Every week we scour Kickstarter, Indiegogo and more to find the best crowdfunding projects around, so you know which ones to consider backing – and which to avoid.
What is Eve V?
Eve V is a laptop with a detachable keyboard, just like the Surface or iPad Pro. But it has some distinct advantages over the Surface.
Such as? A newer processor, more ports, a less reflective screen, bigger battery, more speakers and more advanced keyboard. How d’you like them apples, Microsoft?
Why is it interesting?
These hybrid devices have really taken off since the Surface broke onto the scene. So a new entry from a relatively unknown company is big news, especially when – on paper at least – it seems to outgun the current king, the Surface Pro 4.
Let’s explore these specs in a little more detail. The Eve V is powered by a seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor, while the Surface Pro 4 is stuck on the sixth-generation version of the same chip. That could mean nippier performance and greater efficiency from the newcomer, depending on the chip used.
It also has more ports. The Eve V comes with two full-size USB 3.1 sockets, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB-C, one Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, a headphone jack and a microSDXC card slot. The Surface Pro 4, by contrast, only has one full-size USB 3.0 port, one Mini DisplayPort, a microSD card reader, a headphone jack, a cover port, and a Surface Connect socket for power and docking.
Both devices have the same screen, but the Eve V’s has an anti-reflective coating.
The Eve V also has a bigger battery – 48Wh compared to the Surface Pro 4’s 39Wh – giving it a whopping 12 hours of life. Plus, it has a fingerprint sensor, GPS, and quad speakers (compared to the Surface Pro 4’s dual speakers). Then there’s the keyboard.
Just like the Surface’s ‘board, the Eve’s doubles as a protective case for the screen, but it also has the latest glass ClickPad by Syntaptics.
A stylus – called the V Pen – comes as standard, and it’s certified for Windows Ink. The Eve V is also compatible with other styluses, should you prefer your own.
Obviously there’s a lot more to a device than just specs, and we won’t know how it performs until we’ve tested it. But there’s no denying it looks mighty impressive.
However, it can’t better Microsoft’s device in all areas. The Pro 4 has a 1TB storage option, whereas the Eve V doesn’t. Microsoft’s gadget has higher-resolution cameras too: a 5-megapixel front-facer and an 8-megapixel rear jobby, compared to the Eve V’s 2-megapixel front and 5-megapixel main snappers. But if you’re taking pictures with your tablet, you probably don’t care too much about image quality.
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Crucially, it’s very affordable too. The earliest early-bird offers – since expired – offered it for just $699 (£560), with the next step up costing $1,399 (£1,121). That’s not bad at all.
What are the challenges?
If you’ve not backed anything on a crowdfunding site before, a word of warning: crowdfunding inherently entails risks. By backing a project, you’re not ordering one for yourself as you would from an online shop. Rather you’re pledging your support to the team making it. All things being well, you’ll receive your product as advertised. But in a small minority of cases, the project flounders and backers get nowt.
The team doesn’t set out the challenges it will face, but obviously delivering a product like this at scale and on time is a massive undertaking. However, the firm has made other consumer electronics devices, so it has some manufacturing experience. Fingers crossed it hits its February shipping date.
Is there anything similar available?
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Then there’s the fact that most tablets work with Bluetooth keyboards. Alright, it’s not quite the same as having a two-in-one device, but it’s not far off.
Should I crowdfund this?
If you’re looking for a more-than-capable hybrid, and want to steer clear of the big boys, give it a punt.
The Core i7 model costs $1,399 (£1,121), which is $770 cheaper than the full retail price. However, these will be shipped between April and May next year – a little later than anyone who was lucky enough to get in early will receive theirs. See, it’s true: the early bird really does catch the worm.
And one to avoid this week
WATCH: iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 4
Let us know if you’ll be backing the Eve V in the comments.