Eve Devices, the scrappy Finnish tech company that aimed to take on Microsoft’s Surface three years ago, has finally announced a followup to its original Eve V, and it looks promising.
The second generation Eve V will be a major upgrade from the original. Gone is the small display and chunky bezels for a sleeker and larger device, one that makes the rumored Surface Pro 8 look conservative by comparison.
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The new Eve V sports a 13.4 IGZO display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a resolution of 3840x2400. Around the sides are two USB 4 Type-C ports, a single USB 3.2 Type-C port, an amplified headphone jack, a microSD card slot, and a nanoSIM slot. Powering the device is an Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU and Intel’s new Iris Xe graphics.
Customers can choose between a Core i5 or Core i7 processor, as well as either 16 or 32GBs of RAM. There are two SSD options, either at 512GB or 1TB.
Unlike the first Eve V, the snap-on keyboard and pen must be purchased separately. Keyboards range from $130 to $145 and the 4,096-pressure level V Pen is an additional $80.
While the original Eve V aimed to undercut Microsoft’s Surface in performance at the same price, this new unit looks to be demanding greater compensation. Configuring the cheapest Eve V on the product website with the cheapest keyboard option and the V Pen totaled out to $1,500. Speccing an older Surface Pro 7 as similarly as possible comes out to $1,269. Granted, Microsoft could be discounting current stock to help make room for the upcoming Surface Pro 8. It’s likely that the new Surface, with the latest Intel or AMD chips, will retail similarly to the Eve V.
Reviews of the original Eve V were generally positive, minus some small quirks. The biggest issue, however, was customer support. Because Eve Devices is a small company backed by an enthusiast tech crowd, it never had the customer service muscle of larger computer manufacturers. The idea was that its savvy audience would be able to help one-another out on forums. That idea never totally panned out.
At the moment, complaints on sites like TrustPilot range from delayed or never-received, never-refunded orders to zero support or accountability for broken devices. There’s even an entire subreddit dedicated to users venting about their experience with Eve.
In an interview with The Verge, CEO Konstantinos Karatsevidis pinned problems on growing pains mixed with high demand.
“Supply chain management is our weakness due to us being a small fish in a big sea,” Karatsevidis told The Verge’s Sam Byford. “We’re competing with the Apples, Samsungs, and Microsofts of the world for the same premium components, and suppliers are reluctant to deal in the relatively small quantities we need.”
Eve has since partnered with PCH International, a design company based in Ireland, which, according to Karatsevidis, has much stronger supply chain relationships and can help more easily fulfill demand. The announcement has done little to assuage some, who continue to attack Eve Devices as a scam.
In a statement to Engadget, an Eve representative stated:
“The business model changes we’ve done can be summed up in two key points:
Most of the refund requests have already been processed. We’re resolving the remaining ones with high priority.”
The second-generation Eve V is expected to launch in Q3 of 2021. While Karatsevidis promised in his interview with The Verge that, “this time around pretty much everything will be different,” it remains to be seen if Eve can deliver a smooth launch next year.