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Eve Tech Eve V hands-on review: Surface Pro beater?

Eve V hands-on review: A new convertible Windows PC was on display at Computex 2017, the Eve V. We went hands-on with this crowdfunded crowd-developed Surface rival to see whether it’s as disruptive as its creators intended.

Helsinki-based startup, Eve Tech took to crowdfunding service Indiegogo to help finance its first product, originally called ‘Project Pyramid Flipper’, late last year. Jump to the end of the campaign and a hugely positive response resulted in over $1.4 million being raised (1887 percent of its original $75,000 goal) with the company selling out of its initial 500 units in the first three hours of the campaign.

Eve Tech also attracted attention and support from the likes of the Finnish government, Intel and Microsoft, which helped to both legitimise this new brand and raise the profile of the Eve V itself during development.

The Eve V is a compelling 2-in-1 not just because of its origins but also the intelligent blend of software and hardware that the company has compiled with the help of a continuously growing community of fans.

Eve V: Specs at a glance

Screen size 12.3-inches
Screen resolution 2736×1824
OS Windows 10 Home/Windows 10 Pro
Front camera 2-megapixels
Rear camera 5-megapixels
Processor Intel 7th Gen Core m3-7Y 30/i5-7Y54/i7-7Y75
Memory 8GB/16GB RAM
Storage 128GB/256GB/512GB SSD. Expandable via microSD
Connectivity WiFi 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 2×2 MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2, Miracast
Battery 48Wh (up to 12 hours)
Extras V Pen, fingerprint sensor, dual noise-cancelling microphones, integrated kickstand, detachable multicolour backlit Bluetooth keyboard, Cortana voice assistant

Eve V: Hands-on review

The prototype we encountered on the Computex show floor appeared to offer a comparable level of fit and finish to the likes of Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 4, which is to say it looked and felt like retail-ready hardware based on the solid build quality and attention to detail.

Eve Tech Eve V hands-on review: Back

The sleek black sandblasted aluminium body, sculpted by the industrial design team at Propeller near Eve Tech’s Finnish HQ, features a pillowed back and rounded corners, with an integrated kickstand that has a sturdy variable hinge, letting you angle it anywhere within its range. The embossed Eve logos visible when you open it out are a nice touch and although it’s a little thicker than a Surface, and a little heavier too, by no means does it feel cumbersome.

The Type Cover-style keyboard snaps on magnetically to the Eve V’s base offers two typing positions and decent travel within the keys. It’s smarter than your average offering though as it also integrates Bluetooth 4.2 so you can use it when detached from the Eve V or paired to another device (up to three in total).

It also features playful stylistic elements like a ‘V’ key that’s been replaced by the company’s logo, a backspace key that simply says ‘oops!’ and customisable backlighting with multiple colours, all wrapped up in an Alcantara-clad body that’s 1.6mm thick.

There’s a 12.3-inch 3:2 IGZO LCD panel on the front, protected by Gorilla Glass, that should satiate the needs of creative users and multimedia fans alike thanks to accurate looking colours and a crisp 2736×1824 resolution. It also supports the company’s own V Pen stylus (which detects up to 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity), with the same functionality (and compatibility) offered by Microsoft’s Surface Pen. It’s the perfect fit for those looking to leverage Windows Ink, take notes or fancy doing a bit of digital illustration.

To complement the viewing experience, Eve has also squeezed in four 1 watt speakers into the V, alluded to by the holes permeating the top of its body. Those outlets also accommodate two noise-cancelling microphones too, so you should be able to expect respectable audio capture when using services like Skype or when interacting with Cortana using your voice.

Expanding on the Eve V’s ability to make the most of the Windows 10 user experience, there’s a fingerprint sensor-laden power key on the right side for Windows Hello authentication too.

The real draw of the Eve V is its connectivity prowess. It treads where Microsoft’s Surface family refuses to go by integrating two USB-C ports (one USB 3.0 and one Thunderbolt 3). You also get two full-sized USB 3.0 ports, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, tons of wireless tech (check the specs above), and there’s a microSDXC card slot concealed under the kickstand.

Eve Tech Eve V hands-on review: Undocked

One of the few potential compromises for some will be the use of Intel’s Y-Series Core m3, i5 and i7 chipsets, chosen so that they Eve V can forgo fan-based cooling and the additional bulk and design changes that would have had to come with that.

You can spec it with up to 16GB of RAM, throw in an SSD up to 512GB and the 48Wh battery (perhaps rather optimistically on the part of Eve Tech) is slated to last up to 12 hours on a single charge. Whether it does or doesn’t live up to such a target, it should at least see most through a full work day without issue.

Eve Tech Eve V hands-on review: 4/3rds view

Whilst batch production limits the Eve V’s availability right now, this enticing 2-in-1 has certainly piqued people’s interest in an increasingly crowded market and with a starting price of $799 (or €1099 – UK prices are still unconfirmed), it’s also looking to unseat some of the more obvious alternatives in the process. Score one for Eve Tech’s bold approach to crowd-developed hardware.