Why the next project should be a 8-10" detachable tablet


#1

NOTE this isn’t a complete thought just what I’ve managed to get down hopefully it’ll make sense.

For ‘project next’ I would assume the next couple of ‘ground rules’ to be at least some what true.

the next device has to be simple/easy to design, engineer and manufacture etc.(Eve isn’t in a position to spend loads of money/time on R&D) (this limits form factors and component/software architectures)

the next device has to have a broad market appeal, like the V did. Eve doesn’t have the brand allegiance to try an expensive niche product. This again limits form factors to a handful.

the next device should start at a relatively affordable price $400-600. The advantage of lower device target cost are numerous, lower risk to bottom line with faulty devices or refunds, lower inventory risk, lower risk to buyers, etc.

If we take those as sort of ground rules, and I’m not saying Eve will but I definitely think they should follow them at least for the next device. The most difficult one is the last one because no doubt Eve wants to create +$1000 devices but the market is way too competitive at that level and buyers are way too brand/quality sensitive. a cheaper device will target a far less fickle far more forgiving customer.

Along side Eves limitations are also market trends:

2in1s (detachables & convertibles) are still hot
gaming is still hot, especially portable gaming (gaming streaming services will be a big deal)
touch first is still king on devices smaller than 11" devices
great typing/lapability is mandatory on larger than 12" devices
productivity is becoming and an ever bigger part of the equation
This leaves Eve only a handful of options (Ignoring a V version 2 refresh):

1 (detachable tablet) a second generation T1 8inch tablet ($400 starting price)
2 (detachable 2 in 1 tablet) a 10-12"; Surface Go/Ipad competitor tablet as has been suggested before by @Patrick_Hermawan ($500 starting price)
3 (convertible laptop) a dual screen 10 - 12" Lenovo yoga book/ Asus project precog competitor ($600 starting price)
4 (convertible laptop) a dual convertible 13.5" 3:2 laptop (this one is the least likeliest to hit $600 base price)
These 4 options are of two types, convertible and detachable in small and large varaints. The dual screen convertible devices are much simpler to make and are easiest form an R&D perspective but their starting price is much higher because they’e ‘monolithic’ devices whereas the detachable are more ‘modular’ i think the detachable devices offer more future flexibility for eve and allow eve to make money off of additional ‘accessories’

1 (detachable tablet) a second generation T1 8inch tablet ($400 starting price)

A mini tablet is rather interesting (bear with me). there are a couple of intereesting adjacent products that we can converge into ONE device thats an 8inch ish mini tablet.

foldable tablets - microsoft centaurus/microsft courier + intel tiger rapids + ASUS Project precog
productivity tablets - ipad mini with pencil support
portable gaming - Nintendo swith, GPD products, gaming phones etc. (future game streaming on the horizon)
*a ‘pocketable’ full windows 10 pocket PC
to a lesser extent e-reading.
what would this converged device look like?

As a basic 8inch tablet (probably around $350-400 starting price) it would look very plain, the only thing you would notice that would be diffrent is it would have a slot along the left (portrait) edge similar to the v were the keyboard snaps in, instead of pogo pins it would be a usb-c port in the middle. the device would also have strategically placed magnets like the ipad pro. it would look a bit like this

the ‘spine connector’ along with the magnets would allow it to easily transform in a Microsft Courier/centaurus like device by attaching a second displY ($200-$250). The attachment would be a secondary 8" screen + battery + accelormeter etc and maybe one or two USB-c ports. it would attach similar to an ipad pro smart keyboard (mainly magnets on the back surface), the advantage of this is if the courier conecpt turns out to be crap Eve isnt doomed, but if it turns out to be awesome Eve will benifit. another advantage is people can buy an upgraded tablet and not have to buy a new second screen they can jsut use their old one. drawbacks being its a bit thick, 15mm when closed, and there is a gap between the displays, but looking at Asus precog i think the windows shell will be designed with the gap in mind.also the drawing is not to scale and the hinges won’t look that big compared to the overall device. theres more but ill leave it at that.


so what about gaming? how about a controller accesory ($80-150) that you can slide the tablet into that also provides extra battery, you will note that about half the device is still exposed, this is the half with the PCB and will therefore not overheat,in any case, this device is designed primarily for light games and future AAA game streaming this means we have to have a 5g SKU on the roadmap.


then there’s a reversible E-ink cover (thin, no battery)


and a ‘dumb’ stand ($30-50 depending on level of dumbness) with USB-c passthrough. there is potential for this tablet to function as an echo show but Microsoft is yet to build out the Cortana ‘hub’ ui


There is no keyboard accessory (although a novel one could easily be made) because a) no one in their right mind would use such a small device for typing and B) Eve would have to produce many version in different languages which is a headache. the courier screen attachment serves as a makeshift keyboard

also, TB3 capability would make things even more interesting, but I’m not sure if Intel foveros/Lakeview will support TB3.

This device is something of a unicorn for EVE in that it will definitely meet the ‘ground rules’ and will have multiple large target markets. Also, its modular nature means we can build out the accessories slowly and over a basic internal upgrade for future generations and not have to spend, all the while bringing in recurring revenue. Not to mention how damn simple it is.

i did have more on my mind but got tired of writing ( the other 3 of the 4 devices i spoke about are still left)


#2

It sort of reminds me of the Razer Edge with similar concept. I always thought it was so cool. (The device flopped, but for different reasons)

Would be amazing if the “attachment unit” has display on one side, and keyboard on the other side, so you can switch their functionality depending on how you attach it (e.g if you attach it with the keyboard facing up, the screen would be disabled). Remember USB-C is reversible.

If its possible and viable, you can even put an MX150/GT1030 as an eGPU to boost the graphics performance.

For the 8" vs 10"
Honestly, I dont see a ton of market for 8" tablet considering phones are approaching 7" now. For those who already own a phone, an 8" tablet is mostly redundant. There is a good reason why nobody is building 8" tablets, why Apple doesnt make a new iPad Mini, and why MS cancelled the “Surface Mini”

Sure, the secondary display could help selling the device, but unlike what you said, if the courier conecpt turns out to be crap, then Eve IS doomed because 8" has no market by itself. That’s why I think 10" is a much better size.

The idea should be to make a competent 10" tablet first, and then design the accessory around it. Make sure that even if the accessories didnt exist, its still an awesome tablet that people want to buy. IMO thats what has been missing from devices with novel features, including the Razer Edge above (1366x768 display, poor battery life, etc.).


#3

I haven’t been following market trends so I have no real input on 8" vs 10" other than I don’t want a 10" tablet. I want the portability of an 8" device and my V covers me when I need a larger screen. I also don’t want a bigger phone so the 8" is not redundant for me. That being said, I would still consider a 10" because I doubt that most people see it the way I do.

I really like you double sided screen/keyboard idea. Very cool. You’re also dead right about the tablet needing to be able to be a great device on it’s own. However, I think it would be best to launch with one accessory available (and publish future concepts) just to enhance the offering and provide some proof to people that other accessories are possible and forthcoming if the device does well.


#4

@Smyler316 @Patrick_Hermawan

i think the screen size issue is a valid concern from both sides. i definately think there is a market for a palmable tablet, especially if it offers enhanced productivity or gaming. intrestingly with the ‘bezelless’ trend we can easily fit a 9inch display into the body of a amazon fire hd7 size device. i think for this dicussion screen size is irrelevant unless we first talk about apect ratio. yes phones are at 6.5inches but this is at an 18:9 ratio, the most important dimension for a device like the one i proposed above is the width in portrait becasue it will define if the device can be held in one hand. my understadning is that the device has to be no more than 140mm wide to be able to be held in one hand (for reference the ipad mini is 135mm wide and packs a 7.9" 4:3 diplay with loads of bezels). following the 140mm max you get the following options:
Ipad pro like bezels: (10mm uniform bezel)

  • 3:2 8.6" 120x180mm display. 140x200mm device
  • 16:9 9.5" 120x213mm display. 140x233mm device
    ipad mini like bezels (5mm on sides 10mm top and bottom)
  • 3:2 9.4" 130x195mm display. 140x215mm device
  • 16:9 10.4" 130x231mm display. 140x251mm device

Ive drawn thease out ontop of each other on sqaured paper and at first glance both the 3:2 variants look far more usable than the 16:9. (but theyll be much ahrder to source but hopfully microsoft centaurus devcie will sort that). the 16:9 is wayyyy to wide in landscape for a tablet, especailly if we are a considering adding gaming controllers to the sides.

The main takeaway is this, both your needs are acheivable in the same device …more or less. and it will be a bit smaller screen than the surface go but with much smaller bezels


#5

but theyll be much ahrder to source but hopfully microsoft centaurus devcie will sort that

Thats unfortunately the problem here, we only have a limited options available from the supplier. Once you strip out the units with high power, low resolution, low brightness, etc. I wouldnt be surprised if we end up with just 1 or 2 options.

It is probably the first thing that we need to decide, and then we design the device around it, since the bezels have to match.


#6

this. I love the huawei mate 20x but 899€ are actually too expensive and I don’t care about using a 8" as phone. maybe with eve earpods…?


#7

Then we have to go Android (Windows cant phone), a vastly different territory here. Essentially we are no longer making a PC, but a phone


#8

is it that complex to include a phoneability? Is there no way to call smbd with the surface go LTE? I even got a app on my V to call people per Router… 8" to 9" without phone does not make sense for me. I even won’t care if it’s Android, meanwhile. MS launcher pre-installed maybe…


#9

Iirc the main issue with Skype on Windows was receiving calls when the device is in sleep mode. It only works like 50% of the time. With regular telephony, that’s probably even worse.

Even if its possible, we would need a ton of support from Microsoft in many areas, which is very unlikely to happen.


#10

just call Panos :joy::joy::joy: he will surely manage it. what was the problem with dual boot again?


#11

true, i dont think there are any 3:2 mini tabs out there. ipad mini is 4:3 (i assume) and all the others are proabably 16:9 or 16:10.

i think its safe to say regardless what we end up with itll be somehwere between 8.5-9.5" and not any more or less.

Take a look at the follwing device its a HP envy note 8 from 2015 its an 8 inch (16:10 1920:1200) device thats 218 x 126.6 x 7.7mm overall adn runs on an atom x5. it cost around $400 new. the device im proposing would be quite similar but with a bigger screen and smaller bezels.




@Smyler316 this is one of the ways to do a novel keybaord. its far from perfect but its quite clever.


#12

So I did a quick trip to AliExpress to see what the Chinese tablets are offering, so we can get an idea of what display units are available from the suppliers:

  • 7.9" 2048 x 1536 (Teclast M89, Xiaomi MiPad 2, Pipo N9)
  • 8.0" 1920 x 1200 (Alldocube T801, Chuwi Hi8 SE, Pipo W2)
  • 8.4" 2560 x 1600 (Huawei M5, Alldocube X1, Chuwi Hi9 Pro)
  • 8.9" 1920 x 1200 (Pipo X11, X9S)
  • 8.9" 2560 x 1600 (Alldocube X9)
  • 9.7" 2048 x 1536 (Asus ZenPad 3S, Voyo i8, Teclast X98)
  • 10.1" 2560 x 1600 (Alldocube M5, Teclast T10, Onda X20)
  • 10.8" 2560 x 1600 (Chuwi Hi9 Plus, Huawei M5)

(bold is 4:3, the rest is 16:10)

There seem to be zero options for 3:2 or 16:9, so the only choice available is between 16:10 and 4:3. I definitely choose 4:3 over 16:10 personally, so the 9.7" is my favorite. (coincidentally, it’s also the display of my iPad, which I think is the perfect size)

If you want one-handed usability, the 8.9" seems to be the closest to your 140mm target, as the Alldocube X9 is 144mm wide. You can choose between 1920 x 1200 or 2560 x 1600 resolution here. I am leaning towards the former, assuming all else identical (brightness, color gamut, power, etc.). The resolution doesn’t need to be decided now anyway, as long as we got the size and aspect ratio.

There is also an option for 10.1" 1920 x 1080 and 1920 x 1200, but I think the resolution is simply too low for this size, especially for 2019-2021 where this device will be competing in.

The Android system has to run 24/7 to be able to receive calls. If you are in Windows, and you receive a call, the system has to switch to Android in an instant. If you are in sleep mode and the last time you used Windows, then it has to wake up to Android.

Considering the sleep drain issues with the V that hasnt been resolved up to this day, I really can’t trust Eve/Emdoor to a sleep/wake situation that’s several orders of magnitude more complex.


#13

About the USB-C docking connector:

  • It needs a “guide” for docking in, so the device is fully centered before the connectors start touching each other. If you want to make it reversible (e.g my screen/keyboard idea), then the “guide” has to be reversible as well
  • If you want to put a hinge with a certain amount of torque resistance, I would say it should also have something to take the torque away from the USB-C port, otherwise the USB-C port might get damaged. If I be honest, this is probably the reason why every detachable uses pogo pins instead of ports like this.
  • I would propose to use a physical latch instead of magnets (which doubles as the previous two points)

That being said, if we could manage to solve those issues, I would heavily support USB-C over proprietary pogo pins, as it could spur an array of accessories from third-parties, including the 3D-printed ones from hobbyists.

Having a USB-C on the center-bottom in both landscape and portrait mode is also a pretty clever move, as the accessories can now use either USB-C port (e.g some accessories may work better with the device in portrait mode), while leaving the other port accessible to the user.


#14

It definitely needs a TB3 port an a dock to come with it. Just think about having a tablet for everyday use and then attach it to your eGPU and suddenly you got a low end gaming device or whatever else you could use a dedicated GPU for.

Personally I’m a firm believer of modular devices and a TB3 port can greatly increase a devices potential and life span, as with a single cable you can add a dedicated GPU, high-speed storage, additional IO, Ethernet, while still keeping a small form factor when out and about.


#15

The problem is TB3 requires Intel Core platform, which is very challenging to implement in a 10" form factor, not to mention the endless delay of 10nm Intel Core itself (last estimate is tail-end of 2019). If you go with Intel Celeron/Pentium platform, or Qualcomm, or AMD, then you won’t be able to have TB3.

EDIT: Gemini Lake Pentium seems to have 6 PCIe lanes, so it might be possible here


#16

Hopefully intels 3d sacked feveros/lakeview supports tb3. It would be really awesome to have an mx150 gaming controller attachment with additional battery.


#17

I love everything that’s going on in this thread! Great points about the screen size/bezels. What would be the alternative of choice to TB3 if a platform that supports it isn’t available?


#18

There’s isn’t really an option, you could do a PCIE connection similar to what dell used to use in their alienware laptops but that has a significant drawback in that it’ll require restarting the tablet every time you attach the gaming controller. Not to mention the headache of creating a custom pcie connector and power delivery method. It wouldn’t have the performance overhead of TB3 though so that’s a plus.

Another option is just to have the Gpu in the tablet but have a way (button or software option) to turn it off the preserve battery life but ther is no way you’ll get even a small discrete gpu in a mini tablet not to mention 2 hour battery life with GPU active and only the tablets battery. The additional cost of having a gpu in the tablet itself, that you’ll only use occasionally makes this a non starter. The discreet gpu HAS to be part of an accessory, ideally a gaming controller.

TB3 has some protocol overhead but it supports many protocols and also power delivery and it’s plug and play making it the best option


#19

I really like what you’ve come up with there. One thing I do see differently though is the keyboard.

I have a Zagg case/BT keyboard for my iPad Mini and I type with it all the time. It’s really well layed out and typing on it is easy and comfortable. I think having a way to use a keyboard is important whether that means n.a. ing their own or just designing the tablet so that it will accept keyboards from a 3rd party “partner” like Brydge.


Why the next project should be an Eve AIO Desktop 5K
#20

Thanks,

Im with you on the keyboard, but the problems is it is difficult to make a usable keubaord at that size with a trackpad/pointing device. the ipad mini doesnt suppport a trackpad, on windows on the other hand its a necessity. theres two ways around this

design a novel keybaord thats quite clever, but this will be expensive.

hope that microsoft does a decent enough tablet ui that the tackpad is no longer needed and Eve justs makes a copy of the Brydge ipad mini keybaord layout

3rd part keybaords are a non starter in my opinion, Eve would have to ship millions of devices before third party hardware accesories become viable