Notion Ink Adam stripped bare and our in-depth video hands-on
byVlad Savov||January 8th 2010 at 3:26pmJanuary 8th 2010 3:26 pm
You have to have a pretty special product to get two Engadget posts discussing your wares during the maelstrom of CES, but this Adam thing just won't leave us alone with its Pixel Qi display, Tegra 2 innards and bona fide potential to blow the bloody doors off the homogeneous tablet market. We've gone back and grabbed video of the device in direct sunlight and it just kept on impressing us. The screen resolutely refused to be overpowered by the light, whether its backlight was on or off, but that was merely the tip of the iceberg as far as the happy impressions. Come past the break to find out more about buttery smooth 1080p playback (with a handy HDMI out), Notion Ink's plans for modifying the Android OS, and more on the likely pricing of the device which is set to land in quarter two of 2010. Oh, and yea -- we totally ripped it open and photographed the insides. Check that out below.
Update: Check out SlashGear for some production artwork.
So the first thing to note here is that the unit on hand was -- in terms of external construction -- just a quick mockup of the final body shape, which was made so we could look at the hardware's capabilities rather than to show off any hot curves. That said, we still liked how compact it was and were even promised the final version will be slimmed down to 14mm in thickness. Quite impressive when you consider the Pixel Qi screen takes up a full 5mm by itself. Speaking of the Qi, we consider it a glorious and definite step forward for displays. It looks gorgeous in both modes, and when the backlight is off you're basically getting a monochromatic version of your normal display (check the gallery to see what we mean) which is both perfectly usable and the friendliest thing you can do to your battery. You can see the 1080p demo video below, with both modes showing you what you might expect from the screen while it was being washed by pretty strong Las Vegas sunlight. There's also a patented 3 megapixel swivel camera (not pictured on this dev unit), which has other protected intellectual properties that we were not yet informed of, though augmented reality and educational uses were hinted at.
Running Android, the machine will come with a number of rather cool Notion Ink apps and there'll be an inevitable app store where you can add to that. We were also told the default onscreen keyboard would be replaced by a customized version, with taller keys and other ergonomic optimizations. 3G and WiFi connectivity will be available, as is to be expected, and Rohan from Notion Ink was keen to impress on us the company's emphasis on digital magazine content. Compatible with ePUB and other popular ebook formats, the Adam will be versatile, but the focus will be placed firmly on digital magazine consumption, with a number of content publishers being recruited as we speak. We tried our finest to get a price out of the company, but the answers were alternately, "it'll depend on carrier subsidies," "it'll be competitive with the ICD Ultra tablet," and the best one, "you'll be very happy when we release this." The range is definitely between $300 and $800, with a likely landing spot for an unsubsidized device in the top half. We'll know for sure at MWC in Barcelona this year, which is when and where the final product and pricing will be revealed.