
What is the expected battery life of the new V?
We aim to reduce the energy consumption of our components as much as possible and sought to include as big a battery as the available space allows, which is currently estimated at 41.3Wh. We will provide estimates of the battery life once we have correctly functioning prototypes to test.
Can the new V cap the maximum battery charge level?
We are currently looking into the possibility of adding a battery charging cap in the BIOS. This will allow users to preserve battery lifespan in the long term in exchange for shorter battery life in the short term.
Will the new V support Linux?
The new V is, first and foremost, developed to be a Windows device and ships with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed. As such, our primary concern is to source components that work well under Windows, and there are no plans to support or test Linux officially. However, the Linux community is exceptionally crafty and will likely get most if not all of the hardware on board to function.
Will the new V be compatible with Windows 10X?
The new V ships with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed. Though we expect it to be compatible with Windows 10X, this operating system has not yet been released, and there are no plans to support or test Windows 10X officially.
Will the new V be available without an operating system?
No, all new V’s ship with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed. Though tech-savvy people will be able to install their own operating system, the lack of an OS would render the device useless out-of-the-box for novice users. We are limited in the number of variants (SKUs) we can provide, so we cannot afford to make any of them unusable to most everyday end-users.
What is the form factor of the new V?
The new V is a detachable, tablet-first 2-in-1 tablet and laptop computer with a kickstand and a keyboard cover, just like the first-gen V.
How thick will the bezels of the new V be?
The V has edge-to-edge cover glass, bounded only by a thin aluminum frame to protect it from edge impacts. This combined ‘bezel’ measures approximately 11mm left and right, and 13.4mm on the top and bottom.
Is the new V vulnerable to bending (as seen with, for instance, iPad Pro)?
The internals’ accessibility is a particular challenge in designing the new V, as this often requires carefully fitting together separate housing components. Many design directions have already been tried but abandoned for resulting in too flimsy a device, as we take great care to build a sturdy and durable product.
Will the kickstand of the new V have a sharp edge?
The design team has taken great care to avoid sharp edges on the device, including its kickstand. This way, it will be safe and comfortable to hold, and will not cause damage to the surface upon which the V is used.
Will the active cooling of the new V be vulnerable to dust?
The air intake and exhaust (as well as the speaker holes) will have mesh filters in place to protect against the ingress of dust and other debris. We are aware that this will not completely negate the build-up of dust, but it should help your device stay clean and cool.
Why are the ports on the new V closer to the top than the bottom?
To achieve the full bandwidth of our Thunderbolt ports, they need to be connected directly to the mainboard, which has to be in the top half of the device as the kickstand leaves less room for components in the bottom half.
What materials make up the new V’s exterior?
The housing is primarily made of aluminum alloy, with a high-grade plastic insert along the top to allow for wireless connectivity. To top it all off, we’re currently working with Corning to make sure our edge-to-edge cover glass is as durable as possible.
What is the weight of the new V?
We will provide estimates once we have development samples with close-to-final components assembled.
Will the new V offer customized inscriptions?
Personal inscriptions will significantly increase the assembly line’s complexity, as any device with an engraved housing will essentially become its own unique model that will need to be individually tracked for its intended customer.
We have no plans at this time to offer more general engravings like we did for the first production units of the first-gen V, but are exploring our options in case inspiration strikes us.
What materials will be used to build the keyboard?
As the new V Keyboard is still being designed, no exact materials have been decided on. But it looks like we will use a soft material like ultrasuede, framed in a hard material like plastic. More details will be made available soon!
What materials will be used for the keycaps?
The keycaps will be plastic; exact details will narrow down to the specific module used with our keyboard suppliers.
How do the keys and palm rest feel on touch (i.e., warm or cold)?
As the keys and wrist rest of the keyboard does not contain components that heat up during use, you can expect the palm rest to be at or around room temperature. The exact surface finishes are still undecided.
Does Alcantara wear over time?
We have not yet decided on either material or finish, but consider using Alcantara and other ultrasuede materials. Experience with the first-generation V and other products shows that Alcantara is a resilient and durable material, provided it is cared for properly.
Can the new V Keyboard be lifted at an angle?
The keyboard can be lifted in the same fashion as the first-generation V Keyboard or Surface Pro. Once we have our designs finalized, we can start taking measurements, such as the maximum angle.
What keyboard localizations will be provided?
At this time, we are offering seven variants of the keyboard, being ANSI US, and ISO US International, German, UK, Nordic, French, and Spanish. The limited number of layouts is based on what our budget allows, and these layouts were chosen based on sales numbers of the first-gen V. No additional localizations are planned for the foreseeable future.
Will the new V Keyboard feature a Function Lock?
Yes, there will be a Fn-Lock feature to switch between primary and secondary uses of the function row keys. This setting will persist through restarts and even if the keyboard is disconnected, so once you’ve chosen to primarily use F-keys or media- and other functions, the keyboard will remember your preference.
Can end users remap the key functions?
No such function is present on a hardware level, though third-party software solutions on the market can enable remapping on just about any keyboard.
Are we keeping unique legends like the flipped pyramid V and Oops! keys?
We have not made any final decisions yet. We are quite fond of our subtle V logo, but we are also aware that there has been pushback against the Oops!-key’s quirkiness!
Will the new V Keyboard have a Windows key?
Yes, the new V is, first and foremost, developed to be a Windows device and ships with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed.
Why doesn’t the new V Keyboard have ‘inverted T’ cursor keys?
Though our surveys showed a preference for ‘inverted T’-style cursor keys, we were unable to find an off-the-shelf keyboard core solution that offered this in addition to some of the other features our community asked for. We considered a fully custom keyboard module, but voters were not a fan of the added cost.
How does the new V Keyboard connect to the V?
The connection between the V and its keyboard is called a ‘pogo pin connector.’ It consists of a set of spring-loaded pins on the keyboard that connect to contact pads on the tablet side, similar to what is used in Microsoft’s Surface Pro or Apple’s MagSafe adapters. It carries a USB 2.0 signal and allows users to connect or disconnect the keyboard more quickly and easily than if a traditional USB port was used.
Will the new V Keyboard support wireless use?
Unlike the first-gen keyboard, the new V Keyboard will not house a battery and Bluetooth transceiver. This means that it can be lighter and thinner, but needs to be attached to the V in order to use it. We may develop and offer a wireless variant of the keyboard later, which will not be available at launch.
Will the new keyboard be more durable than the first-gen V Keyboard?
We have a long list of improvement points based on feedback from first-gen users and data from our support team, which we will use to improve the industrial design. These include more resilient internal cables, guide notches around the connector, and a change in the V’s design where it meets the keyboard. On top of that, we have changed manufacturing partners for the keyboard and are now working with an industry-leading ODM to ensure the new keyboard’s durability and reliability.
Is the new V Keyboard compatible with the first-gen V?
We want to include backward compatibility with the first-gen V wherever we can. However, one crucial improvement involves adding guide notches around the pogo-pin connector. It will improve the user experience and protect both the tablet & the keyboard portions of the device; the original V does not support these guide notches, making compatibility unlikely.
Is the new V Keyboard compatible with any Surface devices?
The new V Keyboard will not be compatible with the Surface line of devices.
How likely will the new V Keyboard move around when used on a lap?
We do not expect issues with the V and its keyboard slipping around the user’s lap. Of course, this is a use case that will be tested on our prototypes, and if we find issues, adjustments will be made.
Why is there no key to switch between performance or power-saving modes?
Though it would be convenient to switch between power modes with the press of a key (called a ‘turbo button’ by some), this function would require access to the device’s BIOS. Allowing inputs from the pogo pin connector (effectively a USB port) to access the firmware at this level may expose the new V to security vulnerabilities.
Can the new V Pen be stored in or on the V?
The magnetic attachment as implemented in the first-gen device was not well-received, and despite attempts, we were unable to find a satisfying solution for attaching the pen magnetically. At this time, we are looking into a loop of elastic fabric that can be adhered to the V or V Keyboard, depending on the user’s preference.
Will the new V Pen be suitable for drawing?
We are working with industry leader Wacom to develop the touch and pen solution for the V. With their expertise in graphics tablet technology, tuning, and software, the new V Pen offers great precision, features, and adjustments. Off-the-shelf calibration, high pressure sensitivity, tilt support, as well as Wacom’s extensive driver settings, make the V Pen the right choice for digital artists.
What technology does the new V Pen use?
The new V Pen is based on Active Electrostatic (AES) 2.0 technology from Wacom. The specifications are similar to their Electromagnetic Resonance (EMR) technology, but the technology is more suited to implementation in devices like our V. It also offers better performance than Microsoft Pen Protocol, which was used in the first-generation V.
Will a USB-C to USB-A adapter be included with the new V?
We had not considered this yet, but given the updated design lacks USB Type-A ports, we understand that this would be a welcome addition for some users. We will look into it and get back to you!
Will there be an Eve eGPU accessory for the new V?
It is not something we are currently working on. But by following the Thunderbolt spec, the new V should be compatible with any third-party Thunderbolt eGPU enclosure.
Logistics and Timelines
What is the price of the new V?
We have decided on a pricing model where the price increases dynamically based on sales. This has a number of benefits: we keep manufacturers and investors happy with high initial volumes, give our team peace of mind about the demand for our product, provide additional revenue later on to cover marketing, distribution, support, and reward our community of crowd-developers and early adopters with the best possible pricing. You were here first, and you deserve the best deal!
We don’t want to be perceived as a discount house making ‘cheaper products.’ In fact, we feel our crowd-developed products are better than our competitors, using premium materials and packing all the extra features you want that improve the user experience. We always look to offer the best experience and the best value, not necessarily the lowest price. But if you also like low prices, you don’t have to wait for a sale to get a good deal: the best time to reserve your own V is always now!
Do you plan to offer a student discount for the new V?
We try to offer the best possible price for all customers. On the one hand, that means we can’t make things cheaper for students. On the other hand, that means we haven’t made our products more expensive for everyone else!
In what configurations will I be able to get the new V?
There are seven different configurations available, which differ in their CPU, RAM capacity, storage capacity, and LTE/GPS support. You can find details about the available options on our order page.
Can I pay using anything other than a credit card?
We’ve heard your requests to be able to pay through PayPal, debit card, Klarna, or others. We would like to offer as wide a variety of payment options as possible, but at this time, we are limited to credit card payments only. We hope to offer more payment options in the future.
I’ve placed an order for the new V, can I still change it to a different model?
Yes, you can. Just contact our support team through the contact form on our website. They will be able to adjust your order for you.
Will there be a crowdfunding campaign for the new V?
We’ve decided not to go this route. The development has already been funded, and unlike the launch of the first-gen V, we now have our own system in place for reservations and orders.
What has been done to ensure setbacks from previous projects won’t affect the new V?
We’ve changed our business model, and the way sales are handled to avoid a number of issues that have plagued us in the past. More details about what changed can be found in this topic.
How much will it cost to ship the new V?
Shipping fees will differ based on country, duties, taxes, and other factors. Shipping cost estimates will be released once we have them.
From where does the new V ship?
Shipping will be done regionally to most countries. For example, if you ordered from the EU, your package will come from a regional warehouse in Germany or the UK. More shipping details will be released once we have them.
I’ve placed an order for the new V, how do I make any changes to it?
If you need to update your order information, change or cancel your order, or add or remove something from your order, please contact our support team through the contact form on our website. They will be able to adjust your order for you.
Will there be import taxes or similar fees?
Import taxes vary and depend on the region you are importing to. You may want to contact your local customs office to get more information on taxes and import fees as they apply to you. Alternatively, you may be able to pick up the V in a physical store near you: let us know where you want us to offer our products in this topic!
Who will deliver orders of the new V?
Shipping partners may vary per country, and exact carriers will be determined at a later time. If you have particular questions about which logistics company will deliver the V in your region, we recommend contacting our support team once shipping starts.
When will the new V ship?
At this time, the new V is slated to ship in Q3 2021. It is already possible to reserve the V on our order page, where you can also always find the latest shipping estimate!
Got more questions?
Please post them here, and we will try our best to answer!