If you'd asked me if it was possible to design a Microsoft Surface Pro ($649 at Amazon) killer with 1,000 suggestions from random strangers, I'd have told you it was a stupid idea. Then again, I'm glad I'm not right, as the Eve V (pronounced "Vee", not five) proves that sometimes, crowdsourcing can get you something great.
Built with aluminum, the V gives the Surface Pro a great run for its money. It comes with decent hardware, USB Type-C ports and Thunderbolt support (something the Surface Pro lacks) as well as packing in a keyboard and pen stylus. Of course, there are some compromises -- the processors used aren't as powerful as those on the Surface Pro, but depending on what you're planning on doing, performance may not be that big of an issue for you.
It's amazing how much the V got right, from the matching $799 starting price, which converts to about £600 or AU$1,045, to a cheaper top-end model compared to the Surface Pro, the much brighter (and color calibrated) 400 nits 12.3-inch display and the Bluetooth keyboard that works even when disconnected from the V. The Eve V is a bargain hunter's dream, but you'll have to be patient if you want one. The V is only sold online through flash sales, which take place about every two weeks.
|Price as reviewed||$799|
|Display size/resolution||12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 touch-display|
|PC CPU||1.3GHz Intel Core i7-7Y75|
|PC Memory||16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,833MHz|
|Graphics||128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 615|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
If you weren't happy with the lack of ports on the Surface Pro, the V doesn't let you down. It comes with two standard USBs and two Type-C ports, one of which has support for Thunderbolt, so you can easily output your display to an external monitor. The stylus has 1,024 pressure points, less than the Pro's 4,096, but you don't have to buy it separately. It comes bundled in the box, along with the keyboard.
V by the numbers
- It's slightly thicker than the Surface Pro at 8.9mm, and bit heavier at 1.87 pounds (850g).
- Seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" Intel Core Y-series processors, Core m3, Core i5 and Core i7 Fanless design
- 135-degree kickstand
- 1,024 levels of pressure on the stylus
- Fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello login
- Bundled keyboard cover works wirelessly and has multi-colored backlighting
If you hate entering your password every time you log in, the V's fingerprint sensor in the power button unlocks it just like a phone. It starts up when you press the button, which is great. Its multicolored backlit keyboard cover was apparently the most-requested feature.
While the Surface Pro uses Intel U-series of processors, the V has the lesser-powered Y-series, and its benchmarks reflect that. But for day-to-day activities such as surfing the web or typing a review, the V is fine. Apple's 12-inch MacBook ($850 at Best Buy) uses the same processor family. I also tried out Dota 2, and it's just about playable on the Intel HD 615 integrated graphics. But the graphic settings are at the bare minimum and frankly, it's a stretch.
Eve-Tech says the choice of Y-series processors is deliberate: The crowdfunding base wanted better battery life and the Y-series provided the right balance of real-world performance and battery life.
That said, the V's lasted 8 hours 11 minutes in our video battery test, versus the manufacturer's claim of 10-12 hours depending on usage. But it's a pretty decent result, comparable to the eight hours and 15 minutes of the Surface Pro.
At the end of the day, the Eve V is a solid two-in-one as long as you don't mind the slightly weaker performance. It offers more ports and comes bundled with useful extras. But if performance is your thing, Microsoft's more expensive Surface Pro might still be the one for you. But be warned: You'll have to shell out quite a bit more for its accessories.
|Eve V||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-7Y75; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 615; 512G SSD|
|Lenovo Miix 720||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|Dell Latitude 12 5000 Series 2-in-1||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7600U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 520; 256GB SSD|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 4||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 520; 256GB SSD|