Why the next project should be an Eve 10" Snapdragon tablet


#1

Following @Tsuki 's recent thread here Why the next project should be an Eve Pro Notebook, I stole his template and made my own. The Eve T2. Or Eve 10". Or whatever, I dont care what you wanna call it.

I personally see one way for the next Eve device: A smaller, more portable tablet. The V is great for people looking for laptop performance in a tablet package. But what about people who just need tablet performance? Or those who rarely needs PC-class software, but still use them from time to time. Essentially, this product would be more focused at being a great tablet than a great laptop compared to the V, while still can be used as a great laptop.

Or in true @Patrick_Hermawan constant rambling about Tesla, it will be the Model 3 to the V’s Model S. What does that mean? That means this will not be a cheaper, compromised version of the V. This will be a unique, separate product on its own. It just happens to be cheaper.

Reasons: Eve already has the experience and connections for a device of that category. If we went with something different, like a smartphone we’d need completely new connections in a huge area. The main crowd we have here right now also has a good knowledge of the PC technology - so extra points for that.

Now where to go with that device? There are many roads we can go - but I say go for a premium 10" tablet with Windows on Snapdragon.

Reasons: The current 10" tablet market is filled low-cost alternative to their more premium 12" products. That means, you’ll see low resolution screen (FHD) and lesser build quality than the premium model. Its also often compromised in RAM and storage department. If early wave of HP and ASUS Windows-on-Snapdragon products is any indication, the trend will be similar. They have impressive battery life, but unimpressive everywhere else. There is only one premium 10" tablet on the market right now, literally only one: the iPad Pro.

Essentially, this would take the best of the V and the iPad Pro, and marry them into one ultra portable device. Now that we cleared why we want a premium ARM tablet, let’s talk about the sweet stuff - hardware! :3

Size: I’d suggest going with 10". I personally think 10" would be the perfect size for light Windows tablet. This product would mostly be used with Metro/WinRT/UWP apps, with occassional desktop app uses. 12" would offer extra real estate for multitasking and desktop app uses, which we are not aiming for here. Meanwhile, 8" would make cool computer-like stuff that Windows offers not-really-usable. The ribbon on Microsoft Office for example, would be mostly comprised of grouped items in an 8" screen.

Screen: Due to the already existing connections with Sharp, I’m all for going with one of the best reasonable panels available. Just like the V, the display would be nothing but the best available. I am aiming (if possible) to get the 120 Hz display from the iPad Pro, which is also supplied by Sharp.

Or OLED. Choosing between 120 Hz and OLED would probably be the most difficult decision I would have to make here XD

CPU: CPU would obviously be the latest-and-greatest Snapdragon chip, be it 845, 850, or 1000. It would offer Core m3-like performance at iPad-like battery life. Fanless, of course.

RAM: 6+ GB or GTFO

SSD: 128 GB on the base model. Windows does not get smaller with slower CPU. We can discuss about higher-end models later. Why not 1TB? XD

Keyboard and trackpad: The keyboard would be similar to the V. Take the V keyboard, make it smaller. Personally, Id like a laptop-style keyboard (think Surface Book), but I understand if the market prefers the flappy cover-type keyboard. Few advantages of laptop-style keyboards: It can house a battery, storage, or some extra ports, its much easier to handle on the lap, and it allows bezelless design.

Speakers: Okay lets be honest here: The V speakers are disappointing. I hope we could learn from the iPad Pro and it’s massive speaker chamber to create better vibration and, therefore, greater sound.

Camera: No one cares about camera on a tablet. Take the ones from the V, or none of them. I dont care.

Microphones: I think the V showed that we can have a damn nice sound quality - let’s go with great microphones again!

Battery: Following Eve’s tradition, we would put in as much as reasonable. The iPad Pro 10.5" has 30 Wh battery, and the V 12" has 48 Wh. I would say somewhere around 35-40 Wh would be reasonable here. Remember, we will have the power-sipping Snapdragon chip here. I am not going to give how many hours it will last, because that would highly depend on the usage, but I would say it should have at least 50% more battery life than the V in the vast majority of usage scenarios.

Ports: I would go with the same ports as the V if possible, or if not, take one USB-A out. That means:

  • 2x USB-C (hopefully we can have one on each side, this time around)
  • 1x or 2x USB-A (one on each side)
  • microSD

Wireless: Snapdragon has an integrated WLAN/BT chip on its SoC

Windows Hello: Infrared Camera or Fingerprint - one of those 2 :slight_smile:

Price: $700 for the base model sounds reasonable? Remember, it will come pen and keyboard included, as well as 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, double of the base model iPad Pro on both fronts.

Repairable: Yes. As mentioned previously (dont remember where), Eve’s next product would aim at being highly repairable. The display should not be glued, but instead screwed on the bottom with the screws hidden behind the kickstand (ala Surface RT), while the top part mounts with a bunch of clips

Where would you position this product?

Compared to V:

  • Much lighter. (30-40% lighter)
  • More compact, fits in more places (think iPad 10.5" vs iPad 12.9")
  • Crazy long battery life. (50% more or better)
  • Cheaper (at least $200 cheaper for the same storage model)
  • Repairable

Compared to iPad Pro:

  • More laptop-class hardware, like trackpad and proper keyboard that’s not an origami fabric
  • Kickstand
  • Lapability!
  • OS that’s actually useful
  • Ports. Ports. Ports.
  • Better value
  • Repairable

As you can see there, you get the V’s advantages over the iPad Pro, and the iPad Pro’s advantages over the V. Thats exactly what Im aiming for!

Compared to other 10" tablets:

  • Premium build quality, like the V
  • Much better display: 250+ PPI, IGZO screen with 120 Hz (if possible)
  • Large RAM and storage capacity
  • Crazy long battery life (compared to Intel-based ones)
  • Ports. Ports. Ports.
  • Repairable

EDIT: Compared to Surface Go:

  • Better performance in UWP apps
  • Much better display: 250+ PPI, IGZO screen with 120 Hz (if possible)
  • Crazy long battery life (we are looking at 200% - 300%)
  • Ports. Ports. Ports.
  • Repairable
  • No crappy Marvell WiFi

Thanks for reading!

If you’ve got some ideas on how to improve this please post them here! :smiley:


#2

I’m gonna have to disagree with this proposal.

Firstly, it’s too similar to the V and the T1, I feel like Eve should do something in a different direction next, then go back to this idea as the 4th device. Put some more time between similar devices. Also, I think it’s still too early to throw a Qualcomm in a windows device.

Secondly, I think there’s a bigger market for laptops than small tablets. The V was a wonderful device that filled a big gap in computers. I think there’s also a gap in price concious, powerful laptops (thinking something like the Surface Book and ThinkPad). One of the most common complaints about the V is the lack of power, I think a SB/ThinkPad/XPS competitor would be a good fit in the current market.


#3

Compared to the V, this would be significantly more portable, more casual. Take note that its not going to be like S3 and SP3, but instead more like iPad-Pro-running-Windows and SP3.

The T1, on the other hand, is outdated by now, and it was too small to begin with, at just 8".

That is true, but also more competition. Even if you add a 360 hinge, there is the aggressively priced Yoga 720 already. Meanwhile, there is practically zero competition in the premium 10" tablet.

Because every single competitor has U-class CPU compared to our Y-class. From what I see in most reviews its more like “you could have done better” than “I need better” to be honest. Take a look at MobileTechReview’s, she tested Handbrake on it. How many people out there encode video on a regular basis on their tablets?

Meanwhile, no other 10" tablet has U-class processor, or anything better than Celeron. Plus as I mentioned earlier, if the V has, say, 50/50 balance between UWP and desktop apps usage, this would be closer to 80/20, and therefore performance should matter less.


#4

I feel like that’s a distinction that would not be obvious, and would need to be explained often. Also, the S3 went over very well, perhaps calling it a combination of that and the iPad Pro would be the best marketing strategy.

The 360 hinge I’ve always hated honestly. Originally they were kind of neat, but I’ve seen way too many (including my own) end up with either a broken hinge or a broken cable. If it were to be a 2in1, I think the SB with a different hinge is the way to go. There really isn’t any good competition to the SB and I think Eve could fill that gap if they could engineer it.

There’s little competition in the 10" Windows world because there’s little incentive. That’s a size that’s right between Windows and Android, and stepping up to Apples plate is a tough step. I don’t think the market is quite there yet.

Though, looking at the popularity of the m3, you may have a better idea than I.


#5

I agree with this. It is a great idea but I think there is more demand and more of a market opportunity for a Surface Book 2 clone with more ports (ex-Thunderbolt) at a significantly cheaper price than a tablet.

Again I like the idea but I think it should come after the SB2 clone project.


#6

As Jamil mentioned, SB2 clone would be very hard to pull off with the dGPU and all that jazz. I agree if we are strictly talking about Surface Book 2 clone, that is a super light tablet with a laptop dock that features a dGPU. There is no competition there, but I believe there is a good reason why, and that is the reason that Jamil mentioned.

Meanwhile there is no lack of competition in the non-detachable laptop with all the processing components (CPU, RAM) on the base, as I demonstrated in this thread earlier this year Choosing the ultimate 2 kg laptop

Even if we went with the SB2 way, I dont want to see people associating Eve as a “cheaper Surface copy” brand, after what happens with some V reviews. Making a cheaper SB2 alternative will only strengthen that argument, and sooner or later, will tarnish the brand.

Meanwhile, there is no competition in 10" premium Windows tablet anytime soon because:

  • Apple isnt going to allow macOS or Boot Camp to the iPad Pro anytime soon
  • OEMs are too afraid to build a decent 10" tablet and lose sales on their more expensive, more profitable 12" tablet

I believe one of the main reason is the same as why there isnt a 4" Android phone: you cant build a device small/slim enough without compromising on battery life. Sony’s best effort in building a flagship 4" phone ended up with a chunky double-digit mm thickness, and the same would be true for an Intel-based 10" tablet. When the device has to be thicker and heavy like a 12" tablet, there is no point in putting a smaller 10" display anymore.

Thats about to change with the Windows-on-ARM project here.

The thing here is Windows tablet and iOS tablet are rarely cross-shopped together. People who love their iPad Pro wont consider any Windows tablet, and people who want a Windows tablet wont consider the iPad Pro (unless he’s stupid like me, and bought the iPad anyway).

That would leave us with practically zero competition.


#7

Agree with that. However Eve can learn from its mistakes and offer an SB2 clone or better at a cheaper price. I think the mistake with the V is that some of the promised features were not up to par out of the box. Eve can ensure with a premium laptop 2 in 1 that it is not rushed and given software improvements before releasing the device.

Also I like this crowd sourced model but the enthusiast crowd doesn’t always know what’s best. RGB backlighting, the “oops” backspace key, etc. are things that most of the mainstream do not care about. As a business user I found the V weak in areas that are important to me like cleanliness, weight, webcam, and sound.

Have to disagree with the dGPU being difficult to put into an SB2 clone. It would be a larger and heavier device so while not easy it is certainly less difficult than implementing in something like the V. Anyway I’m not a techie so take what I say with a grain of salt.

To sum up the reason the V is being perceived as a cheaper brand is because Eve failed to live up to some important promises like battery, sound, etc. If they simply executed as per what they promised than the reviewers wouldn’t have much to criticize the V about. Now that all the reviews are done; most will never know about the improvements made after the fact.


#8

Surface Go has proven the existence and viability of this market. However, the Eve product can still kick Surface’s in several areas:

  • UWP app performance. The Snapdragon 835 tablets can get close to Core m3 in UWP optimized apps. I would expect 845, 850, or 1000 to be able to match m3 or even exceeds it. The SG tops at 1.6 GHz, making it 60% slower than Core m3
  • Better screen. The SG has an lower resolution than the 3-year old Surface 3. Ouch! We should not compromise there.
  • SG only has 1 USB port, and it’s a USB-C. I would aim for at least one for each USB-C and USB-A.
  • 2x the Battery life. According to Microsoft, the Surface Go would have 67% the battery life of Surface Pro, which wasn’t all that great to begin with. They did it that way perhaps by putting a tiny battery inside. Meanwhile, I am aiming for 50% better battery life than the Eve V, which means it will have 225% the battery life of the SG, assuming Surface Pro battery life is identical to the Eve V (which it isn’t. We are looking at upwards of 300%)
  • No crappy Marvell WiFi.

#9

I think you make some good points, but I just wanted to point out a few things:

  1. The Surface Go’s processor is likely cheaper than the Snapdragon processors, not to mention it has much better compatibility since it runs non-UWP apps without an emulation layer. Keep in mind that similar devices with Snapdragon 835 are being priced in the $800-$1000 range (i.e. the Miix 630 with 4GB of RAM is $900), while the Surface Go with 8GB of RAM is $550.
  2. The resolution likely has more to do with the difference in screen size than the quality of the screen. The Surface Go has slightly better pixels per inch compared to the Surface 3 (217 vs 214), but the screen is 10 inches instead of 10.8.
  3. Agreed with the ports
  4. I’d be really cautious about adding bulk to a device like this with a much biggery battery, but using a Snapdragon would help the battery life a lot.
  5. 100% agreed

#10

That is true. The main issue is that the Surface 3 itself had low resolution in comparison to the iPad 3 from 2012 (~260 PPI) so I naturally expect a 2015 device to be able to match that.

If that failed, at least they should’ve fixed in in their 2018 device.

I’d be really cautious about adding bulk to a device like this with a much biggery battery

Interestingly, you can fit a bigger battery in a Snapdragon tablet than an Intel tablet since the board takes less space. The Miix 630 can fit 48 Wh battery, just like the V, in a relatively slim chassis.

Another way to tackle this issue is to have a battery on the keyboard base. Take the Dell 7285 for example. The tablet portion is super light thanks to the tiny 34 Wh battery, but the keyboard has a 22 Wh battery to supplement the combo, giving a total of 56 Wh, more than virtually any 12" device out there. For the keyboard, having a battery helps balancing the weight, and it also helps with rigidity (see crash test of Tesla vehicles)


#11

Since I haven’t seen a Surface 3 in years, I can’t comment on the quality of the screen, but having used similar devices with even lower resolutions, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about it. That’s admittedly just my preference, but I’d assume the relatively lower resolution would help with performance and battery life since it wouldn’t have to drive as many pixels.

That’s fair. I’ve never been a fan of batteries in the keyboards, but using a Snapdragon does make things a lot more flexible with the design.

I’m really curious what a device like this would cost, though. The Surface Go is positioned in a really weird space as-is, but it’s still noticeably cheaper than its Snapdragon counterparts (~$720 for 8GB RAM + the keyboard + Bamboo Ink vs ~$900 with 4GB of RAM from HP and Lenovo).


#12

Honestly, I think Snapdragon Windows tablets have a lot of margin. I mean, Snapdragon phones with an identical chip are dirt cheap, so does Atom/Pentium/Celeron tablets with similar specs. Why the combination of those two ended up being super expensive, is beyond reasonable.

At this current price point, yes I agree that Snapdragon tablet is very expensive and not really worth the money.


#13

What would be the use case for this kind of device? What kind of UWP apps people use? I would be hesitant to make a device with snapdragon, until windows improves in how it can work with ARM.

Would be interesting to hear someones experiences with the HP Snapdragon 2-in-1 in emulated environment (with legacy apps)


#14

For now mainly Mail, Edge, Drawboard PDF, Kindle, Netflix, YouTube, Office, as well as music/video player. All that, in addition to built-in Windows utilities like the File Explorer. Remember, it still has the full capability of Windows, where you can plug a USB stick, access the files, and even format the USB stick. Its something an iPad can only dream to do.

In addition to that, the user is expected to use traditional apps like Photoshop occasionally, which is the real benefit of WoA now as opposed to Windows RT. Basically it goes like this: You wont design a poster from scratch here, but you can make small changes.

In addition to that, since the big three (Apple, Google, Microsoft) are embracing PWA, I can see that the vast majority of companies to go PWA sooner or later to save cost (why develop 3 separate apps?). That alone opens up the gate for many ARM-optimized apps on a Snapdragon platform.

Keep in mind that this first wave of ARM Windows tablets have Snapdragon 835 chips, which has been replaced by 845 at this point, in addition to 850 and 1000 that are coming with even better performance.


#15

In addition to that, the user is expected to use traditional apps like Photoshop occasionally, which is the real benefit of WoA now as opposed to Windows RT

Well Windows on ARM is far away from running any x86 App.
Some apps are optimised for ARM64, some run within the emulation and some simple crash.
As far as I know there is no x64 support yet. For example Chrome does not work within the ARM64 emulation.

Because of this it is more a mixture between X64 Windows and Windows RT.
You may have luck and all your applications may run or you may have bad luck and you stuck like with Windows RT.

You can try to reed an article but the article is german:


If you are interested within you could translate the second page with deepl.com


#16

HP is selling the same device – Envy x2 – with an Intel i5-7Y54 and one with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.

The one with ARM is $150 cheaper than the Intel version. It’s more like $250 when you factor in the ARM variant ships with a Windows 10 Pro license, while the Intel version only has Windows 10 Home.

source: https://www.windowscentral.com/why-surface-uses-intel-vs-qualcomm