Why Notion Ink’s Grand Adam Tablet Could Be a BIG Fail

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.

Notion Ink Adam

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 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.

  1. The picture of the actual product.
  2. 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  Playbook 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 …, 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.

Update 2: Things are only getting worse for Notion Ink. Here’s our follow-up on the situation.

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website. I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.