May Update - Rollout Timeline, Software Updates, 1080p & Backlit Key Photos
To our Superbook backer community, early supporters, and the Sentio family - welcome to our early May update!
It’s been another busy month with a lot to update you on. We’ll be going over software, hardware, and Superbook testing / rollout updates. There is a lot to read as usual, but please read everything if you can spare the time -- we don’t want you to miss anything!
TL;DR: Always short, please read.
- We will *actually* be switching to bi-weekly updates now. Hope we don’t flood your inbox!
- To avoid our email going to your spam box, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts list in your email account.
- We are moving most of our communication to backers to only Slack and email. If you’re looking for an immediate answer to a question, join our Backer Slack group here.
What to expect in the coming months
TL;DR: Lot's to do still. We will be as transparent and communicate as much as possible.
This is a note from Andrew, the Chief Update Writer of Sentio.
Hi everyone, I wanted to say again to all of you as we near the month of June that we appreciate both your patience and your support in bringing the Superbook to life. We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress over the past 8 months since the Kickstarter campaign ended, and we are thankful to have backers who are as excited about supporting our product concept as they are about getting the product itself. Thank you to all of the backers who are providing software bug testing on the Sentio Desktop app, suggesting features in the #feature_suggestions Slack channel, and generally providing us with moral support as we go through the highs and lows of making a product for the first time.
In the spirit of continued transparency and generally realistic expectations, I want to provide to you the picture of where we are today and what we need to accomplish in the next month. As of today, we are getting our components ready for the manufacturing process for the first 500 units. This is a critically important batch, which will cement our confidence in producing the remaining 19,500 units successfully. We are also far along in the process of the dozens of certifications needed for the various components of the Superbook: FCC, CE, UL, the list goes on. Certification is a many weeks process that ensures that our product is safe to use around the world and meets the high quality of standards consumers expect. Especially after Samsung’s battery fiasco last year, the requirements are stringent and the consequences of failing certification are severe.
Over the next month, there will be a lot of milestones we will need to hit, and we will keep you all posted as we go through them. Realistically, we should expect some good wins, but also some hiccups as well. Above all else, I promise we will communicate better than any other crowdfunding campaign during the final months of shipping to give you confidence that we are doing everything we can to bring you a product you can be proud to have helped bring to life.
Thank you all deeply.
Superbook Rollout Timeline & Backer Portal
TL;DR: Timeline for the next couple months; Backer portal launches soon
The emails for the First 100 and First 500 beta testers have gone out, and we are quickly approaching rollout. To help you guys get a good sense of what the next couple months look like process wise, here’s a timeline of when major things will happen (exact dates for things further out become harder to estimate):
- May 7th: Golden Sample of Superbooks (5-10 units) will be created for testing purposes
- May 15th: Mid-Month Update + access to our newly built Backer Portal (more below)
- May 29-31st: First 500 units shipped out for beta testing. 100 units will be shipped out via air, 400 units will be shipped out via ocean freight.
- June 1st: June Update, with updates on production and shipping for the first 500 batch
- Early June: User interviews and feedback from the First 100 units
- June 15th: Mid-June Update, with updates on early feedback and results
- 3rd-4th week of June: User interviews and feedback from the remainder of the First 500 Units. If all goes well, mass production begins.
As mentioned above, in the next 2 weeks, we are sending out login access to our newly built Backer Portal. This will be in lieu of sending out a survey. On there you will be able to:
- Change your shipping address - you will have 2 weeks time to make this change, after which we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to change it.
- Make certain changes to your order (e.g. adjust cords & charger types)
- Find your personal Lifetime Backer Code, to get your $25 off future orders of the Superbook
- And more as we build things out
Major Sentio Desktop Update
TL;DR: New UI, new features, and a lot more to come for Sentio Desktop
Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard on a revamp of Sentio Desktop, adding in some super useful features as well as a UX overhaul. While there are still plenty of major features and design elements remaining on the immediate roadmap, I thought I’d share some of the latest changes to the app (which all of you can download the early beta in the Play Store). As always, if you run into bugs, please report it on the #sentio_bugs channel in our Backer Slack.
- Docked Apps - You can now drag and drop icons directly into the task bar. Keep your favorite apps there for fast launching.
- Indicator Icons - There are also indicators below the docked apps to show you which apps are launched and which one is currently active
- Status Icons (Right Side) - On the right of the task bar, we are building out a more complete set of status icons, on notifications, connectivity, battery, and settings. Both the UI and the functionality has changed here.
Application Panel (a.k.a. Start Menu)
- New UI/UX - The new Sentio Desktop comes with an application panel better suited for application launching, with full app listing and a 0-9 A-Z side scroller for easy browsing
- Application Search - Just type a few letters and you’ll find the application you want to launch
- Updated UI - The new notification panel has an updated design to match the new Sentio Desktop UI
- Settings Panel and Logout Button - The new settings panel will make its way to the bottom of the notification panel in the coming releases. One major change that has happened is the movement of the Logout button from the Start Menu to the Notification Panel.
Browser and File Explorer
- Updated Browser Features - Including a new history and favorites panel, better support for tabs and multiple windows, and improvements on hotkeys and shortcuts unique to the Superbook.
- Updated File Explorer - Including a customizable favorites panel, Grid View and image previews for photos, support for managing multiple files at the same time, and better tab and search support
Coming Soon Just to Backers: Preview of Multi-Window App Support
This is what most of you have been asking for. While it’s not available in this release, we will be sending out a limited preview of the multi-window functionality to backers in the coming weeks. Get excited!
Early Photos of 1080p and Backlit Keys
Many of you have asked to see photos of the 1080p unit and the backlit keys. The reason we haven’t been able to show photos to date is because we have to front load the more challenging hardware tasks (as those are more risky and have longer lead times). Adding a 1080p LCD screen is a fairly straight-forward process, and while the firmware work for backlit keyboard is non-trivial, it does fall to the “less challenging” bucket in the overall project scope.
That said, we have some early photos of what the 1080p Screen color and the Backlit keyboard looks like. This is an early snapshot on a pre-production unit - so ignore the color of the shell and the side of the Superbook, which is not fully assembled in the photo.
Growing our Sentio community
Finally, as always we're reachable by email@example.com for all your questions and comments. If it hasn’t registered yet, we highly recommend joining our Backer Slack for real-time communication and discussion with both our team members and those in the community.
❤ Team Sentio