Next Step, Next Big Thing, What Should be Done and Why My Idea is Better Than Yours:
So. Laptop it is!
Now, I see two roads and here I can tell you about them. I though about posting before, but I’m always scared that Big Names will notice an idea that could be EVE’s idea and they will simply steal it. :3
That’s ridiculous, obviously, because ideas are the cheapest things there are.
Amazing middle class laptop - because laptop market is stagnating. You do have good hardware and design, you do have ok’ish screens and connectivity, even the performance/endurance curves are pretty nice.
What you don’t have is the price. Prices are ridiculous and people often wonder why hardware they did buy for X years ago is not barely cheaper. It’s certainly possible that the commodities, the hardware parts, cost what they cost and the prices are just a natural consequence of that.
Or, you know. Someone wants fat margins and have nothing to lose, because the pond is stale and not moving in any real direction. Because of that we have a niche even if there should be none: a niche of good, reasonable hardware with realistic prices. With proper connectivity, with good IPS screens, modern CPUs and GPUs, nice, but affordable mix of SDD and HDD.
A sweet spot, one could say. A Sweet Spot.
Amazing workstation - “b-but senpai!”, you could say, “aren’t there lots of examples how to do a good workstation already? DELL XPS? MacBook Pro? HP… uh… well, something?”
And I say how dare you speak to me.
Amazing workstation! Why would EVE be eve-n interested?
Well, because it suits them. Surfaces and iPads Pro are still here. Yet V seems like a good design at good price range. Yes, it’s not as custom, integrated or whatever as other 2in1’s, but it’s still a pretty great hardware. Cheaper without billions in the marketing or design wing. Build on solid components and with support from the giants. And you know the telling about shoulders of the giants - that there’s a pretty view from up here.
I believe EVE Vorkstation (geddit?) is the right choice. Team gets an exciting opportunity, less restrictive than tablet chassis. Bigger, 15 inch screen gives more possibilities of sourcing. Maybe QLED from Samsung would be possible? It’s not OLED, but it’s pretty insane and a definite USP. Great components are a given and here we would have the opportunity to have a proper GPU, too. Zen’s here and seems to be impressively efficient at low wattage. Vega is near. AMD needs halo product for their mobile lines, and HP, DELL nor MS will give them one - and here comes EVE. “Work with us”, they say. “We believe in your hardware. Let’s not make compromises for wrong reasons. Let’s make an amazing hardware together, one that was never possible before. Without all that corporate snore and marketing, focus driven sights. Let’s do the right thing and lets do it together”.
Then they kiss.
Or if not, or if Intel seems like the better lover - we already have an opening. V was a good project and they’ve invested considerable amount of money. Let’s continue this. Intel CPUs, Intel SSD. Intel whatnot. For good reasons they may simply want to work together.
Now, because we are talking future - I would propose a guideline. A base configuration, if you may. I assume making a proper design would take a year and a half. That’s with time buffers already.
Size: 15 inches.
Resolution: minimum 1080. After seeing V I could go with twice that, but in reality and knowing Windows scaling maybe QLED 1080p display would be enough, even nearing 2019.
2.2) HDR: that would be bonkers if possible. Sure, you need a proper content to use it well, but if you have one - well, it’s pretty amazing.
Screen ratio: because it’s very dependent on the resolution/screen itself, I would say that good screen is more important than the ratio itself.
CPU: 4 cores. 4 or 8 threads. Either way, 35W?
GPU: knowing the timetable - something ~1070? ~1080? Vega?
5.2) If we would go with Vega, we could get HBM2: amazing power efficiency itself. Knowing what Vega can do with even limited framebuffer, the speedup here could be also in place. Seems like a win-win.
SSD: Like V.
HDD: optional? 1TB?
Keyboard with single, EVE color backlight and off/1/2 levels.
Speakers: four, but this time two sub-woofers.
Camera: wide-angle front camera. Windows hello?
Touch and pen capabilities? No bloody idea. You tell me. I think they are cool, but pretty limited. Go Wacom and you bump the price. Go N-Trig and you scale back the capabilities. Touch is limited. Also, it means that some kind of exotic hinge/kickstand would be needed. 360 screen? 180 screen? I don’t think detachable makes much sense, it only complicates things.
Battery - considering the timeframe I would not go for biggest battery possible. There’s a very real point when the hardware is simply bit too heavy. It’s a balancing act and possible only during prototyping. So, I would say, as with V - don’t sacrifice 1mm for smaller battery, but know the moment when bigger battery will make the whole thing feel like a tank.
Fingerprint sensor - after using V sensor in power button seems like a great idea worth keeping. Let’s carry that torch further.
Connectivity - let’s not make mistake done by Apple and, again, continue trends of V: proper USB ports are a must. Add to that LAN, HDMI? DP? Usb-C?
Take all that. Imagine a matte, slick design. You’ll get XPS 15, oh shit.You’ll get a V successor.Eve-L. Geddit? Heh. Building on what Eve already know: that the best marketing is simply a good product.
And that they know how to make one.
That’s my proposal. Wanted to write about it for few days now, especially after hearing from my work colleagues about possible workstation from EVE.
Obviously, it would be amazing if we would have everything and a reasonable price. Unfortunately, product development is a matter a compromises and balancing, and because of that “everything and kitchen sink” approach may simply result in yet another super-expensive niche-but-not-really product. I’m sure @Team knows much about the possible drawbacks of digitizers, convertibles, touch panels and other things I have no bloody idea about, because I did not ship a complex hardware product. : )
Because of that I say: let us be humble. Because of that I say: let’s find things we can do great without loosing the product identity in a maze of every need possible. That’s my proposal.
I’ve come around on 360° hinges; not because I want a giant tablet, but because I want the keyboard out of the way when docked. My work MBP 15" frustrates me in this regard.
On the topic of keyboards, there were compromises made with the V keyboard due to its smaller size. I’d be very happy if we can get a dedicated column for navigation keys, like the HP Spectre x360:
The display can be a differentiator. Matte would be awesome, as would a taller resolution like 1920x1280 or 2160x1440. Small bezels could reduce the overall footprint, and personally I’d prefer as small a screen as possible while still adequately cooling the internals. A little extra thickness I am fine with, but I find a hunking 15.6" slab to be unwieldy. AMD is an interesting angle; would they do a 4C/8T APU?
I understand your reasoning, but I’d say that we should think about the best possible first, then calculate the price/what-it-gets-you-ratio and how to implement it. I don’t know how big parts of the development part here worked, but I have the feeling that the V really is 99% the best thing out there for 99% of the people looking for a tablet 2-in-1 at that price and with what’s out there and I thought that reaching for the stars got Eve there. If not, then ignore my post you were here way before me
Edit: @Ryan a good keyboard really is key IMO so many people I know do all their writing in laptops
I like both Ideas. Either of them might end up in my possession if developed, especially if there is a 14" variant (which is more realistic for the middle class laptop), as this is my personal sweet spot regarding size.
1) middle class laptop (leaving out the “amazing” as I take that for granted in something designed by this community )
Maybe we have a different understanding of “middle class”, though here I feel discrete graphics might either make a workstation out it or just be ridiculously weak for the price’s sake. I assume we are talking about a device priced in the area of 600 to maximum 900 €.
So for the sake of a competitive price I would rather suggest to use a 28W CPU with Iris Plus (formerly Iris Pro) graphics such as i5-7260U, i5-7267U or i5-7287U. Since the price/performance ratio tends to be better with i5 processors, I’d leave it at that, though of course also a corresponding i7 (like i7-7560U) could be used/offered as high-end model.
Iris Plus graphics would go beyond everydays’ needs (for non-workstation-users, that is ;)) and allow some light gaming. I would expect anyone who desires to play anything more ressource-hungry than Counter-Strike or even AAA titles to buy a device with decent discrete graphics anyways.
2) workstation (again, leaving out the “amazing” ;))
also 45W should be possible with proper cooling (of course this is where size matters )… anyways (at least with intel Core i series) it would be the same CPUs (45W with configurable TDP-down 35W - possibly this could be left to the user as with the V)
While I personally feel in a non-convertible laptop those are out of place, I do understand there’s quite different views on that. Maybe a cheaper non-touch version can be offered in any case.
Totally second that. A powerful workstation doesn’t need to last forever, as it is likely not something you are carrying along all the time due to size and weight.
edit: whoa! Just wanted to share the first things coming to my mind, didn’t realize the post got that long…
The problem is, for artists, there really are no devices that suit our needs - the wacom mobile studio pro probably comes closest - but it doesn’t have a keyboard (only an accessory one - not an attached one) and a terrible battery (some say 2-3 hours!) Plus, it weighs 5 pounds without a keyboard.
I’m not saying it’s something that Eve should make, but I am saying if someone built one, I would buy it. Basically, I want exactly what you listed, but with Wacom tech and a 360 hinge.
Theoretically: why not 180?
Either way, I seriously think it would complicate the design, bump the price ~10%+ and add little.
The screen resolution and ratio is, I suppose, tricky, because Eve must source it somewhere. Right now, I assume, it’s pretty hard to get anything beside 16:9. Truth to be told, 16:10 was a good idea few years ago and I would gladly see it return… but I would take a screen of better quality over screen resolution and ratio.
Absolutely. I assume some clever engineering would be very much needed.
I have a soft spot for them. I think they will with their APU Zen-based line, yes.
That’s called “overscoping” ; )
I don’t believe it’s a good idea. The cost is silly. If the rumors are true and if Intel will really implement AMD GPU on die, then we would have something interesting.
Absolutely, as you wrote. I am under impression that crossing 35W baloons the dimensions, which is not something I would be very interested in.
Understandable. iPad Pro showed that there’s a good place for proper art tools on the high-end. Well, I don’t know Eve ideas about the future, but I’m sure they understand their customers and they will, once again, propose some things to discuss when the time will be right. Hell, we nearly had Wacom tech in V. : )
I think the 360 degree hinges are a double-edged sword. I never used it since I never had a device with it that had a pen and without a pen it is kind of silly… But a pen is also shitty without a 360 degree hinge IMO. And it sells from a marketing perspective. So, I’d be pro pen + 360 degree hinge, but one of them alone is useless and nothing of it is pretty retro and I don’t know, if many people want that. But a touch screen is a must for me. I use it so often since sometimes it’s just easier than reaching to the trackpad
Actually the difference is not that big… eg. $23 between i5-7200U ($ 281) and i5-7267U ($ 304)
of course the difference in OEM prices may be bigger, I have too little insight into that to judge properly.
But of course I’d also be happy with the AMD GPU on die or even a (hypothetical) decent APU.
Just as like other said I’d definitely go for a 360° hinge solution. That’s why:
Could be retro compatible with V pen, so it would start to create a coherent Eve ecosystem
In some case working with a “tablet” (I know a 15 inch one is just too big to be considered handly) it’s simply better then using a laptop
In other case it’s simply better to have a 35W CPU
So I imagine you got the idea, a machine that summarizes two, at first sight, incompatible worlds, it’s better than one that gives his best in only one category. @vithren that’s the type of thread I like to read and discuss about! Well done man;)
Could be, but will not be, if we’ll go with more expensive and maybe problematic Wacom tech, right?
I don’t think going all in for ecosystem is the right way to think about a product. Let’s make a good standalone thing - that does not count on anything external.
Wait, so it should be detachable? That takes design problems through the roof.
Thank you, but I honestly don’t think I’ve done much different than any other thread like this one.