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.


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.


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.


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.


Notion Ink Website

Notion Ink’s “Development Diary” of the Adam 2

Notion Ink‘s Adam 2, which hasn’t been shown off yet by the Tablet Company, is something that quite a few people are looking forward to. It may not be something you’d go out and get, but the design and the fact that it’s an Indian company that isn’t really aiming at the lower end of the tablet market do make it stand out. The original Adam was in the news, mainly because of the design, the interface and the fact that it was one of the first commercial devices (if not the first) that used a Pixel-qi screen (a LCD based display tech that allows the device displays’ backlight to be to turned off). The device fell short though, and didn’t really meet expectations, mainly because of shipping delays, some hardware issues (the camera on it was quite bad, to put it mildly), and the unfortunate issue of being stuck on Froyo (Android 2.2; there were many honeycomb ROMs from the developer community and NI released an Alpha Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the device a while back). Oh, and the screen? Didn’t really work that well.

So when Notion Ink announced a move to TI’s OMAP platform for the next device, the Adam 2, along with more in-house development (and hopefully better hardware), I was pretty excited. Well, Notion Ink now has a development blog to track the Adam 2, and it’s definitely worth checking out and following if you’re interested in the Adam 2 and Notion Ink. You can check it over at They have some interesting data on there too, including a good read about why they chose the OMAP platform over Nvidia’s Tegra.

From the Post:


There were many questions on the main blog on the switch from Tegra to OMAP. I thought we should clarify this.

So which is better, Tegra or OMAP? NVidia will say Tegra of course and TI will say OMAP. Would that mean we should go by the benchmarks? Or may be sheer specifications of both the SoC? Doesn’t OMAP’s memory bandwidth is more than Tegra 3 and Snapdragon? But Tegra 3 is Quad Core, and even GPU is updated? Then why iPad 2 beats Tegra 3 by miles on GLBenchmark? We had a lot of similar questions while we wanted to opt for one. If you followed Kernel developments you’d know that OMAP was definitely the next SoC supported by Google, so this decision had to be made on our end and fast.

Answer came from a very experienced veteran in the industry (one of our 3 mentors), who said, unless as an OEM you can’t get 100% out of these chips, all benchmarks, specifications and latest developments are useless. So the answer wasn’t based on which chip can beat the other one, but which one can we leverage to the highest possible extent. And in this regard OMAP definitely beats any SoC out there w.r.t. documentation, number of use-case modeled, white papers, reference documents and much more. Bangalore also hosts a lot of Ex-TI professionals who helped build OMAP, so answers are not tough to find.

Unlike last time where we banked on Tegra without possibly fully utilizing its power, this time our focus is to offer TI the best product based on OMAP. TI is a very respectable firm and I believe Adam II will be a marvel in their portfolio.

Learning time!

Check out this link on TI’s site for more information on OMAP.


You can check out the rest of the post here.

There’s also a bunch of interesting concepts on how they plan to use infographics on usage. These are all templates right now, with no real data, but they do look interesting. Infographics always are. Like this one on content on the internet:


I really hope NI get’s their act together and releases a device that will actually meet their core fans’ expectations; something that you would recommend to a friend. Only time will tell. In the meantime, do follow their development blog for more updates.

Notion Ink Partners with Texas Instruments; Announces the Adam II

Notion Ink has been a company that everyone has seen a lot of potential in, but their first device, the Adam, didn’t really live up to expectations. You can read our full review of the Adam, here. The Pixel-Qi Screen wasn’t all that legible in sunlight, the touchscreen wasn’t all that sensitive to touch input, and it was stuck running Froyo (officially that is). Notion Ink announced a Pre Alpha release of Ice Cream Sandwich a while back, and recently announced a proper Alpha build. What is exciting is the news that Notion Ink will soon have a new tablet out, the Adam II, and that it’ll run Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. Oh, and the fact that they’ve teamed up with Texas Instruments and will use the new OMAP SOC.

Here’s the Full Press Release:

Notion Ink partners with Texas Instruments

21 January 2012, Bangalore

Notion Ink has partnered with Texas Instruments (TI) Incorporated for its next generation Adam II Tablets. Adam II will be using OMAP44xx processor along with other TI components like Wi-Link 7.0 and Phoenix Audio Power Amplifiers. Adam II will also leverage the power optimizations achieved using mature combination of TI’s integrated power-management IC.

Designed specifically for best Power Performance and Multi-tasking Experience, Adam II will be based on Google’s IceCream Sandwich Operating System.

The OMAP44xx platform’s smart multicore architecture pairs its main CPUs with several differentiated features including programmable accelerators, hardware composition engines and a dedicated ISP. Imagination Technologies’ super-fast PowerVR SGX5xx GPU and enhanced memory architecture add still more functionality while an OMAP-specific distributed composition architecture enables advanced image and video layering for crisp, HD visuals. These elements and more are the force behind the OMAP44xx processor’s ability to enable fast and fluid multitasking while maintaining ultra-low power consumption.

Adam II will release the world’s first Modular Based Software Architecture which will further expand the scope of application development and use nearly every single hardware feature in a “user customizable” application. Drag and drop features will enable easy application modification and Open Source Module will further expand the use cases and tablet deployment. Node operations like in Blender, and “Application Authoring Tools” are primarily aimed at non-programmers for composing applications, games and use-case flows in a drag-and-drop fashion, utilizing visual editors and behavior-based logic system.

This System will help consumers, professionals and students become productive as they will be able to use the tablet as a logic analyzer, medical imaging device, signal acquisition and processing, 3D modeling and multi-media.

For more information about TI OMAP processors, visit and follow this blog for Adam II.

Rohan Shravan


Source: Notion Ink Blog

Notion Ink Adam gets (Pre-Alpha) ICS; Gets a Discount for the Holidays!

It’s been a year since the Notion Ink Adam went up on Pre-order and about 6 months since we reviewed the Adam. Back then, it was running Android 2.2 aka Froyo along with a skin named Eden. Since then, the Adam for Honeycomb (unofficially of course, check out Adamcomb here) and then, there was nothing much in the way of news out of the NI Labs. Well, the guys at NI have now released a Pre-Alpha release of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) to the masses, along with the source code. What does that mean? Potentially, an official ICS release for the Adam sometime early next year and custom roms (such as the aforementioned AdamComb) probably earlier.

Here’s a video of the Adam running Honeycomb:

You can follow the progress of the ICS port over at the Notion Ink blog, here.

If you’re feeling adventurous, here are the instructions to download and run the Pre-alpha ICS release on your Adam.

What’s working?

  • Hardware Acceleration
  • WIFI
  • Physical Back Button
  • Capacitive Buttons
  • Accelerometer
  • GPS
  • Power Button [Long press, Short Press for shutdown menu]
  • EMMC mounts
  • SDCARD mounts
  • USB [but won’t boot if attached to PC at boot]

What’s not working?

  • Sleep/wakeup
  • Camera
  • USB flash drives
  • Light sensor
  • Compass
  • 3G
  • Audio

If you’re a developer, you could jump on board with the development and help get stuff working. That’s what the community is all about.

Remember, this isn’t ready for regular users just yet! Don’t try this if you aren’t used to the rooting and romming world! 

Oh wait, that’s not all. The guys at NI have a Holiday Sale on, so head over to the Notion Ink Store and check it out! 


Now, what’s Notion Ink planning on their next Hardware Revision? My guess is as good as yours. I only hope they get it to market in a reasonable time after they show it (assuming there is a hardware revision in the works and will be shown at CES as they’ve done in the past).

Notion Ink Adam : The first of it’s kind

Notion Ink has been in the news quite a bit, so we decided to actually GET the Adam Tablet and see what it’s all about. Well, we would be Vinu Thomas. I have played with the Adam previously, from the first software build to the current one, and I have to say that while initially I was VERY skeptical about the product, it has improved quite a bit. There are still a few rough edges, but for the most part, those can be ignored. I am waiting for the next variant though, just to see what these guys can come up with. It’s interesting, and definitely stands out from the current crop of tablets. We even mentioned it in our Tablet Roundup.

Here’s some of the Specifications:

  • Android 2.2 with the Eden Interface
  • NVIDIA Tegra 250 Dual Core Cortex A-9
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 1GB SLC
  • 8 GB Flash
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 3-cell 24.6Wh battery
  • 10.1” WSVGA (1024 x 600 pixels) Transmissive, transflective and reflective modes ,Multi-touch
  • 3.2MP auto-focus Swivel Camera
  • WLAN – 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • WWAN – 3G UMTS 850 / 1900 MHz & 3G UMTS 900 / 2100 MHz, HSPA
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Built-in microphone
  • USB 2.0 Host x 2
  • MiniUSB
  • HDMI out
  • MicroSD card slot
  • SIM Card slot
  • DC connector
  • 3-Axis accelerometer
  • Ambient light sensor
  • True GPS
  • Digital Compass

The model that we have is the Pixel Qi, WiFi only model.

The packaging is quite Minimalistic (which I absolutely loved). It contains the Tablet, and a DC Charger. And that’s where my first issue comes up. Why couldn’t they bundle a Mini-USB Cable (let’s forget about a HDMI cable, earphones, etc)? Micro-USB is the standard now, and I’d understand if the connector were that, but Mini-USB cables are hard to find (how many devices use Mini-USB Nowadays?).


The Adam’s design is unique. Although it is a little hefty, it has a bulge at the top which you can use as a grab handle for one-handed use. This also houses the 3.2MP Swivel Camera, and the speakers (one on either side). There is a HUGE bezel though, which could be a good thing. Holding the device doesn’t obscure the screen. The left side of the device (as seen with the camera up top), has four capacitive buttons. The top one toggles the Pixel Qi display between Normal and Pixel Qi mode. Read up on Pixel Qi here folks. It is a brilliant idea, where the backlight is turned off to save battery (and your eyes), when you’re in reading mode. Unfortunately, that’s where the good part ends. I’ve heard that the LCD display is good, but the Pixel Qi Display, well, isn’t. Colours are washed out, and in Pixel Qi mode, I really couldn’t read a book outdoors. The second generation displays are usually better, so I’m not saying that’s the end of the road for Pixel Qi.Below that is the Home Button, which brings you back to the home panels. Long pressing the Home button shows the task switcher and task killer. Below that is the Menu Button and the Back Button. Unfortunately, these buttons are not Backlit. I struggled while using the device in the dark.

The Right side has a toggle switch to toggle Silent Mode and to turn off the device or wake up the display. Below that there’s a full HDMI port, a USB 2.0 Host port, a physical Back Button, the headphone jack, two LEDs that show charging status and process usage (whether it’s running or not) and a DC charger port.

The left side houses the volume rocker, a USB 2.0 Host and a Mini USB port (why no Micro-USB folks?).

The bottom of the device houses the Microphone, a Micro-SD card slot and a Hard Reset Button.

All said and done, it’s a well designed device.  A lot of things have been thought through. I wish it was a little lighter though. Prolonged usage is, well, not really comfortable.


The device has a 10.1″ WSVGA (1024 x 600 pixels) display.

You can get the standard LCD Display or the Pixel Qi Model. Read up on Pixel Qi here folks. It is a brilliant idea, where the backlight is turned off to save battery (and your eyes), when you’re in reading mode. Unfortunately, that’s where the good part ends. I’ve heard that the LCD display is good, but the Pixel Qi Display, well, isn’t. Colours are washed out, and in Pixel Qi mode, I really couldn’t read a book outdoors. The second generation displays are usually better, so I’m not saying that’s the end of the road for Pixel Qi.

As we mentioned before, there’s a huge Bezel, but that way, your fingers don’t block the display while you hold the device.

Another thing that I noticed was that while for the most part scrolling was smooth, Pinch to zoom, especially in the browser was quite laggy. Double tap to zoom works perfectly though. I do wish the resolution were a bit higher though. Most 10.1″ tablets have a standard 1280×800 resolution.


The Adam has it’s own “skin” atop Android 2.2, which is aptly called Eden.

What you have is a list of panels, that you can side swipe to access, and you can interact with each panel while in the “panel view”or launch those applications by tapping the top of the panel (which shows the Window and the Close Icons). All the bundled NI apps can be set into panels, non NI apps however, cannot. The preloaded apps include Mail’d; an email application with multi-panel view that’s perfect for tablets, Sniffer; a file manager, that’s again Multi Panelled, Chords; the NI Music Player, The Broswer which is also skinned and offers a set of quick toggles that are always available and a Calendar app that is quite brilliant. The tablet came bundled with Adobe Flash, and has its own application stor;App Center as you have no access to Android Market. And of course, the NI Keyboard, which is quite good. The keyboard doesn’t have autocomplete or word prediction though, which I hope they add.

You might have noticed in some of the photos that the persistent status bar hides parts of the display. It’s quite irritating. What I didn’t know (which I came across by chance) was that tapping the battery icon hides/displays the status bar. Well done NI.

Performance/Battery Life:

The Tegra 2 processor handles everything really well.

Scrolling in the browser is smooth (although pinch to zoom isn’t), Flash videos embedded played perfectly as long as they’re below 720p (where it stutters just a little), switching between apps is quick, you can play HD Videos (720p), you can even access an external hard drive and transfer contents to and fro and play media right off it. The video player handled most formats, although it didn’t support mkv (as far as I know, I haven’t tried many formats yet).

Battery life though, is a little on the low side. I haven’t used the tablet long enough to give everyone an accurate rating, but standby battery life is quite low! I left the tablet at 69% at night, and woke up in the morning to find it at 14%. For a tablet, that’s pretty bad. It also drained out quite soon.

A couple of issues though, one minor, one major. The small one is that at times, while in sleep mode, the Adam disconnected wireless connections. So, say I was downloading something, and turned off the screen. I turned it back on, and it started re-connecting to the WiFi network again. This didn’t happen all the time though, so I’m not sure if it’s a bug or a power saving feature.

The major one though is that quite often, sleep mode ended up to be deep sleep. What I mean is, I left the display on, set the screen timer to a predetermined setting (say 1 minute), left it aside, came back to it, and found that it was off. It wasn’t out of charge, it just went off when un-attended. I hope this gets fixed soon.

Set that aside, and I have to say I was quite impressed with the performance of the device. It worked: very well.


The 3.2 MP AF camera is set on the top, on a swivel mount. So you use the same camera for self portraits and video calls too. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to use the camera much, but the UI is standard AOSP (Android Open Source Project). If you’ve used a phone running Cyanogenmod, you’ll know what I mean. The quality too, is decent. Nothing Great. Issue though, is that it didn’t mirror the image when faced towards the user, it was inverted. Yeah, upside down.


  • Fast Processor and Sufficient RAM to handle almost anything you throw at it
  • Pixel Qi screen; turn off the backlight while reading. Saves Battery, and the lack of glare will definitely prevent a headache
  • EDEN UI is quite easy to use. Pre Bundled apps are very well designed
  • App Center partially mitigates the lack of Android Market
  • Well designed, the bulge up on the top aids Single Handed Use


  •  Pixel Qi Screen tends to be washed out, colours are not vivid. I’ve heard that the LCD screen is good
  • Software Glitches that need to be fixed (I’ve had Mail’d FC on me quite often, Camera FC’d and I was unable to access it afterwards until a reboot)
  • Touch – sometimes needs a push to work at times.
  • Battery Life
  • Device is quite heavy

The Adam is a seriously capable device. I do wish that some of the niggles that are present get ironed out in the near future. Your experience with the device might be different though. Love it or hate it? Let us know by commenting below.

Check out the full gallery below for the rest of the images and screenshots from the Adam.

Notion Ink Adam Tablet Rating

The Adam is a good concept but we found it lacking in a lot of areas

Notion Ink’s concept of the Adam Tablet was quite good, but in the end the cons outweighed the pros. The Pixel QI screen, which is good in concepts, gives a washed out display with a small viewing angle. The battery backup lasts just about a day even on standby, and apps kept force closing randomly.

Rating by Vinu Thomas: 3.0 stars

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.

Notion Ink introduces Eden

Good news for all Notion Ink Adam fans, you no longer have to wait till CES 2011. Notion Ink introduces Eden in this video showing the paneling system and super cool multitasking on the Adam

Notion Ink posted earlier today on their blog ” … From now on we will be sharing one video per day per application or principle which comes with Adam. It has been a long wait for all of you, and we really thank all those who are with us

Take a look at the video below for the crazy smooth performance of Eden on the Adam with a bunch of apps already loaded into memory.

You can learn what’s going on with Notion Ink over on their Blog. Do visit their website for more details, it’s And in case you were looking to pre-order, here’s the link.  We’re looking forward to the device, which will officially be unveiled at CES 2011.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Follow us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld.

Notion Ink’s Adam up for Pre-Order

Well, this might be old news, but the long awaited Notion Ink Adam tablet was up for pre-order on the 9th of December, and it was sold out soon after!

Well, at least the Pixel Qi versions are unavailable at the moment.

The Adam has come a long way, and we wish Notion Ink the best. It would be good to see an Indian company do well in the tablet market.

Here are some specs for you:

  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 250,Dual Core Cortex A-9,ULP GPU
  • Display: 10.1″ WSVGA (1024 x 600) Optional Pixel Qi display:Transmissive, transflective,
    and reflective modes
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0 Host x 2,Mini USB,HDMI, WLAN – 802.11 b/g/n,Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR,WWAN – 3G HSPA
  • Memory: 1GB DDR2 RAM, 1GB SLC,8+ GB Flash,Micro-SD Card support
  • Camera: 3.2 MP Auto Focus Swivel Camera

In case you were wondering what the Pixel Qi displayu was about, you can read about it here. Basically, it’s a standard LCD display, with the ability to switch the backlight off to save energy.

You can learn what’s going on with Notion Ink over on their Blog. Do visit their website for more details, it’s And in case you were looking to pre-order, here’s the link.  We’re looking forward to the device, which will officially be unveiled at CES 2011.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Follow us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld.