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Handhelds Hardware

Notion Ink's Adam Android Tablet Said To Ship This Week 78

Posted by timothy
from the cool-daydream dept.
junaidslife86 writes with news that the Notion Ink Android tablet has gotten the regulatory go-ahead from US authorities, and should soon be shipping. From the article: "That's right, after several delays the tiny startup will finally condense its occassionally vapory molecules into a solid slab of shipping tablet starting 'around Wednesday' after the hardware receives its FCC tattoo. A tablet good enough to earn a Best of CES 2011 honorable mention at an event absolutely flooded with tablets from a who's who of consumer electronics companies. While our first impressions of the production unit were positive, we're holding off on making a final judgement until we've had the chance to perform a full review." The Notion Ink feature that grabs the most attention seems to be the optional Pixel Qi screen; Brad Linder of Liliputing has a hands-on video with the device from CES which (despite the bad lighting conditions) shows that screen in action.
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Notion Ink's Adam Android Tablet Said To Ship This Week

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  • Confusing summary (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is this thing made by from new process from vapor molecules?
  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @03:16PM (#34891150) Homepage
    Cool - we go from vaporware to beta testing. Keep us posted, guys.
  • by Hungus (585181) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @03:21PM (#34891180) Journal

    Till they started with the massive customization of the UI (named eve). So much so that it now seems kludgy. Now I am waiting on a Mirasol product instead.

    • I'll be interested to see how much, if any, Tivoization they attempted, and how much hackery and/or bodging of proprietary driver blobs is required to get one's own firmware working.

      Assuming they didn't pull any bullshit tricks to keep you on their firmware, a device with that flavor of screen is a compelling thing(it was already good on the XO-1, and is said to be improved since then). If, for some perverse reason, they've decided that you will take, and like, whatever dubious decisions they make on the
      • by Hungus (585181)

        I agree the hardware is nice. It will be interesting to see just what it takes to get a generic install on it and what functionality is lost in doing so.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Now I am waiting on a Mirasol product instead.

      "Mirasol" sounds like a feminine hygiene product.

    • Completely agreed. The demos of the UI were very off-telling. The final nail in that coffin is that they won't have Market on the device (though you can still install APKs as usual, so you could purchase them from another device and transfer).

      However... they also mentioned that tabled is fully capable of running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) when that is released in terms of hardware, and that it is a priority for them to put it there ASAP. Now this gets interesting, because one of the bullet points of Honeycomb

      • Slightly OT but I was in a store [officeworks.com.au] here in Melbourne yesterday and noticed a little netbook (ACER, I think) running Android with the stock shell. Looked very nice. The strange thing was that it had a "Windows 7 Starter" sticker beside the keyboard.

      • There is a dedicated market for it "Genesis" and once Honeycomb hits you'll get the Android market. The market is just an .apk anyway. The reason there's not Android Market right now is that tablet apps aren't on the market. So YMMV with those apps. Honestly with a full browser, most of the apps I use on mobile I don't need if I have a full browser. Exception being maybe Astrid, Shazam and maybe a few more that have special notifications fancy features or non-web uses. Depends on the user.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Completely agreed. The demos of the UI were very off-telling. The final nail in that coffin is that they won't have Market on the device (though you can still install APKs as usual, so you could purchase them from another device and transfer).

        You do realize that the Android Open-Source Project has little in relation (other than code) to Android the OS, right? An Android phone, at least the ones by the big guys like HTC, Samsung, LG, and Motorola get their Android drops from the OHA directly, which is how th

    • I read Mirasol can't achieve certain screen sizes due to some inherent limitation. So you wouldn't get an iPad size tablet with Mirasol maybe not even a 7". Not sure if that means short term or long term or ever. Mirasol looks great, but I'm not going to wait. My Adam pre-order shipment is on it's way! I've waited for a lot of years for a decent touch screen device like this... Adam fits and Android 3.0 will go on it soon enough too. I think the triple panel UI will be very useful. more so than widgets on n
      • by Hungus (585181)

        Pocketbooks ereader is 7" so that limitation must be a thing of the past. I have a rooted nookcolor and a modbook(waste of money) now that will keep me busy for a bit. If adam lives up to the hype, well I have the cash already set aside for it but not till Android 3 is on it and the kinks are worked out. I stopped reading Rohan's blog a couple of weeks ago have you seen anything to lead you to infer that the UI will be customizable? Because, quite frankly what drove me away was the UI being so proprietary

    • the UI is Eden. Eve I think is still a mystery at this point.
      • by Hungus (585181)

        Thank you for the correction, you are correct eden is the UI eve is the mystery device/ sensor whatever that Rhohan keeps hinting at I think.

  • by t2t10 (1909766) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @03:29PM (#34891240)

    I have yet to see anybody who didn't screw up badly while messing with the Android UI. Furthermore, those "enhancements" mean support, update, and documentation headaches.

    The specific changes on that device looked questionable, and their claims that you can't interact with widgets are out of date. In effect, they have duplicated work on the main branch of Android and come up with an incompatible solution.

    No wonder that they are shipping late; they should have shipped a minimal adaptation of Android earlier and taken any spare time fixing bugs in their drivers and hardware.

    I won't buy a heavily customized Android device, and I recommend against it. Android gives manufacturers the freedom to do this, but as customers, we don't have to buy the stuff.

    • by afidel (530433)
      Yeah my biggest worry is that they will take forever to port their customizations to Honeycomb which will be a much better tablet OS then their hacked up version of 2. They claim its coming but personally I'd wait till it's actually available for download =)
    • by lennier1 (264730)

      and their claims that you can't interact with widgets are out of date

      That would be seriously out of date. Even my old Archos 5 tablet, whose stock firmware came with Android 1.6 supported widgets which worked as a remote for the Last.fm background process and other stuff.

      • by t2t10 (1909766)

        I think--although they didn't say it clearly--they meant more than just pushing buttons; things like scrolling widgets, which let you use widgets as mini apps or windows.

    • yes,i think so
    • Actually, my phone* actually has a customization I love. In the notification pulldown menu, there's a "System" tab, and from there you can see network, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS status. Tapping any of those takes you directly to the corresponding settings menu. It's pretty useful when you're in an application and need to turn on GPS location, for instance. But you're right: these things do require support, and I hope this is not why there isn't even an official FroYo ROM.

      * A Commtiva Z71 variant.

    • by j_col (1895476)
      What you are highlighting with regard to the UI changes is one of the symptoms of fragmentation that many commentators are criticizing Android over, with some justification.
      • What you are highlighting with regard to the UI changes is one of the symptoms of fragmentation that many commentators are criticizing Android over, with some justification.

        Even customized devices run standard Android apps. You can even run home screen apps and keyboards, like those that have more standard behavior than the customization. The problem with those customizations is that they delay releases and degrade the out-of-box experience; they do not "fragment" the platform.

        "Android fragmentation" is a

    • by drolli (522659)

      Yes. The biggest problem is that if the Product line does not make it for some reason their motivation for updates will be zero and since they would break the look and feel they imposed upon themselves by upgrading to the next standard version of android they even would not take the small cost of updating to the next android version (because the outcry of the customers would not be smaller).

  • Interesting -- and disturbing -- that they did not once show it in portrait orientation. If all it has is landscape, I'll pass.
    • by Radish03 (248960)

      There are several videos of it in portrait mode on the Notion Ink blog: http://notionink.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]

    • Actually, portrait is the mode in which it's intended to be used most often. Notice that rounded side, with speakers and swivel camera? It doubles for convenient holding, and it houses the batteries, so that overall weight of the tablet is shifted towards that side (and therefore closer to your fingers, rather than hanging off far from them).

  • I'm not rushing out to buy, but it looks functional enough to me.
  • One thing I discovered quickly with a netbook is that a 600 pixel high screen resolution sucks. The MINIMUM vertical screen res needs to be 768. There are too many websites and applications to where anything smaller than that causes overlap and scrolling.

    1024 x 600 is a pain to use for any length of time for any app not specifically customized to the smaller screen size.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      You realize you can turn it the other way, right?

    • by julesh (229690)

      The MINIMUM vertical screen res needs to be 768. There are too many websites and applications to where anything smaller than that causes overlap and scrolling.

      The android web browser is very good at scaling content to fit what would ordinarily need 1024x768 or higher into much lower resolutions (I tried 800x480, and the results are reasonable). And no android application is going to be written to need a 768 pixel tall screen, because devices that could run such an application are extremely rare (this [laptopmag.com] is th

  • by comm2k (961394) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @04:01PM (#34891462)
    The only thing I'm interested in is: will the bootloader only accept signed images? If yes I'll pass.
    For a device to ship with such heavy customization I doubt anyone will care (or even have to resources) to keep it updated. Even the big names don't do it - since they rather you buy a new device next year. I also doubt people will line up to make extra versions of their apps for just this (Android) tablet (sorry but you do not have the Apple RDF).
  • That must have been expensive.

  • I kind of liked the panel idea, but I thought it was too bad that not all applications could be used as panels - even applications that didn't support generation of a custom panel, it seems like you could present the application name, icon and a shrunken screen shot of last used apperance (though if it didn't launch in that state I guess that could get confusing).

    The biggest dissapointment to me though was the QI screen battery savings with backlight off - did I hear right (repeated twice in the CES video)

  • Will this be upgradeable to Honeycomb?
    I've been thinking for buying a tablet for general surfing and reading, but it looked like a bad time to buy anything, with most next-gen tablets available in March-April at earliest.

    This thing seems to have the specs, so I'd be very interested in knowing if it's rootable, if it will run unsigned images, and if there's official plans to provide an upgrade to Android 3.0 at a later time.

    • Re:Honeycomb (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday January 15, 2011 @05:01PM (#34891844) Homepage Journal

      it looked like a bad time to buy anything, with most next-gen tablets available in March-April at earliest.

      "Next-gen" tablets will always be three months away.

      • by Miseph (979059)

        Next-Gen *anything* is always 3 months away... but with something like tablets where they are really just coming into their own as a viable, meaningful product, the next-gen is going to be a far more substantial improvement over the last than, say, with a desktop video card.

        If my mobo blows tomorrow, I'll just get whatever is current and call, it a day, because frankly I don't care what minuscule incremental improvements they'll have for the next generation... I'd rather have a working computer now than one

    • Will this be upgradeable to Honeycomb?

      They have repeatedly said on the blog that the hardware is specifically selected so that it's Honeycomb-ready.

  • They had me until I saw an interview last week where the rep mentioned it had 2.2 and not really needing 2.3 because they have their own solution for voip...then when asked about honeycomb the reply was that most of that stuff they had their own solution as well...then android marketplace was mentioned and the reply was that they would have their own marketplace. Now i've gone from a must buy to a must watch....it just dont trust that the company is going to support it very well when upgrades roll around.

    • I have to get away from the LCD screen for part of the day and this is a good option for me. I have the OLPC so I'm very familiar with it's screen look and how it differs from other LCDs. So this is the right tablet for me. What they have is 2.2. with libraries from 2.3. Don't know if that means VOIP included. But whatever. I'm not all that concerned about that at the moment.They also said they are skipping 2.3 for Honeycomb. That's a good idea. Why go to the next mobile phone OS when the tablet OS is on th

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