A startup based in Finland called Eve has already raised more than $860,000 through an Indiegogo campaign for the Eve V, a $699 convertible Windows tablets with high-end specifications. The campaign is way over the $75,000 goal for the campaign after launching two days ago.
The 24-person startup has financial backing from Intel, Microsoft, and the Finnish government, cofounder and chief executive Konstantinos Karatsevidis told VentureBeat in an interview. But that — and the small matter of the tablet running Windows 10 — isn’t getting in the way of some Mac users preordering the device.
Of the more than 1,500 backers the campaign has racked up so far, Karatsevidis said more than 30 percent of them are Mac users. Some people have even asked the startup about whether they could exchange the Macs for an Eve V, he said.
Karatsevidis said he figures that some Mac users were disappointed with the new MacBook Pro models that Apple unveiled last month and preordered the Eve V “because they didn’t see any real innovation or anything really interesting from Apple products.”
Some of the new MacBook Pros come with a Touch Bar display above the keyboard. But the regular display does not support touch interactions, while the Eve V does. The Eve V also has an optional $39 stylus. And unlike the MacBook Pro, the keyboard is detachable, like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. Or the iPad Pro, for that matter. A kickstand on the back of the display pops out, and it’s possible to use the keyboard wirelessly.
While the MacBook Pro laptops carry Intel’s 6th-generation Skylake chips, the Eve V contains 7th-generation Kaby Lake chips. (Core m3, Core i5, and Core i7 options are available, with 8GB and 16GB LPDDR3 RAM configurations and up to 512GB of storage. It tops out at $1,399.)
And there’s an SD card reader, which Apple has removed from the new MacBook Pro. There are two USB-C ports (one with Thunderbolt 3 compatibility) and two USB-A ports. Eve says the tablet can get up to 12 hours of battery life. (The MacBook Pro, by comparison, has up to 10.)
But above all, what really makes Eve stand out is that it determines hardware specifications based on input from the crowd. It’s refreshingly different from the secretive hardware labs of Apple and Microsoft. Karatsevidis cited the prioritization of battery life over thinness as an example.
“Hopefully it’s one of the best computers you’ve ever had, at a fraction of the cost,” he said.
Eve plans to send out its first units in February. We’ll get a better feel for the device after we’ve received a review unit.