Why it matters: The Eve V is a crowd-sourced and crowd-designed Surface Pro competitor that from the outset appeared vastly superior. Specs equal or better, a far better port selection, fingerprint scanner, and a keyboard and stylus included in a price that was lower to begin with. In our review, we noted the only place where it could possibly fall down would be with the untested customer service of a startup, and unfortunately, that was indeed its largest problem.
In an exposé, Lewis Hilsenteger, known on YouTube as Unbox Therapy, confirmed that a not insignificant portion of Eve customers had paid for a model and still hadn't received one over a year later, and couldn't get a refund. Adding insult to injury, Eve was still selling them and advertising shipping times of a fortnight. In July last year, Eve blamed frozen funds as the cause of the delays.
As the lifecycle of the Eve V comes to a close and the development of Eve V2 begins, Eve's co-founder and CEO Konstantinos Karatsevidis has revealed what the deeper issue was, and how it has been resolved. "Originally our team in Finland wanted to focus on R&D and design while licensing sales, manufacturing and aftersales to partners around the world," he said in a blog post. "We developed and designed products with community, created all the necessary tools and processes for production and licensed it to partners in various regions."
"We decided to start by making a 3-year licensing deal with a few key partners around the world that would license our product and brand ... Unfortunately, one of our major partners Fortress Tech Distribution LTD, the one operating the web store through www.eve-tech.com ran into issues with the supply chain, funds frozen by payment processors, and untimely deliveries, causing frustration among the community and direct damage to our brand."
Now, he says, that licensing contract has expired, and Eve will be taking sales and manufacturing into their own hands to prevent any future delays. They've launched a flashy new website of their own, evedevices.com, and with the help of investors and the community, are creating Eve V2.
Tom's Hardware interviewed Karatsevidis and got the low-down on some exciting new specs that Eve is trying to integrate, starting with a 144 Hz screen, and actively cooled CPUs. The V used 5W Intel Y-series processors, but the V2 will either switch to 15W U-series components or do away with Intel all together and migrate to AMD's 7nm platform. The better screen and CPU, combined with the use of an eGPU, could make the V2 and interesting option for gamers.
"Panels are evolving and cool technologies like mini led, and quantum dots are finally available in the market allowing for brighter, slimmer, more energy-efficient screens," Karatsevidis said. "We will make sure to use the best display out there when it's time for V2. We are blessed to have good relationships with Sharp and LG to ensure a flagship display."
Eve is also aiming to reduce the screen's bezels but may have "adjustable" bezels so that it's still easy to use in tablet mode. But speaking of tablet mode, Eve isn't willing to promise it'll appear in quite the same form. Though the Surface Pro's design is very good, Eve is investigating alternative form factors and might ship a product quite unlike anything that's been released before. Eve also hopes to add a microSD card slot but promises more Thunderbolt ports and a sturdier keyboard and a larger trackpad.
The V2 is scheduled for release in the second half of 2020, but the keyword here is 'scheduled.' After all the troubles last time, caution is strongly advised, both for customers and for Eve themselves.