A tablet meant for geeks not for the end user
20 Jan 2012
Reviewed On: flipkart.com
Overall: I placed order for this product on 11th Jan 2012 and got it delivered by 13th Jan 2012. Once again, a professional and totally hassle-free service from Flipkart!
I wanted a tablet that serves primarily as a good PDF reader. I own Amazon kindle - but PDF documents render with very small fonts making it not so comfortable to read for long hours.
I've been following the developments on Notion Ink Adam for more than a year - there was a lot hype about it back in 2010.
Here's my review on this product:
1. An all plastic body with a not-so-impressive finish. But it does not feel delicate. The thick plastic build can sure handle Indian usage conditions without looking worn-out. Dont expect build quality and ergonomics of an iPad, Galaxy Tab and the likes. This one looks bulkier
and a bit heavier than most other branded tablets.
2. The slots for USB and mini-USB looks like they might come apart even on slight mis-handling.
3. The packaging from Notion Ink is not as professional as you'd find on other brand products. This is understandable given the fact that Notion Ink is a small and still evolving company compared to other established brands.
1. I still do not understand a bulky 19 volt laptop adapter provided with this tablet. Didn't the world move to micro-USB ?
2. The screen reminds me of LCD laptop screens that existed 6 years ago. Very bad viewing angle, dull display. There's a matt-finished anti-glare screen guard installed - which really does not help in avoiding glare.
3. The screen resolution is 1024x600 which is sub-par when compared to other tablets at this price range.
4. The touch screen is not responsive. It is either a software bug or hardware fault.
5. It did not detect micro-SD card more than 4 GB. I'm shocked - even a cheap mobile phone detects 8 GB these days. I'm not sure if this is a fault with my model. Again - bad quality control.
6. The swiveling camera, though an innovate idea is pretty much useless as the quality is feels like camera found on cheap mobile phones.
7. The battery life is good enough for my usage. One full-day of testing (playing audio, browsing net with Wifi ON, reading PDF documents) lasted for 6 hours on battery.
8. I could not get this device being detected as a mass storage device by connecting to my notebooks. There again seems to be a bug in the stock software.
9. The capacitive touchscreen is useless without good multi-touch gestures.
The bundled software is in one word - "BAD". The whole idea of layering stock android with so-called "Eden" was a bad move. The whole system is crippled with a totally bug-ridden software. Everything that came bundled - Sniffer, chords, music player, Mail'd - all are crippled in functionality. Infact, with the stock software, its almost impossible to install new software - no support for Android Market!
However, you can easily update the firmware with better third-party/community developed and supported variants of Android ROMs like EdenX, AdamComb, BeastROM and so on. After about 4 days on purchasing this product, I did some research on the Internet and updated to AdamComb 0.3 (based on Android HoneyComb 3.0). The update literally transformed this crippled buggy product into a super-gadget :-). I managed to get it fully loaded with apps from Android Market (which works with AdamComb 0.3 update). However, I could not get the camera to work - not a big problem for me though.
I'm willing to wait for the ICS update from Notion Ink - which would resolve most of the hardware-support issues.
As of now, Notion Ink Adam might not appeal to typical end-users who wish to become productive - the moment they unwrap this product. Also, this tablet might not look flashy/trendy like other established brand tablets. This tablet is clearly meant for the geeks and nerds who enjoy tweaking/customizing their tablet with different ROMs. This tablet does come with HDMI port, host-side USB ports (to which you can plug-in pen drives, external hard drives, mouse, keyboard, etc).
When I first opened the package and took out the tablet, I was very disappointed - that's because I was expecting something like an iPad or Galaxy Tab. But after 4 days of researching on the internet and following the forums and mailing list archives of Notion Ink Adam community, I updated my Adam and fell in love with it. This product does have a great community-following. I was surprised to know that flashing a custom ROM on this product was easy - no need to mod the hardware or other hacks that would void the warranty. Infact, Notion Ink made this product more hacker-friendly - which is a good move.
Do NOT buy with product with very high expectations - but you can join the adam community and contribute to make this product better.
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