Phew, I am glad that I lost at this, but Notion Ink‘s demo for the Adam tablet is finally out. The device looks amazing and has some nice features. It supports external mouse to make browsing easier, it shows off how much Android can be customized.
Well, more on that coming in a bit. In the meantime watch the video below courtesy Android Police. If you can’t watch the video below, click on this link.
Update: There is a second video which is of higher quality, you can check it out below. If you can’t see any of the videos, click on this or this link.
It is well past December 18th, 2010 in India, where Notion Ink is based. It is a really big day for their team because they announced the Adam Tablet on this date, they also promised a video of the device, however, it looks like we’ll have to wait 6 hours countless hours or maybe until eternity to get a chance to watch it.
In a very short and brief post on Notion Ink’s official blog, the founder Rohan said this (do read the comments there):
The video is being sent to Android Police and they will have exclusive access to it for the six hours before we can post it here.
Now there are few things here. Notion Ink has had over 8 days to get this video ready. They already passed their deadline, technically they didn’t but according to the IST they did. Now, it has been over two hours since they had promised the exclusive video to Android Police, however, they seem to have not received it yet. Here are couple of tweets from AP.
Hey guys! We’re still waiting on the video from Rohan, re: the Notion Ink Adam. Once we have it, it will be posted ASAP.#notionink #adam
@keithdsouza From what we were told, we were to have to video a bit ago, and that, supposedly, we’d be the only ones to have it for 6 hours
Prior to the post being published on their site, several people including me started tweeting about how Notion Ink hadn’t posted their promised video. I bet the folks at Notion Ink are Twitter savvy and might have caught up on it; as if they thought that no one would notice; and went ahead and wrote that post.
So, why is Notion Ink in such a haste? Why couldn’t they write the blog post after they sent the video there promised in the post? Why are they acting in such a suspicious manner? Why are they alienating customers who pre-ordered through their system, which was a stupid way to start out with things in the first place.
So is the Notion Ink Adam for real? Well I certainly am very very skeptical about it right now. The wait is not six hours though, here is the catch: The video is being sent to Android Police and they will have exclusive access to it for the six hours before we can post it here.
So this means that people can only see the video 6 hours after Android Police has seen it, now when Android Police will see it is a mystery, when people will see it is not. However, here is hoping that these guys get a better PR agency to handle the shit storm they have created.
Update: Wow, I am glad I turned out to be the one eating my words on this. Notion Ink just released a video demonstrating the Adam and it looks really good, check out the Notion Ink Adam Tablet Demo.
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.
Before I start this post, I have to tell you that being an Indian I had high hopes over what Notion Ink was doing and how they were building a tablet which could take over the world. I had also interviewed Rohan Shravan the founder of Notion Ink back in March 2010 to get the details about Adam and how Notion Ink were working towards their goals of releasing the product.
I am very sure that you might have already read several articles from Engadget, CrunchGear and Android Police panning the product. I do want to chime in with my own thoughts here which I discussed over with people within Techie Buzz, who were equally disappointed about it. Before I head start into the article, here are some of my 2 cents about things, the way I perceive it to be:
Notion Ink does not have any formal funding to research and create such a tablet on a grand scale. Of course, they would have been able to self-fund or get funds through people without letting it out, so this could just be something that is un-important.
As Android Police pointed out, US laws require product pictures which are final before posting them on sales site. Though Adam got the FCC backing on December 4, it would be hard to get that into a product so soon. Nevertheless, they could have at-least used that model to display what the device is actually.
Flat rate shipping costs does not bode well with everyone in general, specially when sites like Amazon do free shipping. Heck, try shipping a product in India and getting $50 for it.
The company either didn’t have time or money to get a proper lawyer to frame their documents. Android Police is all over it. This is definitely a bad and hurried signage for a product launch.
As Android Police pointed out, Notion Ink are competing with Samsung Galaxy Tab. However, unlike Samsung, Notion Ink does not have that clout in the market to get the raw materials for their products at a low cost. Of course, this can be done by importing the raw materials from China, but if you have even been to India and seen Chinese imports, they are as good as garbage.
I really do not want to delve into the problems that the sites I mentioned above went into and neither am I calling this as a failure but what the heck we have had $35 tablets which were Chinese made.
Here is what is totally wrong about this product. Notion Ink made a big announcement of the product launch on their blog, this was a norm. The post had pictures galore, but there were two things missing which are a norm in product launches.
The picture of the actual product.
A video that demoes the actual product.
All the Notion Ink blog post about the announcement had to show were pictures of their UI, which were pretty good, but nothing more. There were no pictures of any device running that UI, there were no videos displaying the UI. Also all the pictures of the actual product on the blog are sketchy at best, including the one I added to this post. Heck, even RIM did that with the BlackBerryPlaybook even if they came out of the blue, but they actually showcased some device.
What I really want to see from Rohan and the other folks at Notion Ink is to quell all these doubts and just show the two things I mentioned above. Once they do that everyone will just shut up. If they don’t, it will be a huge disaster for them and go the JooJoo way.
Although 3 of the current Adam variants show sold out on their site, I really doubt as to how many orders they got. It could just be 100 and sold out, it could all just be an hype.
All things aside. I really want everything I wrote to be untrue. I really had faith in this product, but it was a huge turndown. I sincerely hope I am wrong, unfortunately I don’t believe in that.
Update 1: More Bad News: In a post written by the CEO Rohan, which is â€¦, well go ahead and read it. The CEO says that they held back full videos due to CES 2011, however, he promises a video on 18th December now. I really did not know that it took 8 days to produce a video.
The much anticipated Notion InkAdam is up for pre-order now, however, there is no direct link for pre-ordering the device and users will require to comment on the blog post to get a link to pre-order the device (thanks @manan).
Notion Ink recently cleared the FCC checks for Adam and had promised a December launch. They have kept their words and have started accepting pre-orders for the device. Adam’s prices have been lowered from the initial estimates and will be available in the following price bands, the prices will remain same for all the countries.
LCD Wi-Fi version will start at $375.33
LCD 3G version will start at $425.33
Transflective version (Pixel Qi) Wi-Fi will start at $499.45
Transflective version (Pixel Qi) 3G will start at $549.99
Pre-booking for the device will start for those who commented on the blog post from December 10 00:00 IST and will open for everyone after 6 hours. Adam will come in 2 different colors which includes Matte Black Color with a white strip and The device which runs on Android comes with it’s own flavor called Eden which borrows a lot of features from Android 2.3 Ginberbread and Android 3.0 Honey Comb.
With new tablets being announced or launched every week, the tablet market is truly on fire. However, other than Apple’s iPad, none of the other tablets have succeeded in making a significant impact. The Samsung Galaxy Tab might just turn out to be the first actual iPad competitor. However, the tablet that I am really excited about is Notion Ink’sAdam.
The Adam, which has been plagued by a series of delays, is being manufactured by an Indian startup called Notion Ink. What sets Adam apart from the rest of the tablet crowd is its ambition. Unlike other Android tablets, Adam will be using an extensively modified operation system with its own interface and market.
In a new blog post, Notion Ink’s CEO, Rohan Shravan, has shared some of the key details about Eden – Adam’s multi-tasking environment. It allow applications to run in 3 modes – i) Full Screen Mode: In this mode the application will occupy the entire screen and will be the sole object of attention. Only one application can be in this mode at a time. ii) Light Mode/Panels: In light mode, the application will only expose its key functionalities. Up to three applications can be simultaneously in light mode. Screen real estate, as well as other resources will be shared among these applications. iii) Waiting Mode (Background): When an application is minimized it creates a panel with its most important features and goes to sleep. At any point of time, three panels will be visible. Other panels will be hidden and waiting to be called upon.
Existing Android applications (which are designed for mobile phones) will work as panels, instead of being stretched to fit the tablet’s higher resolution screen.
Discussing the benefits of introducing Panels, Shravan wrote:
Using these concepts now you can compare two documents, transfer files from one folder to another, take notes from one panel and write in another, you can chat in one and read RSS in another, while third one is playing your song, read this blog and update your twitter message. Most important element in multi-tasking is to SEE two things to work on them, and now we have 3!
The Notion Ink Adam tablet, one of the most hyped tablets which was touted to be one of the iPad’s biggest competitors has been delayed a lot since its original announcement. At one point, it seemed like it would never release and end up as vaporware.
However, the developers have been working on it and are trying to launch it by the end of 2010.
The Notion Ink Adam will run Android 2.2 with a custom UI and will ship with certain improvements in the multitasking capabilities.
It will also come with a custom marketplace christened Genesis, which will offer applications, games and multimedia content as well as ebooks. It will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform: a dual core Cortex A9 processor and a ULP GPU.
It will offer Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and comes in two versions: with and without 3G HSDPA. It will also have Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and A-GPS. Besides that, it will have 2 USB ports, microSD slot, HDMI out and a 3.2 MP swivel camera.
You can also choose between LCD and Pixel Qi displays, with the LCD displays being priced at $50 less than the Pixel Qi displays.
There will be 4 versions of the Notion Ink Adam, each priced lower than the cheapest iPad variant. The LCD + Wi-Fi only version will be priced at $399; the LCD + Wi-Fi/3G version at $339; the Pixel Qi + Wi-Fi only version at $449 and the Pixel Qi + Wi-Fi/3G version at $498, just $1 lower than the 16 GB Wi-Fi only iPad. Nice touch, eh?
With many other tablets launching in the same timeframe, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and HP Palmpad, what remains to be seen is whether or not it will be Adam that gets to eat the Apple.
While the iPad has been setting tablet computing on fire, a tiny Indian startup, Notion Ink has been working diligently to roll out its own tablet computer – Adam. We covered Adamfairlyextensively in the past, including an exclusive interview with its CEO Rohan Shravan.
Some recent reports suggested that Adam might have been delayed until November. Notion Ink has now come out and debunked those rumors without promising any specific release date. “We are on track” is all Rohan Shravan revealed in his blog post. This probably means that Adam will be launched in a couple of months. However, like the iPad, Adam will have a staggered roll out all over the world. The good news for Indians waiting for a competitive tablet device is that India will definitely be among the first to receive the gadget.
Notion Ink has also closed their final round of fund raising. Once again, they didn’t provide any specifics, but Shravan did seem pretty jubilant about it. He wrote, “We have closed the final round of funding and are now in perfect sync with our investors. This is extremely good news for everyone. I say that, because if we have Global ambitions, there must be someone who can help us achieve that. And now we have got the muscle power”.
The Adam is an nVidia Tegra 2 powered Android tablet with Pixel Qi technology, which ensures readability even under direct sunlight. A cheaper version with normal LCD screen will also be available for users who don’t plan on doing too much reading on the Adan. In fact, we may even get a third variation, which is supposed to run on a mysterious battery efficient platform.
Notion Ink also demoed the gadget during the electronics expo at CES 2010. We got a chance to catch up with Notion Ink’s CEO Rohan Shravan and asked him a few questions about "Adam" and other interesting developments around it. So without ado, here is the interview with Rohan Shravan.
Keith: First of All Could You Introduce Notion Ink to us? Rohan: Notion Ink is a firm for Innovation. Very very young and very different. Average age of employees is 22 yrs! Based out of India. It was my dream to design devices which can do anything. And thats what we are doing right now. The first thing you do to realize your dream is to write is somewhere. And thats what we will help other to do. We will be their Notion Ink.
Keith: Back in December 2009, we were surprised to see a tablet from an Indian startup? Why did you choose to get into an industry which was not yet established worldwide, leave aside India? Rohan: We are working on it since last 3 years. It took the final shape in 2008 end. The device we want to make is still technologically not possible and we will work till we achieve the same.
Keith: How and why did you come up with the name "Adam" for your Tablet? Did it have to do anything with "Adam & Eve"? Rohan: I wanted a named series. Something people can relate to. Adam tablet is the first of its kind. Its an ebook reader and tablet, both, hence a new species which brings a new convergence. And hence the name Adam. Eve will be there, soon.
Keith: What according to you sets Adam apart from the rest of the competition? Rohan: It will bring in new user input mechanisms, new UI trends, OS behaviors, Cloud computing relations, Content Eco-system, ebook and tablet convergence, open system and already a huge fan base!
Keith: Do you follow the developments behind iPad, Joojoo, Slate and other upcoming tablets? How do you see them as a competition? Rohan: I do. But only as developments. Competition is healthy. It is good for end user. And it brings innovation.
Keith: How was your experience at CES 2010? Did you find recognitions for Adam there? Rohan: CES was wonderful. It made it clear that people are waiting for it. And it is the right time for this product.
Keith: Given the current Indian market which basically is made up of cheap or mid-range cell phones, do you think that Adam will do well, or do you have different markets in mind right now? Rohan: Firstly, thats not true. There is a huge market for smart phones and mobile internet adoption is one of the fastest.
Secondly, Notion Ink does belong from India, but Adam was not designed with India as its reach. It is designed for people who are ahead of others. For those who will be the leaders in technology. And they happen to belong in all the countries. Some have many, some have few.
Keith: Are you collaborating with big partners to get the device out? Rohan: Yes, we are in good stages of these collaborations.
Keith: What are the Specifications for Adam, not that we don’t know it, but we would love to hear it from the horse’s mouth? Rohan: I believe what we don’t know is not in the public domain yet.
Keith: Are you planning any variations in the device based on where you launch it, to narrow down the costing? Rohan: Not necessarily.
Keith: Where do you plan to manufacture the device? Will it be in India or from within US, considering that your major market will be US and Europe, and you have to pass through tough manufacturing standards to be able to export to these continents? Rohan: Even the educated people in India would demand FCC certifications. Quality is first goal. Nothing gets manufactured in US. Our bases will be same as US houses.
Keith: How do you foresee the future of Internet tablets, not as a manufacturer, but as a end-user? Rohan: As end user, i see carrying only tablets. All other things will vanish. Phones will be just headphones, laptops will be on clouds, and tablet will even replace books and notepads.
Keith: Lastly, would you be able to tell us when this device will be out and how much it will cost along with how people can buy it? Rohan: It is definitely not as costly as iPad.
Thanks to Mr. Rohan for sparing the time to answer our questions. Hope you had a great time catching up with the CEO of one of the most waited upon device, the "Adam". You can check what Notion Ink is all about by visiting their website, or keep up with the latest updates from the company by visiting their blog.
For those who haven’t yet got a chance to see "Adam" in action can watch the embedded video below.