This has been a busy week at work and a lot of changes happening so quickly I haven’t had a proper chance to use my Adam as I wanted, but now I can give you a proper review of my experience so far.
First of all I want to share some information about me just so you don’t think im a biased person or working for Notion Ink.
My name is Bruno Alexandre, im 27 years old and im from Portugal, I work in a ISP and in a daily base I deal with equipments of every kind and all kind of applications.
I’m a gadget lover, I simply adore every details that a manufacturer places on a equipment and im very picky about build quality and software design, I prefer a practical design to something with a “bling” effect.
I started following the Adam back on CES 2010, Rohan ideas and vision attracted me, his way of thinking was just what I was looking for, a project that isn’t thought to the “elites” and accessible to everyone, the concept he had back then of the Adam was simple but practical and the way he just showed Slashgear a working concept, instead of just a video or something has we've seen recently on others, shown me he wasn’t there to fool anyone and he believed in it and so did I and that’s how I started to follow Notion Ink. Every update afterwards and the open communication he had with the community was something I have never seen before and I always hoped for from other companies, the project started to get even better with the first sketches of the Adam and continuous information he kept revealing about the hardware and the design behind, to a point I could not stand any more not having it and offered to pay ahead for my Adam, even before the Pre-order was known to public. I think when a project has a future, even coming from a company we never heard before is worth investing it is worth to support, and help in anyway possible.
Hardware & Design
As you have all seen the Adam hardware is no big news, every person that likes gadgets have heard of Tegra 2, Pixel Qi and all the other features, the Adam doesn’t bring nothing new in terms of technological innovation but it does bring a innovation in design.
The way it was built is just great, it was thought to be used on a daily base in any situation imaginable, the golden ratio does make a difference! The past 2 days I have used the Adam as a console, media player, work support and as a organizer, it fulfilled every expectation I had, it felt great in any handling position, feels strong being handled in any situation I came to face during my work, there's no crackling sound or protection caps coming off easily, the fingerprints are as bad as in a smartphone, you even cant feel the real weight it has and balances perfectly even by holding with just one hand while typing with the other! Have you ever tried to use the IPAD like that ? It just wobbles on your hand unless you have a case.
My colleagues at work also tried it and they were astonished how a small company from India was able to produce such equipment, they never even heard of Notion Ink or Adam, and they just loved to work with it. One of the biggest praises was the responsiveness of the touch screen and how smooth it was on Canvas to draw a line compared with a smartphone, the processing power and the speed of opening apps, video playback and specially the sniffer, many of them were Android users and they loved it.
Everything looks too perfect doesn’t it, well now its time for the bad parts, the screen protector first of all was awful, as bad as HTC screen protectors for smart-phones all the glare and reflections plus washed out colours made me rage, so I took it off and it felt much better.
The viewing angles of Adam are not very good either, not when compared with my Asus 1005HA LED Backlit screen or the Ipad, but it wasn’t meant to be looked from the side but head-on to be able to read so I take this as a small drawback.
The screen calibration in terms of brightness to contrast ratio is very bad, you notice it more when using at dark environment like the video shows below, but this is something that I think it could be easily fixed if we had the proper tools to mess with it like a normal desktop monitor OSD. (if there’s such tool please tell me since im a android newbie)
Pixel Qi, well this really does feel great, even tho sun is lacking here in Portugal this past days, ive used the Adam on the outside a lot and I love how the pixel qi works, it feels amazing being able to read everything without any problems, unique experience. Indoors even with low light conditions for example in bed with the night stand lamp it was readable or ( you will lol ) in the toilet !
Sound quality was just .. man it was awesome, its louder than the Asus 1005HA and the bass is much better, connected to a sound system is just gives enough juice to make it worth, lacks some equalizer but I think there’s apps out there to do the job.
Camera is one of those things there’s not much to talk about, it's a 3.2 camera like many phones have, the swivel does make it good because you can just point it to what you want, using Google Goggles with it is very cool, the design here helps again, with one hand you can easily stabilize the Adam while the responsiveness of the screen helps out the shooting.
The battery when tested at work was empty after 8 hours of people messing with it, playing watching videos, testing VPN connections, downloading and navigating using the canvas, it was madness the number of fingerprints on the Adam, but it was still very readable. You could only notice the fingerprints on the borders.
Well the software is another issue, the idea behind Eden is good and I love the leaves, but not every application seem to have gone under proper testing or QA, they don’t fit well with each other and don’t respond properly sometimes to the commands you give to it, one of the examples is facebook tool, the cramped look of it and the minimized information makes it really annoying to work with.
The lack of Android Market to be able to get some of the Google Apps made the experience even worst, if Genesis isn’t ready yet then the Android Market should still exist in the meanwhile.
Mail app is very good, I enjoy the UI and how simple it looks while having every feature you need, its also very useful in a job like mine where im constantly receiving emails.
QuickOffice is also great, I work a lot with excel, acrobat, word and having the Adam around is a excellent working tool, I can give support to my colleagues in real time without having to go from one side to the other getting the information they need and taking time which is essential in my job.
The browser, I was kinda of disappointed with the UI from the browser, it felt.. wrong.. hard to explain, but once I got to work with the tabs I just loved how it felt, the idea of placing them like that helps a lot when you are consulting online or trying to get updated with the latest news in the gadget world, it was a fast experience with flash always loading in the websites quickly and with no issues.
The Video Player, had some issues, as you may have noticed on the video above, the sound and video were de-sync, I was using .wmv tried also .mkv and other formats, thought it was a issue with the internal SD Card, used my external one Class 6 and had the same issue, must be codec wise.
In the end I just preferred on having the LauncherPRO as my main screen since I could customize with every widget I wanted, with no limitations whatsoever as you can see on the video below, at least until NI can deliver a better interface or Honeycomb is out.
I'm not an expert reviewer, nor I have experience in reviewing equipments, some of you may not agree with me on some aspects but in the end this was my experience, and I just wanted to share with you all. I enjoy every day with the Adam I have, and it will be my main support at home and works to organize my life.
Do I regret buying the Adam ? No I do not, the Adam is a great tablet.
Would I prefer the Xoom over the Adam ? I wont pay $700 for a barometer, but … I wouldn’t mind having the quality of its screen. Also I had Motorola equipments before and my experience was bad.. not with 1 but more than 4..
Hope you enjoyed.