Notion Ink’s Adam was expected by many to be the dream tablet – a tablet that will successfully marry iPad’s elegance and usability with Android’s flexibility. Critiques questioned the ability of a startup with little experience to pull off such grand plans, while others, including me, hoped that Notion Ink might just have what it takes to succeed.
After a long delay, Notion Ink finally opened pre-orders for Adam yesterday. However, things have gone rapidly downhill since then. It’s been one disaster after another. Keith discussed some of the issues raised by Android Police and others. However, that’s not all that bothers me. Some of the other factors raising eyebrows and causing suspicion are:
- As pointed out by PhanDroid, NI takes your money even without asking for a shipping address. This has now been fixed, and was possibly an oversight. However, how many oversights can one ignore from a company that is launching an international product that costs around about half a thousand bucks (depends on the model).
- We had earlier pointed out the lack of any real pictures or videos of Adam. Once again, it’s possible that this is just a marketing strategy gone wrong. Notion Ink had been building up hype by slowly unveiling the product, and Rohan probably thought that holding back the hands-on videos will probably help sustain the air of mystery. The trouble is that you can’t just expect people to shell out money in blind-faith, especially when you are the new kid in town.
Notion Ink has now stated that an in-depth video will be released on December 18. The justification being offered is that NI wanted to hold back videos and photos of the actual product, as they intended to demo it at CES 2011. That is a pretty flimsy logic, and also brings me to the third caveat.
- Although Notion Ink claims that they will be demoing Adam at the CES, as pointed out by Android Police, they aren’t anywhere to be found in the official CES exhibitors list.
It’s also worth mentioning that, Adam is yet to receive a formal approval from the FCC. Without that, Notion Ink can’t even ship it to the US. Obviously, NI is confident that Adam will soon be approved. However, this only adds another element of uncertainty to the entire equation.
Even if all of this is just a series of massive but honest mistakes by Notion Ink, and Adam is not an elaborate scam, I don’t think I can recommend Adam any longer. The main culprit being the refund and return policy.
- There is a lot that can go wrong with electronic gadgets, and that is why warranty and return policies are extremely important. Unlike its competition (Apple and Samsung), Notion Ink doesn’t have established retail presence or support centers spread across the globe. Hence, if something goes wrong, you will have to simply ship your device to Notion Ink. This is not an ideal scenario, but could have been acceptable. The trouble is that Notion Ink wants you to bear most of the charges, as a result of which, you will end up paying a hefty amount, even during the warranty period. Here are the relevant sections from the ToS.
In case your products needs a physical inspection or repair, you need to ship the product with return shipping paid to Notion Ink’s International Service Centre’s along with an transaction number of 9USD payment made on Notion Ink Website as International Service Assistance Fees.
I hope that I am wrong and Notion Ink succeeds. I really do. However, at this moment things are looking bleak. I still believe that the device is real. However, we have to remember that Notion Ink is a new startup without any proven track record. There is uncertainty regarding how they are sourcing the hardware for the device and its quality. There are simply too many unknowns at this moment. It’s obvious that a lot of people are willing to give Notion Ink a chance – the Pixel Qi editions were sold out within hours. Unfortunately, I can no longer be among those recommending Adam.