I had the pleasure of speaking to Konstantinos Karatsevidis, the CEO of Eve Tech, on Skype after a long day of work for both of us. We spoke about a lot of interesting things regarding the new Eve V 2-in-1 computer, competitors, and an exclusive piece of news.
You heard it here first: Following Microsoft’s hardware conference on October 26th (Wednesday), Eve will be taking part in a Reddit AMA on the 27th (Thursday) and will feature Microsoft Digital Transformation Lead Vesku Paananen, and founders Konstantinos Karatsevidis and Eve Mike.
What makes Eve different?
It’s a good time to be an OEM, and for a second-generation product, the Eve V is shaping up to have some massive improvements compared to their Eve T1 from 2014 which, per Konstantinos, was more of a test for things to come.
Eve is a Finnish company with ties to engineers who have worked on Nokia devices, the iPhone 6, and FitBit, so the level of quality is going to be superb. It’s incredibly pleasing to be able to buy from a company on this side of the ocean for a change. The Eve V has been crowd-developed over throughout the past year. They’ve taken the feedback of over a thousand community members onboard and created a great product that people want to buy; a 2-in-1 computer with great performance, killer battery life, and an accessible price point.
The Eve V specs
The Eve V chassis is CNC-milled from a single piece of aluminum, and includes a kickstand like the Surface Pro line. Eve’s ingenuity begins at the power button, which features a built-in fingerprint reader for Windows Hello. This is especially smart because while the Surface Pro 4 has the fingerprint reader built into the Type Cover, if you aren’t using your keyboard cover then you need to manually enter your password or PIN to login. The Eve V will happily log you in as you turn the device on even if you don’t have your keyboard cover connected or in-use, making it exceptionally fast to use as a tablet.
The Eve V is available in a variety of configurations, meaning that it will appeal to both consumers and professional users. The Eve V features 7th-gen Intel Kaby Lake Y-series, available with 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and SSD sizes from 128GB to 512GB. It also offers a 12-hour battery life under average use, which is greater than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4. It has very impressive battery performance considering it has 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and is driving a high-resolution 12.3” display that features the same N-Trig digitizer as the Surface Pro 4.
The Eve V has two USB 3.1 type-A ports, alongside two USB type-C ports, one of which is also a Thunderbolt 3 port, which is a very interesting inclusion, especially for the likes of external drive arrays, and audio interfaces. Konstantinos mentioned that Eve’s next project might be an eGPU (an external Thunderbolt 3 graphics card) to make the Ev V (and other devices) a true desktop replacement for most people, and something that brings VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) to the consumer market for people who don’t have high-end gaming towers, and want the portability of a tablet, laptop or 2-in-1.
The inclusion of a micro SDXC reader means further storage expandability—and this is where I’ll be syncing the media from my Plex Server, keeping my OneDrive contents, along with my sizeable audio sample library.
The Eve V has four speakers, something that’s rather unusual for a portable device, and something that has me very excited as someone who makes music as part of their career and lusts after any improvements that can be made to portable audio systems.
One of my biggest criticisms of the Surface Pro line is that despite it being thin and light, I ended up carrying around a bag of dongles and adapters with me to get full use out of it, as a power user accustomed to a 17” laptop. Using an external DAC just to drive my headphones properly has been one of my pet peeves of casually using the Surface Pro 4 on my couch, or on the train. The Eve V solves my problem with a headphone amplifier that’s five times more powerful than that of the Surface, which also outputs to a 3.5mm headphone jack, thankfully. I’m very excited to take it for a spin.
The keyboard of the Eve V is something that Konstantinos and I spoke of quite deeply; it attaches magnetically with a similar design to the Surface Pro 4. The Surface Pro 4 keyboard is quite loud to type on, but not as loud as a mechanical keyboard; it’s got somewhat of an irritating sound, in my opinion at least. The Eve V features scissors mechanism switches and delivers a more tactile, and quieter experience. Typing on the Eve V is also a lot more physically stable versus the Surface Pro 4. Whilst Microsoft is going thinner and lighter to chase Apple’s consumer demographic, Eve has been told by the community to focus on usability and ergonomics, resulting in a far better daily driver for those who type a lot, such as myself.
The trackpad of the Eve V keyboard cover is pleasingly large, giving it somewhat of a MacBook vibe, yet still individual to the Eve V, which can’t be a bad thing as the trackpad is one of the few things most users leaving Apple usually miss about their MacBooks. The Eve V is a very appealing option to anybody looking to leave Apple’s ecosystem for greener pastures.
The future of Eve
With support from Microsoft Inc., and investment from Intel Corporation, Eve’s successor device to the T1, entitled Eve V, is obviously going to be a big deal, and is no longer an obscure brand vying for attention against long-established companies who have created thousands of well-known products. When you consider where Eve was just eighteen months ago, it’s just incredible how much has changed.
I’ll be interviewing Konstantinos later this month, prior to the launch of the Indiegogo pre-order campaign for the Eve V on November 21st. The Eve V is already fully funded and developed, and the Indiegogo campaign is solely to pre-order one of the first 500 units of the product, due to arrive in the hands of consumers globally in Q1 2017.
You can read more about the Eve V and get an early bird discount on Eve’s website. Be sure to watch the Microsoft hardware conference live stream from New York on to learn about Microsoft’s new direction, and to perhaps see the unveiling of the rumored Surface all-in-one desktop computer from Microsoft Inc. as well. Don’t forget to send any questions you have through to the Reddit AMA with Konstantinos and Vesku on the 27th!