Nov 24 AT 4:51 PM Sean Riley 34 Comments

Notion Ink sets a date for December 9th, but for what?

The Adam from Notion Ink was a huge hit at CES last January with its NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and 10″ Pixel Qi screen which offered the promise of phenomenal battery life and excellent visibility in direct sunlight.

Unfortunately here we sit almost a year later and we still can’t actually lay our hands on the product, but it looks like that is finally about to change.

On Monday Notion Ink relaunched their website with a new cleaner look (it was formerly a flash laden mess) and some Easter eggs for their followers.

The first bit of information isn’t really hidden, but it is a little obscure. In the upper right portion of the website there is a binary code which as of today reads 1111 (which translates to 15), two days ago that read 10001 (which translates to 17). So we have a countdown that will run out on December 9th. Whether that will be a day for pre-orders to go live or if there will simply be another announcement of some kind isn’t known.

On the tech specs page there is a listing for “bonus mystery feature ;)” at the end of the list, if you open up the source code for the page you reveal this message: “For any sneaky fellows looking through the code, here’s a tidbit for you, there’s a very awesome hidden sensor we’re going to be revealing soon :D.” The Adam is already fairly rich with sensors including a 3-axis accelerometer, ambient light sensor, GPS, and digital compass. Current speculation tends toward an IR sensor, but if you have any interesting suggestions go ahead and take a guess in comments.

Today for the first time a second code appeared immediately below the binary code. The new code links to the technical specs page so it could be some sort of reference to that “bonus mystery sensor,” but its meaning is still evading everyone.

The Galaxy Tab is doing fairly well in a slightly different niche than that of the iPad as it is smaller and lighter and considerably more portable/mobile than the iPad. The Adam is closer to the iPad in physical size, but completely outguns it in basically every specification. It has a 10.1″ screen, offers a swiveling 3.2 MP camera, 2 USB ports, 8 GB of flash memory with micro-SD support for expansion, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi B/G/N, 3G, and an HDMI port to name just some of its features.

The Adam also breaks from the Galaxy Tab in that it will not offer the Market or Google Apps. This is definitely the thing that has me the most hesitant about the Adam, but given the time and attention that Notion Ink has poured into this device and its interface it doesn’t deter me completely. They have been courting developers to develop specifically for the Adam for quite some time now and beyond that as we are all aware there are a lot of 3rd party app stores.

If you want to steep yourself in Adam info I recommend hitting up their blog as Rohan Shravan in recent months has been updating their followers quite regularly. The brief trailer at the bottom of this post comes from their blog.

What are your feelings on the Adam? If Notion Ink manages to deliver a solid experience (and below say $500) would you be willing to look past not having the standard Android Market and Google Apps?

Via: SlashGear

Source: Notion Ink

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • http://Website Joe

    It would appear that Mr. Riley does not have his facts correct with regard to Android Market on the Adam. Rohan Shravan, Notion Ink’s CEO, has on multiple occasions stated that the Adam WILL in fact have full access to the Market, and it would also appear that Google apps will be fully functional in this device, as is evident in all of the latest UI images that are seen on the website (you can plainly see the images of the icons for Maps and Gmail).

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Despite what Notion says, I will believe it when I see it. It would surprise me if this device gets certified for Android 2.2, but maybe when Google relaxes the rules for Android 2.3 then it could become certified.

    • Sean Riley

      You are absolutely correct that he has said that previously, but check their website for reference to either the Market or Google Apps. The only thing that appears there is their own app store and in the blog they detail their own mail and navigation apps among others.

      That question is also the most frequently asked in the comments on their blog and I couldn’t find a single instance where Rohan responded to reassure people that they would be there. I’m following up with them directly for comment and will update when I have an official response.

      • http://Website Joe

        Yes, but also keep in mind that they only just launched the site, and this site is almost entirely devoted to highlighting the hardware, not the software. For that matter, this site is still so unfinished that people who have been following the development of NI and the site itself have been submitting grammatical edits for Rohan’s web people to make corrections on. As for the very brief software aspect that the site does touch on, this is again only Notion Ink-focused, as it is the company’s first formal website and their goal is to highlight their product, not the third party stuff.

        Besides, is there really an Android-powered tablet out there (or going to be out there) that WON’T have Market ported to it? Its like wanting to buy a car that has all the perfect engine components, body looks, color, etc., but it is lacking the CD player you want. This really isn’t worth the discussion.

  • http://Website RJ

    According to a mail from Notion Ink the Adam will have access to the standard Android market AND an Adam Only market called Genesis.

  • http://Website Adam

    I think the adam may have had some success if launched earlier but with HoneyComb coming up I imagine most people will wait.

    • http://Website warrenbzf

      Yeah, I might wait to see if it gets upgraded to Honeycomb.

  • Leszek Pawlowicz

    I, too, have heard Notion Ink say on multiple occasions that it would have Android Market support. If it doesn’t, that’s a dealbreaker for me, regardless of how good the hardware is.

    • http://Website Axess Denyd

      Seconded. It looks very promising, but no market, no buy.

    • http://Website warrenbzf

      I vote in favor of the resolution that the Adam needs Google Marketplace. Without Google Marketplace it would be like Adam after the original sin, instead of before it.

      I would pay quite a bit extra ($150) for Google Marketplace, and for guaranteed Android updates for as long as the device meets Google’s specifications requirements. I may take a one year guarantee, but two years would be perfect.

  • http://Website Gee

    Nice hardware but looks like its running a very customized version of Android…

    I’m going to wait and see if Google releases a Nexus-like dev tablet for Honeycomb.

    • http://Website Mushroom

      That tablet is impressive but i would wait also for a N1-like honeycomb tablet.
      Can you really imagine how it will be? I imagine myself using a tablet with a custom rom ( miui with the latest theming additions)
      Really i cannot replace my N1 yet as it is still the best.I cannot imagine myself buying a tablet that will not give me the ability to customise it the way i am used to with my N1.

  • http://Website beerbelly

    i will definitely buy / preorder the adam when it comes out. and concerning the market / google apps: i don’t see why not!

  • http://Website VG

    The Pixel QI looks cool.

    It could end up being hacked to the core, with a Cyanogen mod readily available.

    Hope they have enough in stock!

  • http://Website Andy the Android

    I have my credit card in hand…..ready to order….come on Dec 9th!

  • http://Website DroidCLH

    I can’t wait for this thing, epic.

  • http://Website DroidCLH

    it doesn’t matter if it has stock access I’ll just root and flash a new ROM

  • http://Website Jonathan

    The mystery sensor:

    Could it possibly be a track pad on the back like they have been showing off for the past year?

    • Sean Riley

      I know people have suggested that, but Rohan has showed that off in previous videos so that would be a real stretch for a “mystery feature.”

  • http://Website Bharath

    If it is Dec. 9th, I suspect the mystery feature could be NFC.

    • Sean Riley

      This was my initial thought as well, although with the larger device I wasn’t sure of the utility of NFC.

  • http://Website Eric

    If this is as p[opular as I think it’s going to be, even if it doesn’t officially have the android market/apps, they will be ported extremely quickly. Even the Viewsonic G pad from sears got them, and CyanogenMod!

  • http://Website Raveesh

    It’s actually their custom skin that’s the most important part about the Adam. They’ve called their UI ‘Eden’, and what it allows them to do is have multiple apps running at the same time on the same screen, instead of hidden below. Something liking docking a window on your computer. Personally, I believe that is a very, very important characteristic for a tablet.

    Also, they’re using their own app store for the reason that apps for the Adam need to be developed a little differently to ensure that not only they have Landscape/Portrait orientation, but also that they’re streamlined to be implemented in the Eden UI when it’s going to be sharing the screen with other apps (and have 1/3 of the screen resources)

    Standard Android apps will work, it’s just not going to launch with Market installed. Also, they’ve custom developed versions of Google Apps which should do better than Google’s offerings, since it’ll be designed specifically for Adam and Tablets in general

  • http://Website Raveesh

    Also, for the sensor, I’m guessing it could be a 3-axis gyroscope. That’ll really improve gaming on this device, and with a Tegra 2 chip providing stuff like Unreal Engine Support,

    Basically, they’ve made this a device that’ll have something for everyone. Gamers should love it, their e-mail stuff is designed for business people in mind (I don’t know the details, but I think it’s taking on BlackBerry a little with this), and while there’s no digitizer it should still be decent for students to take notes on since they’ve showed off a painting app on it before.

    I think this could do well, as long as the hardware and software mingle well. The problem for most Android tablets is, as Google said, Froyo isn’t built for tablets. This is their solution, and to me it seems awesome. Maybe more awesome than what Google have in mind with Honeycomb, but for that we’ll have to wait and see

  • http://Website Jarl

    Rohan gave this hint for the sensor:

    “Few came dangerously close,
    to change the fundamentals of light,
    but few realized the power of the same,
    and now it even works at night!”

    so i dont think its a gyroscope

    • http://Website Owain

      Infra-red camera? … What could it be?

  • http://Website obiwan

    that’d be pretty cool if the camera had infra-red or night vision. maybe the body itself lights up? like and outline or something

  • http://Website falmc

    Looking at current trends id guess the mystery feature will be linked to augmented reality such as head tracking with the camera for a 3d simulated experience without the need for a super expensive 3d screen.

    From an industrial design student point of view the tablet is very beautiful and overall quite a fresh change to the ipad clones. They also seem to have taken inspiration more with the way people hold tablets more (landscape) and made it ergonomic for that. Hoping it does well and sells in the UK so i can get one next year!

    I’m very curious as to what tablets the custom rom devs are going to choose to work on.

  • http://Website JQ

    when is google gonna start making android powered laptops to compete with Apple?!

    • http://Website falmc

      Google laptops will run chrome OS i believe. The idea is touch screens are for Android and keyboard imput is for Chrome OS

  • http://Website Android Sensei

    This GTab is going to be spectacular. The custom apps, the panels, and stereo speakers are just a few things this has. And Genesis????

  • http://Website Al

    Could the sensor possibly be night vision camera because of the hint:

    “Few came dangerously close,
    to change the fundamentals of light,
    but few realized the power of the same,
    and now it even works at night!”

    because that would make sense with that and could have quite a few uses

    And any android device has to have android market place to be a “proper” android device in my opinion

  • http://Website Linda Paul

    I agree we ith all above–must have Market, Tegra-2 and Honeycomb and I will be there with money in hand.

  • http://Website rajesh

    eli got a mail from notion ink guys stating that adam has market access; check the mail here >