Posts Tagged ‘Notion’
Remember the Notion Ink Adam? We’ll forgive you if you don’t — the device fell a bit short of expectations, and news of its successor has been scarce. Save for a few teasing tweets, Notion Ink has kept the project pretty close to its chest. That changed this weekend, however, when the tablet’s price and specifications were announced at India’s National Technology Awards. According to a press release (after the break) and a pamphlet reportedly given to attendees, the Adam II will sell for 12,000 Indian Rupees (about $ 217) later this year, packing in a 1.5 Ghz Dual-Core ARM Cortex CPU, twin 2MP cameras, 1GB RAM and up to 10 hours of battery life.
The tablet also boasts a secondary screen, albeit a small one: a monochrome ticker that displays Android notifications on the Adam’s book-like spine. HDMI, headphone and a micro USB ports crowd the device’s adjacent edges, which wrap around a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display — a concession that was apparently made to increase longevity. Specific and international availability was sadly left out of the announcements, but its nice to finally see this project gain some steam.
Gallery: Notion Ink Adam II Pamphlet
Filed under: Tablets
We’ve always been interested in the Notion Ink project, which has always striven to be a true alternative to both the iPad and Android masses. Last time, it was through both a Pixel Qi screen and an interesting custom interface, but delays and yield problems more or less buried it and competitors piled up.
The sequel to Notion Ink’s Adam was originally going to have a 10″ screen running at 1920×1200. A post on the company’s development blog has admitted that this is not likely to happen.
What would replace it in the new model isn’t said, though a more common 1280×800 screen or thereabouts would be a likely candidate. They’re common, efficient, and cheap, and the high-resolution panel they were looking at before was none of those.
It says something about the trials of developing hardware as a small company. Someone like Apple has the clout to make the components and materials for something like the new iPad cheap enough to buy in bulk. But if you’re only shipping, say, 10,000 units, the cost per unit starts looking way different.
He notes also that such a high-resolution screen, while it has its benefits, is not really beneficial in the Android ecosystem now. Apple’s high-res screen is being adopted at large by developers (or else), but Android is a more complicated beast and the display engine isn’t locked down quite so tightly.
On that front, Notion Ink’s Shravan says that their next blog post will go over the new Adam’s “Visual Enhancement Engine,” probably a serious makeover of stock Android, and a “Display Power Optimizer,” which is probably what it sounds like. Once they lock down the hardware specs, they have the advantage of knowing what they’re developing for, and final software work can begin.
It may not ever ship as many units as an iPad or Kindle Fire, but the David vs. Goliaths story continues to be worth following.
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Notion Ink has already revealed a few of the features its forthcoming Adam 2 tablet will have, and it’s now also confirmed something it won’t have: an HD (or higher res) screen like some of its competitors. In a post on the Designing Adam 2 blog, Notion Ink’s Rohan Shravan explained that the company did have the option of a 10-inch 1920 x 1200 display, but that would come either with a significant hit to battery life or some other compromises the company wasn’t willing to make (weight, size, charging time, etc). There’s still no word on what resolution the Adam 2′s screen will have. Shravan did add that a higher resolution screen is on the company’s roadmap, but that will apparently have to wait for some battery improvements that don’t also require a bigger battery.
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Last month Adam owners got a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich after Notion Ink released an Alpha build, but if the limited functionality didn’t do it for you, how about an improved Beta version? The developers hope that HDMI video, functional GPS, better WiFi and a working compass will keep you happy while they iron out the remaining niggles, like non-functioning camera and microphone. If this sounds a bit more like it, you should be able to get your hands on it over the weekend. Hit the source link below for the deets.
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The saga of the Notion Ink Adam is a tale like many we could name — it’s the story of a tiny company struggling to bring a vision to market, facing friction from investors, factories and the march of time itself. The difference is that the Adam captured the imaginations of gadget fiends like ourselves with ideas that were fantastic from day one and are still novel now that it’s finally been released, including a paneled UI, full USB host functionality, and of course that Pixel Qi screen. But does the Adam deliver on the promises of unifying form and function with such technology? In two words: Not really.
Gallery: Notion Ink Adam unboxing and hands-on
Continue reading Notion Ink Adam review
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The growing pains of being a small company dealing with big demand have bitten Notion Ink again, as the company has had to dish out a disappointing email to some Adam buyers informing them their delivery has been delayed to February 14th. The culprit in this sad case is a shipment of damaged touchscreens, which company chief Rohan Shravan estimates will affect just over five percent of all orders. Touchscreen supplier Sintek has promised to work through the Chinese New Year to refill that stock, so hopefully the bump back to Valentine’s Day will be the last, seemingly fitting, one for the Adam.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
The enterprising boys over at xda-developers are a fun bunch that are generally looked upon as the best modders in the Android community. Their latest exploit ports the Edan interface found on the now-shipping Notion Ink Adam to the Viewsonic gtablet. Funny thing is, I actually trust these forum members to develop the Android overlay more than the original creators at Notion Ink. That’s not hate; that’s the truth.
The early alpha release is more of “look what we can do” sort of thing than a fully-working release. Some things like the camera simply do not work at this point. But they will. Eventually. Besides, with early reports slowly filtering in that the real Notion Ink Adam is a bit of a disappointment hardware-wise, this might be a good alternative to the Adamites who bought into the nonsense rhetoric of Notion Ink regarding the Eden interface. [via Notion Addicts
Oh boy. The Notion Ink Adam is a bit closer to buyers’ hands and Notion Ink just posted a round of photos showcasing the clever retail packaging that also doubles as a desktop stand! This is clearly more evidence that the Adam is the most innovative, revolutionary, game-changing product since the spork.
Well, what do you know: Notion Ink just announced that it will begin shipping its FCC and CE certified Adam tablet starting tomorrow. If you pre-ordered then you should see your delivery status changed to the last week of January. That’s a lot better than February and much, much better than never which is always the risk when David takes on Goliath.
The Notion Ink Adam might be the best tablet you’ve never heard of — but there’s a good reason for that. This kit isn’t coming from a high-profile outlet with deep distribution channels. It’s coming from a start-up fueled by nothing but raw passion. For us at CrunchGear, the Adam isn’t the fascinating part of the story; it’s a wide-eyed company and its crazy fanboys.
The tablet itself though has a rich, but short history. A little Bangalore-based company took the Adam went from rendering to production in just over one year and thanks to the company’s vocal CEO, constantly granted fans a look at the development process. It’s quite a story.
The Adam is the brainchild of the Notion Ink design firm. According to the about page on the official website, “Notion Ink is young at heart, and proud to wear it on its sleeve. Youth gives us that extra edge in bringing a whole new realm of concepts to reality.” Notion Ink is new at the consumer electronics game. The Adam tablet is their first go in the market and the road so far hasn’t been lined with gum drops, lollipops and prancing unicorns. Instead, plenty of learning curves and vocal trolls (mainly us) have caused a good deal of public agony.
It all started back in December 2009 when we got a little message from Notion Ink’s founder, Rohan Shravan, who wanted to show TechCrunch his little project that would be unveiled at CES 2010. You may recall the timeline: This message about a start-up doing a tablet came just days after another notable tablet died. This one was set to come out in June complete with Tegra chipset and Pixel Qi screen. We were excited.
CES 2010Â arrivedÂ and we somehow missed the Adam. SlashGear didn’t. The tablet was a hit of the show with a novel form factor and fancy UI concept art. After seeing the CES pics and videos, a June release schedule seemed just about right.
But the June date was soon replaced with November, but then switched back to late summer — and then to January 2011. It’s now said to be shipping later this week since the FCC just gave it their approval.
A few things happened from January 2010 to now, though. The iPad launched in April, the Samsung Galaxy Tab hit in the fall, and RIM, Motorola, LG, Asus, and HP all announced their tablet plans. Suddenly, the Adam’s massive potential market was distracted with products from the big boys causing those still interested in the tablet to turn rabid and dedicated to the company even more so than Apple loyalists.
Now these are fans
Apple fanbois, grab your notepads. You’ve got some learning to do. The Adam-ites are out doing you on fanboards and forums Internet-wide.
These people are nuts. Look at Notion Ink Adam blog comments. It’s like a common meeting place where they gather, pool ideas, and then go out into the World Wide Web to preach the good word of the Adam.Â This blog post will probably be littered with Adam trolls within minutes of its posting; our other Adam posts certainly are. (example 1, 2, 3, & 4) I’m actually fearful to do our official Adam review. If we deem the Adam anything less than the best thing sinceÂ penicillin, the Adamites will burn down our houses and steal our iPads.
You cannot understand the Adam without looking into their fans. The Adam is nothing without them. Click over to the blog and read the comments. They love the Adam and want nothing more than for it — and its creators — to succeed.
Part of the reason the Adam is still just an Internet love child is that Notion Ink doesn’t seem to market or promote the device. The only communciation we’ve received has been directly from the CEO and not a PR flack. While that’s a bitÂ refreshingÂ for us, it doesn’t bode well for the product’s future — and the fans seem to be catching on.
The comments on Notion Ink’s CES blog posts have a common theme: Where’s the mainstream media coverage? No one picked up the Adam in their CES coverage even though tablets were the product of the show. It was just us, SlashGear, Engadget, and a couple of smaller blogs asÂ Notion Ink seems to beÂ existingÂ in aÂ fantasyÂ world of fanboys and blogs.
This is mainly as the company didn’t hold an event or have a booth at CES 2011. Instead theyÂ partneredÂ up with screen-designer Pixel Qi, who refused us access to the tablet and instead told me to read Joanna Stern’s Engadget coverage of the device. We were able to only see it after emailing the CEO directly, who then meet us outside the convention center’s Starbucks for an impromptu meeting. Yes, CES is damn expensive for a start-up, but preaching to the choir only works for so long.
And that’s too bad, too. Spec-to-spec, the Adam can stand on its own against every tablet currently on the market.
The Adam got everyone’s attention last year with its specs, not the start-up company’s story. Tegra and Pixel Qi were buzzwords then. The Nvidia platform promised 1080p video playback while the fancy screen would allow for outside usage. Sounded great to everyone in the last days of 2009.
Those features are still part of the Adam’s appeal along with 3G wireless, dual-core Cortex A9 CPU on a Tegra T250, micro-SD card slot, 3.2MP swivel camera, FM radio, GPS, digital compass and most every I/O port available. The tablet is specced-out. Only the internal 8GB storage leaves something to be desired.
Plus, the Adam is priced competitively with base, non-Pixel Qi model starting out less than the iPad. For better or worse, the Adam carries the same price worldwide which simplifies things for the company, but leaves some consumers paying more (or less).
Best of luck, Notion Ink
The Notion Ink Adam isn’t an iPad killer. It won’t outsell the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Motorola Xoom will be the Android tablet of 2011. But that’s not to say the Adam won’t be loved by many. It seems like quality kit and we give Notion Ink all the props in the world for at least trying. They stuck in there and moved their product from concept to production. That’s awesome.
My only fear is that they are following their Indian counterpart, Tata Motors, down a road to obscurity. Just like with the Tata Nano, the first round of Adam pre-orders were quickly snatched up. But pre-orders are easy thanks to loyal fans. Keeping up the same pace two, three, ten months from now is not. Tata is now suffering after the initial hype died and only sold 509 cars in November.
Notion Ink thankfully doesn’t have to worry so much about the manufacturing as the car company as the Adam is built in an outsourced Chinese factory. The company has also beenÂ uniquelyÂ transparent through-out the Adam’s development process, which is something Tata simply couldn’t do. But the Adam has the same sort of Indian national savior hype surrounding it as the Nano and Notion Ink is seemingly living within the dream. SuchÂ excitementÂ *can* result inÂ rushed decisionsÂ and unrealistic expectations. The company’s past marketing blunders, including a pre-order launch day that was marred with sudden terms of service changes and shoddy website planning, all adds to the picture of a young andÂ inexperiencedÂ company.
The Adam isn’t on the market yet. The first round of pre-orders were held up by the FCC, but shipping should start shortly now that the government suits approved it. Notion Ink also just announced a second set will be available to order in the coming days.
The isn’t an all-out, ringing endorsement for the Adam. John and I only touched the device for a few quick minutes at CES and actually walked away a bit underwhelmed. The Pixel Qi screen is about asÂ vibrantÂ as LCD screens from the mid-’90s and the whole interface had aÂ noticeableÂ amount of lag. It’s rather heavy, and it’s still not clear if the tablet will be able to run Honeycomb. But maybe it’s something you need to use to trulyÂ appreciate, which is why we ordered a unit the first day it was available and are eager to try it out.
Even if the Adam fails in the marketplace, Notion Ink doesn’t seem like a company that will simply fade away. These boys seem to have staying power. Hopefully they paid attention to their past mistakes because ’round here, we’re all for smaller companies making their mark and Notion Ink will probably do just that.