Notion Ink’s 10.1 Inch Adam II Tablet Reviewed

Last week, I received a review unit of the Adam II from Notion Ink just before the device went on sale. I’ve been playing around with the device since then and I’ve been impressed with some of the features that the Adam II has to offer.

Learning from the mistakes of the ill-fated original Adam tablet, Notion Ink has redesigned the Adam II from ground up to impress us.

While the original Adam came with a Pixel Qi display, which promised a lower power display tech, the Adam II doesn’t feature this technology. When asked about why they decided to forgo Pixel Qi, Notion Ink replied that the Pixel Qi displays had a limited viewing angle, they were looking for a 180 degrees viewing angle along with a display thickness of less than 2.5mm which Pixel Qi couldn’t provide.

Quick Specs

Where’s a review without a quick peek at the device specifications? Of course we all know that only the specs don’t tell the full story, but here goes:

  • The Adam II is powered by a 1.5Ghz Dual Core ARM (Cortex A9) processor.
  • Display: The 10.1 inch IPS LCD display has resolution of 1280×800 pixels with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The outer display is protected by a pane of Asahi scratch resistant glass.
  • Memory & Storage: 1GB RAM and 8GB Internal Storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD card
  • Camera: The front and rear cameras are BSI OmniVision Camera 3.2 Megapixel shooters capable of video capture at 720p
  • Battery: 6000 mAh battery
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, HDMI 1.4b, 3.5mm headphone connectors, Micro USB 2.0 with USB-OTG
  • Weighs 584g (lighter than the 4th Generation iPad)
  • Powered by Android 4.2.2
  • The Adam II comes in white only.

Build and Design

The Adam II comes in white and features an industrial design which is mostly rectangular in all aspects, with slightly rounded corners. According to Notion Ink, their design is inspired by the art form of a book. In fact, where the book’s spine comes, the Adam II has an extra bezel area which houses the speakers and front-camera.

Speakers and Front Camera

I like this since my (relatively large) hands can easily grip the device from the left, without touching the screen. This prevents unwanted touch events from triggering while just holding the tablet.

The materials used on the Adam II are of great quality, aluminium matte finish back. A very premium finish if I may add.  The top of the device features a Power button recessed near the corner with the 3.5mm headphone socket next to it. The connectivity options are at the bottom where you have the volume control, SIM, MicroSD card, HDMI and USB connectivity options.

Controls and Connectors Adam II

The spine of the device features something Notion Ink calls the STM Secondary Display which is Black and White LCD display without a backlight like those you see on digital watches or calculators. This shows up notifications if any or the time of the day and a custom Message.

Notion Ink Adam II STN Secondary Display

Adam II Review

Notion Ink decided to forgo heavy UI customizations on the device and have gone with (an almost) stock Android experience, which is a good in my opinion. This should let them come out with future updates faster.

Screenshot_2013-12-24-17-05-19

The only additions I did notice were buried in the setting screen, where there were options to configure the HDMI display options and time outs, the Secondary Settings options and Screenshot settings.  The Screenshot settings allow you to add a screenshot icon to the status bar for you to quickly take a screenshot.

Screenshot_2011-01-01-22-57-11

The Adam II, even though runs on a dated processor, runs well pretty much most of the time lag free. Of course if you run apps which run a lot of background tasks, you may start to notice a lag here and there. For my reading and casual gaming experience on the Adam II, the device performed flawlessly.

The display on the Adam II is a 720p screen with a resolution of 1280×800 is a slight negative on this device, since the 10 inch display with that resolution does show slight pixellation on the screen if you look real close. This doesn’t affect the day-to-day usage on the device though . I’m sure all of us are getting spoilt by the Retina and beyond resolution of the iPad and it’s competitors. Remember that the Adam II is way below these in the price band.

Notion Ink claims that the Adam II’s display comes with ICC Color profiles, with one of the best color reproductions available in the market.  They also uses Diamond Glass from Asahi for the display which is quite scratch resistant.

Notion Ink Adam II

The stereo speakers on the device are good. Since they are front facing, the sound pretty loud and since the two speakers are spaced out on the side, we can clearly make out the stereo effect with these speakers. Being smaller speakers, the bass reproduction is not too great, but then you can always plug-in your favourite pair of headsets for more serious music listening.

One thing to note is that the in 3G version of the tablet, the SIM is used only for data, so you can’t make Voice calls or receive SMS on the Adam II. This is pretty much like the way the iPad works on 3G. I don’t mind that since I won’t really be making calls or messaging from a 10 inch tablet. A tablet this side is mostly for media consumption and entertainment.

The Secondary Display or the STN is still a novel feature in the device, and could do with more useful features going forward. It’s kind of useful right now if you want to see if you have any notifications without switching on the display. You can set the custom message from the Settings menu. When reached out, the folks at Notion Ink said that they are working on additional features like battery percentage and cycling though the notifications using the volume key in the near future.

I didn’t get a chance to try out the HDMI output from the device since I didn’t have the right cables handy.

Pricing and Availability

In terms of pricing, Notion Ink is selling the WiFi only version of the device for Rs. 16,499 and the 3G device is Rs. 18,999. They are currently shipping the Adam II only within India via their website. They do plan to have it available on other online retailers like Flipkart soon.

[alert style=”2″]For the holiday season, Notion Ink has a Christmas offer running –  the WiFi is available at Rs. 13,499 and the  3G version at 15,499.[/alert]

Warranty and Support

The Adam II comes with a 1 year replacement warranty. Which means if you do have any issues with the device, they’ll replace the device. If you do have any problem with the device, you can contact the folks at Notion Ink via [email protected] and they’ll arrange for a pickup of the device from your home.

Verdict

I love the premium finish of the device, coupled with the connectivity options the Adam II provides. I love the way they’ve designed the tablet so that it can be held like a book in the portrait mode, and the light weight also ensures that the tablet doesn’t weigh you down.

The pros pretty much outweigh the cons, so if you are in the market for a 10 inch Android tablet in the Rs. 10,000 – 20,000 range, your search stops with the Adam II tablet.

Links

Notion Ink Website

Notion Ink gets FCC approval, to ship shortly

There’s been lots of speculation as to whether Notion Ink could really deliver on their 1st batch of pre-orders which have been delayed for quite a while (almost a year now!). Having now received blessing from the FCC, Notion Ink is ready to ship their first batch of Adam tablets and they have posted up pictures of their fully stocked warehouse to prove it. Well that should put a lot of rumors to rest !

Founder of Notion Ink, Rohan Shravan recently posted on the Notion Ink Blog that February was the expected shipping date simply because they were unsure of how long the FCC would take to approve Adam. Adam is now set to ship out in the last week of January.

As always, you can catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld. And do check out our Facebook Page.

Motorola XOOM Tablet announced, Coming to Verizon Q1 2011

As expected, Motorola Mobility has unveiled the Motorola Xoom, their 10.1 inch 1280×800 sized screen beauty running Honeycomb, the fist tablet to do so.  The Xoom runs atop a dual core Tegra 2 chip, uses current 3G technology — upgradable to 4G, has an HD camera and offers full 1080p video playback.

Here’s the video and full press release –

LAS VEGAS and BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – CES –Jan. 5, 2011 – Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE: MMI), today unveiled the innovative new tablet Motorola XOOM™ − the first device on Google’s new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system designed from the ground up for tablets. The Honeycomb user experience improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization and features the latest Google Mobile innovations. Boasting a dual core processor with each core running at 1 GHz, delivering up to two GHz of processing power, and 10.1-inch widescreen HD display, Motorola XOOM gives Verizon Wireless customers a new type of mobile computing experience on a stylishly thin device that is 4G LTE upgradeable.

Motorola XOOM redefines the tablet device category by providing more ways to have fun, connect with friends and stay productive on the go. It allows consumers to experience HD content right on the device, supports 1080p HD video and HDMI output to display content on larger HD screens, and plays video and other rich web content seamlessly with Adobe® Flash® Player. Motorola XOOM features a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chats over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G LTE, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures video in 720p HD. It delivers console-like gaming performance on its 1280×800 display, and features a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting for new types of applications. It also features Google Maps 5.0 with 3D interaction and delivers access to over 3 million Google eBooks and thousands of apps from Android Market™.

For working on the go, Motorola XOOM provides constant connectivity − including connecting to Gmail or Exchange email; opening and editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations; and viewing calendars and sending out appointments or meeting notices – with mobile broadband speeds. Its mobile hotspot capability provides an online connection for up to five other Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

“Motorola XOOM is a powerful addition to Verizon’s product lineup and builds on our combined leadership with Motorola to deliver innovative mobile devices and service on the Android platform,” said Marni Walden, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “Motorola XOOM gives consumers complete access and control of their favorite personal content and work files whether through our nationwide 3G network, or through our lightning-fast 4G LTE network as it rolls out around the country.”

“Light, powerful and fundamentally different than anything else on the market, Motorola XOOM leverages the very best technology available today to redefine what a tablet experience can be,” said Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer of Motorola Mobility. “The first device to feature software designed specifically for tablets, Motorola XOOM goes everywhere you do and delivers everything you need.”

The Motorola XOOM device will launch as a 3G/Wi-Fi-enabled device in Q1 2011 with an upgrade to 4G LTE in Q2. Starting in Q2 2011 the Motorola XOOM will be a 4G LTE/Wi-Fi- enabled device.

For more information about Verizon Wireless at CES please visit www.verizonwireless.com/ces or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/verizonwireless. For more information about the Motorola XOOM please visit www.verizonwireless.com/xoom.

The $35 Android tablet on track to launch in January

Techpp reports that Sakshat, the $35 Android tablet from India, is on track to be launched in January 2011!

The Govt. of India has awarded the manufacturing contract to HCL Technologies. It’s reported that the government has allocated Rs. 30 Crore for the project, and will be producing 1 million units in the first phase.

The tablet will come with three screen sizes, 5″, 7″ and 10″. It will have the standard connectivity options (WiFi, Bluetooth), although there is no word yet is it’ll have GPS or cellular connectivity. It will come with the standard google apps, but if there is no cellular connectivity, it won’t have access to the Android Marketplace. It will be running a resistive touchscreen, so there’ll be no multitouch.

Techpp also has a video of the tablet in action, clickthrough to this link to check it out.

It’s no iPad or Samsung Galaxy tab competitor, but with the main aim of the tablet being about bringing access to the internet to Indian Students, it should do pretty well.

Would you get one? Comment below, or catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld. You can also check out our Facebook Page.

Source: Techpp, Livemint