Thursday, April 8, 2010

Notion Ink Adam

So what I want from my tablet PC is quite simple. I want to be able to browse the internet, watch video's & play music. I also don't want to have to keep charging the thing between an episode of star trek (insert geek joke here). For my programming needs I've got a powerful desktop with a BIG monitor & a real keyboard and mouse so I don't care if the tablet falls short when it comes time for me to start writing code.

The iPad is a great device because it
lets you do everything I want my tablet to do but it does have some major limitations that are a deal killer for me.

Video: I need to convert all my avi's, mkv's to format's that are, well, apple supported. How many times have you thought to yourself, let me convert my bluray disk or DVD to mp4 & QuickTime (the default app on a mac) isn't really "Quick" now is it? The other problem playing video on the iPad is the screen, its a really nice big screen but the pixel density isn't great.
Sure you can play 720p videos (H264 encoded) but with 1024x786 pixels, hi-def content just doesn't feel right.

Internet Browsing: if you want to get a feel of what its like to browse the internet on an iPad have a look at this post on groovyPost. It's not going to be accurate but you'll get the idea. Its definitely a nice experience but as you start stumbling on sites not designed for the iPad/mobile devices, you start seeing some problems (remember Firefox will display flash, the iPad won't).

Enter Adam, Notion Ink's Adam is a device with a lot of promise, support for 1080p video, Android & an HDMI port letting you connect it to your LCD TV.
The tegra2 processor on the Adam should let us play almost any content; at this point its still a little trouble playing divx & mkv's on Android, but I really think because of the open nature of the OS it won't be long before this'll be fully supported (Notion Ink might just release Adam with support for these video formats).

16 hours of HD video playback is unheard of in most devices & if the Adam can deliver, that alone would be a reason to buy it.

Then there's the Pixel Qi display, if you don't already know about it, search google for it and you'll be impressed. The display let's you turn off the led's resulting in HUGE power reduction when there's enough ambient light & you're reading something. It might not be as nice as the e-ink but its close. Having said this,
the display of the Notion Ink is still a 1024x600 display & if anything might not be as nice as the iPad's but there will be smaller black bars on the screen while playing HD content.

Then there's the internet browsing. The guys at Notion Ink want to wait for flash to become stable before they release the Adam. That in my humble opinion isn't the right thing to do. Sure full flash support will result in a much richer browsing experience, but even in its current state, its going to be no worse than the iPad or other similar devices. I like browsing on my Android powered device, some things could be improved (text flow on double tap, pinch & zoom) but those are pure software components that can be improved.

In conclusion, The iPad's a great little device but I'll wait and see what the guys at Notion Ink come out with. I just hope they come out with something before its too late.