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Notion Ink Adam Price, Specs Beat iPad, but Not Release Date

by Paul Strauss

Remember that Notion Ink Adam tablet that we first reported as possible vaporware? Well, we were clearly wrong, and the Interwebs are buzzing with glee over the impressive specs and hands-on demos that have been making the rounds at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.


The Notion Ink guys have really come a long way from their early conceptual designs, and are now showing off a completely functional prototype of what could be a serious iPad killer.


The final specs for the pad include a powerful Arm Cortex A9 Dual Core CPU, an nVidia Tegra 2 graphics chip, and the amazing new PixelQi transflective 1024 x 600 LCD multitouch screen, which works great in either a darkened room or bright daylight. Battery life with the backlight on is 16 hours, but with the backlight off, you’re looking at an astounding 160 hours, which makes this a real contender against the Kindle and the Nook for reading books too.

While most of the images shown here are clearly renders, the guys over Technoholik have some hands-on images and video of the Adam in action…


Compared on specs alone, the Adam blows the iPad out of the water. Check out this comparison from chart from the guys at Notion Ink:


And while the prototype isn’t quite as thin as an iPad, the Notion Ink guys claim the final version will get down to 1.7 pounds and 14mm thick, making it just a hair bigger than Apple’s tablet. That said, there’s a whole lot more computing power in the Adam at this point. And this tablet can actually play 1080p video and Flash, too. The Adam will also include 3G, Bluetooth and WiFi (802.11b/g, but not n) connectivity, as well as A-GPS.


The biggest thing I’m concerned about at this point is that the Adam runs on Android – and I’m not yet convinced that Android has been optimized for a tablet experience. That said, Notion Ink says other OSes will eventually run on the tablet, including Chromium, Ubuntu and other Linux builds.

Prices for the Adam will start at just $327 (USD), and go up to $800 bucks for a completely maxed out version. It’s not known yet what the base model will include compared to the top-of-the-line, but from the looks of these two spec sheets (1 | 2), I think you’ll be shelling out extra dough for the PixelQi version. Notion Ink expects to start shipping the Adam in the June/July timeframe, shortly after the iPad hits.

This is definitely one to watch in the great tablet war of 2010. For more details on the Notion Ink Adam, be sure to bookmark their website and blog for information as it emerges.

[via Gizmodo]

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Comments (56):

  1. peloski says:

    Rear trackpad for user interface control? LOL!

    • technabob says:

      Yeah, I pretty much ignored that. There’s a nifty multitouch panel on the front, so why you need that on the back is anyone’s guess.

    • Skalawa says:

      I actually find times when my hands are dirty and I have to swipe my iphone to unlock it and end up trying to swipe with the back of my hands or with my chin(both awkward), though I would probably never use the trackpad at the back I see where it may come in handy.

      • vellocet says:

        Where it would come in handy is in cases where you want to see where you’re touching. When you’re using your finger, it often covers an important part of the screen. For instance, in mouse overs for flash docs.

    • David says:

      It’s actually pretty clever. I hate one handing my ipad to touch or type. I basically have to be sitting down to use it.

      Here I can grab it with both hands and control it with one finger on the back.

    • NLstd says:

      I actually really like this feature. jQuiry and other JS libraries don’t see touch stuff as a mouse even’t so there are quite some things that don’t work on the iPad. Also when typing fast you might skip a space. Good look getting the cursor between the words (it always jumps the end or start of the word so retyping is the only option). Given these problem may be solved but for now it’s an exelent addition

  2. MarkC says:

    That comparison chart was made by Notion Ink, and some of the iPad info is outright wrong… Like the Other tab which they leave blank for the iPad, yet list the features in the Adam column (all of which exist on the iPad except the touchpad and the proximity sensor).

    About the only thing the Adam will be better at in actual use is battery life in the “conservation modes” of the Pixel Qi screen. In terms of refinement, polish, and overall fun the iPad is going to be much better – at least judging by the Adam videos circulation around which mostly show blurry videos of really simple apps and a non-responsive touch screen.

    • Sean says:

      I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Notion Ink’s entry here.

      The screen from PixelQi is the “killer app” in this product. The Ipad will be iffy outdoors whereas the Adam will work both indoors in low-light situations and in the glare of sunlight which makes it an ideal choice for an e-reader (similar to the kindle/nook).

      I think the battery issue has yet to be determined. Whenever they ask about battery life the founder/creator has been cagey about how much it will get. Clearly using the device in monochrome mode will get massive power savings, but leaving that aside, I think the Tegra2 chip also is known to be a lower power component. I think until we get something definitive, I’d hesitate to say which is the true winner here.

      The “other” category looks wrong on the Apple side. My guess is that whoever put this together (and i don’t think it was Notion Ink) didn’t know the answer. Also note that the screen resolution wasn’t listed for Adam: It’s worse than the Ipad… 1024×600. But to say that the “only thing the Adam will be better at in actual use” ignores its many additional features: 1) HDMI, 2) Camera, 3) Expandable Storage, 4) USB Connectivity, and 5) Outdoor reading/usage. No one cares about the track pad…most think it’s a weird design choice.

      Still, I’m not dumb enough to claim this is an “ipad killer” (already the dumbest cliche out there) — The Ipad will have better software, more apps, better design, and better support (I’m going out on a limb here and saying: don’t expect great tech support from the 5-member team from Notion Ink). This is not even a David & Goliath situation here…Anyone claiming this as an Ipad killer needs to get their head examined.

      But the “responsiveness” of the screen argument is a bit silly considering you’re comparing a million dollar launch presentation by Steve Jobs (of a finished product) to a hand-held Slashgear video of a prototype model. You’ve got a finished product from Apple along with billions spent optimizing, tweaking, and refining to a prototype of an unfinished product by a start up company.

      There’s little chance this is an Ipad Killer… maybe if they had the right partnerships it could be a Nook killer or a Kindle injurer, but not an iPad Killer.

      All that said: I still want one.

      • JswaroopR says:

        Yeah, the iPad would be a completely refined product and something tells me adam might have a tough time competing with iPad on this aspect :D

      • J. Harper says:

        First off, the company was started by five (maybe six actually) young university grads, but they have more than 40 people now! That’s a good sized company… also, they are based out of India, so I’m pretty sure setting up a call center isn’t going to be a problem for this outfit.

        Why aren’t they making battery life predictions on camera yet? Because they aren’t ready to release yet, and they don’t want to disappoint. One thing, it will have a longer battery life with everything on than the iPad. That has already come out, they are confident that will certainly be the case. So yeah, the battery life will be at least as good as the iPad, but with the option to be ten times (or more) as good if you’re reading an e-book in the transflective mode sans backlight.

        Also, people keep expecting to pay some massive premium for the PixelQI display… that’s just not going to be the case. Read the PixelQI website and blog info from Mary Lou Jepsen… the screen isn’t going to cost a whole lot more. 3g will cost $50 to $100 more, and doubling the memory will cost quite a bit more… those are the real expensive add-ons.

        Last but not least, I have faith that this product will be refined… maybe not to the level of perfect 50/50 weight distribution and a symmetrical beautiful interior as demonstrated on the iPad by iFixit, but if you read the founder’s blog at notionink.in you’ll find a passionate young engineer taking insights from every possible avenue. He has a whole posting referring to how automotive engineering characteristics have become normal in mobile computing, and how he used that to improve the durability of the display! These guys are good, and exceptionally hard working. They have 40 people working for them, and a country behind them for support. Dismiss this product now, and you may very well appear the fool later.

        • Kamlesh says:

          NOtion Ink is a pecise example of why Indians dont mk it big in a field that we virtually run the world over. I wrote to NI a week ago asking for a release date- and they dont even have an auto genereated answer system…. I cannot wait forever for Adams launch. I dont need this toy for anything but my ego and entertainment (being honest here) and guess what- neither can wait. eLocity launched on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003Z6QH5S/ref=pe_69240_16825500_pe_epc_d1
          I hate that we dont have it in us to close a project on time and give a date of completion.

    • LOL MAC FAG says:

      LOL your a Mac F*g, have you even looked at the specs of the A4 chip versus the Tegra. Its not even funny. Plus this will have multitasking something your special little Apple product will never dream of having. Also flash compatability gives the Adam auto in.

  3. JswaroopR says:

    Please suggest me which would be better to buy – I-Pad or Adam?
    1.I would use windows to sync files with the tablet.
    2.I’ll need to use it outdoors in the lectures, labs and during commute.
    3.It should be able to read pdfs and other doc formats and should have a better reading experience.
    4.Camera is not necessary but its good to have it too.
    5.Faster browsing when connected to wifi. (atleast gmail, and google docs should work)..
    6.I’m not really looking for a great gaming experience or a big app-store ‘coz the general in-buillt apps should suffice for me.
    7.Cheaper the better.

    • Spoony-G says:

      If you are seriously going to be happy not having access to many useful apps, then the limited ADAM will be enough for you.

      • JswaroopR says:

        I can’t really say if the apps will be useful for me… but won’t there be apps for android devices too?

        • Michael says:

          That’s a good question! Look at the Archos 5 Media Tablet with Android, it didn’t have the Android Marketplace at first but they enabled it later on.

      • J. Harper says:

        Yeah… so, I can install Ubuntu on this… familiar with Wine and VirtualBox? Yeah, I can run any linux app or windows app on this device, watch 1080p, flash, and do basically whatever the heck I want with it, because it’s more powerful than the current generation of netbooks. So, who has more apps? The Apple app store? Or the combination of Windows, Ubuntu, whatever they come up with for Android?

        I thought so…

        • Alex says:

          This will not run Wine or VirtualBox. Wine requires Linux running on an Intel-compatible processor. The Tegra is not – it is ARM. VirtualBox requires an Intel-compatible processor with virtualization extensions. Tegra does not have that.

          You could *potentially* run a few lightweight apps under Wine under QEmu, but that would be extremely slow (Think 50Mhz Pentium CPU).

          However, for natively compiled apps, it will fly. Android apps are very fast on processors significantly slower than this one, and AFAIK, It will be running a specialized Android build, so should support market apps just fine.

          If you want, you could install Ubuntu on it, and get most of the entire repository working on here, again very fast.

          So, Windows apps aren’t an option, but Android Market and Linux apps in general are. Huge app count there.

          • J. Harper says:

            Thanks for the correction. Didn’t realize Wine or VB wouldn’t run on the Tegra 2 platform.

      • Droider says:

        lol you have never heard of the Android Market? you know that open-source wonder emporium of apps, tools, and games!? The only application market where useful and fully funtioning apps can be downloaded and used for free?
        I would add some knowledge to your plate before you go calling ADAM an app limited platform.

  4. Betoncio says:

    come on people ur not getting the big picture, u cant compare Adam vs iPad, the iPad its more like a toy, an oversized iPod touch, and the Adam is a Tablet PC, if u put linux on it, u can do almost everything, and dont tell me that there´s just a few apps for Linux because u will be liying, let´s face it guys, we all expected more from Apple, a portable MacOs device, and not that gigantic iPod.

    • JswaroopR says:

      @Betoncio -Completely agree with you.

      I too am a little disappointed with apple going for an app based mobile operating system that cannot even multi-task, leave alone more complex stuff.
      Infact, I expected something like this from apple:
      but what I got was this:

      :D :D

      And this is exactly why, one should seriously consider adam over iPad.
      Adam has a 1GHz dual core processor with a graphics card for godsake. You cannot tell me that adam is dumb enough to be compared to something that is nothign but a bigger avatar of the iPhone.

      To be specific:
      iPhone < iPad < Adam < netbooks < other macs n PCs
      (in terms of computing power, which is what matters in the end)
      (I assume kindle has long gone out from our discussions!)

      PS: I expect a long discussion of comments over here now :P

  5. bob says:

    To me the real disappointment about the iPad is the lack of an e-ink screen. With that being said, if the PixelQi screen version of the Adam is $800, then there are cheaper alternatives that work better for me too.

    • JswaroopR says:

      it says there is a basic model available for $327

      • bob says:

        Some people are saying the basic version is with an LCD screen (i.e. no e-ink) and you have to pony up $800 if you want the PixelQi screen.

        I specifically need a tablet with an e-ink mode. To me that is the glaring weakness of the ipad.

        • Droider says:

          bob to my knowledge no price has been set for the PixelQi Screen. the fully loaded platform will hit 800.00 but thats with maxed memory and internal storage.

  6. Jono says:

    Um, anyone who is talking about the Adam being slightly worse tha the iPad (the lower-end one, anyway) – that’s debatable (especially if the Android Market makes an appearance) and if true, well, I guess that’s because its US$170 CHEAPER.

    There doesn’t seem much not to like, especially if it can run proper linux. If I can get hold of one here in New Zealand (does anyone know where they’ll be available outside the US and India?) I definitely want one more than an over-hyped big iPhone.

  7. Will says:

    The Adam definitely has a leg over the ipad because if using Ubuntu, it has thousands of apps that are almost all open source, including Wine which runs Windows programs, it has a much better graphics chip, and it sounds like the battery life is pretty good. The apple products are just for those that just want the simple things.

  8. James says:

    I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but the vast majority of desktop apps are unusable without a keyboard and mouse, and Android is still getting used to large resolutions. As much as the Adam’s hardware is superior to the iPad’s, the apps available for iPad will give it the best overall experience.

    Ultimately, it comes down to this: no wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

    If you want to find problems in the iPad, go ahead, but it’s going to be a success with or without you.

    • J. Harper says:

      Virtual keyboard and a touch screen. What’s so hard about that? Tablets have been out for a while… it’s never been an issue for me. I mean, Apple is selling a $70 keyboard for their platform… so clearly they believe some people may still choose to buy a keyboard. By the by, what do you mean by, “no wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.”? Obviously you are some kind of tech-idiot here…

      A 3g version will be available, it comes with up to 64gb of internal memory, which is exactly what the iPad offers, EXCEPT, I can also put in another 32gb microsd card and use up to a 128gb flash drive, although a 64gb is cheaper. And I can use any external hard drive I want… so, even without anything sticking out of the Adam I could have 96gb of internal storage. With peripherals I could have terabytes available. What about your iPad? Well, you can have up to 64gb… period.

      The point is, I can just plug in a USB keyboard into my tablet… or I can use the Android software to just speak my text. I have Dragon Naturally Speaking… so I can control my entire computer that way. Or, I can do what I’ve always done, use the virtual keyboard… it also has a trackpad on the back, ie. a mouse.

      Ultimately, someone will hack whatever OS the iPad is running on and I’ll be able to install it on my linux based tablet for a laugh and as the toy it is… then I’ll be able to play with the real machine with an Android interface, and actually get work done in Linux running Windows applications if I need to. I’ll be able to do all of this with significantly more battery life than the iPad, a camera, flash, user replaceable batteries, expandable memory via the microsd slot and USB, and a sunlight readable display. Did you get all that? k. thnx. bye.

      • J. Harper says:

        Sweet… I made a wonderful mistake in this post. In a video they mention micro sd card, that’s apparently not the case as mentioned in the above specs. SD card… yep, I’ll be putting a 64gb sd card into this bad boy. 128gb of internal storage… yeah baby.

    • J. Harper says:

      My God… you didn’t even read this article, after responding to you I scrolled back up to the top. The fact that this thing will come with 3g access is mentioned TWICE. You illiterate bastard. By the by, Android included support for tablet sized screens in release 1.6…

      “The essential change in Android 1.6 is that we’ve expanded support to include three different classes of screen sizes:

      large: devices with a screen size larger than the G1 or I7500 (such as a tablet-style device.)”

      Android does not have issues with 1024×600… scaling up an app is easy, scaling down is prohibited unless the code specifically states the app can handle it. In other words, Android will be a perfectly suitable for the platform.

      So I reiterate, it does have a mouse, it has a virtual keyboard (watch the videos, it’s gonna be a nice one), it can run pretty much any OS on it in some way shape and form, nearly all the specs best the iPad, it has wireless, can have more internal memory than the iPad, better battery life, and with the PixelQI screen will be an excellent e-book reader… some thing you clearly are not interested in though, as you would have to be bothered to actually read.

  9. 2noob2banoob says:

    Will android / the notion ink support ffes (an opensource handwriting-based equation editor) or similar without having to manually build it from source? Also will office suites like gOffice, kOffice and OpenOffice.org be available on android or will I have to install another distro to use those? Having an office suite (or at least a word processor) with a reasonably fast equation editor (preferably handwritten) is crucial for one of the main purposes I’m intending to buy the notion ink for.

  10. yaifibar says:

    It’s not an ipad killer, but it’s a serious competitor and stands a chance of doing some decent business. It’s widescreen, has good to excelent battery life, a camera, the pixelQi screen, the Tegra2 proccessor, and usb\sd\hdmi ports, and android. It’s overall success will realy depend on the pricing and marketing.

  11. Sansibar says:


    Adam is perfect, if you are a student and you have to go through many documents. Because it has a mate screen and it got the e-ink mode and therefore you wont get Eye cancer using it and you can use it in the park and everywhere outside when the sun is shining. While the ipad is perfect 4 your couch when the sun has set… thanks to the glossy screen …and therefor it is just a toy… I never would bye an iPad for studying, but I seriously consider to bye an Adam for my studies

  12. Dashing Leech says:

    This Adam vs iPad debate seems to miss a few realities. Really, there are four questions here, not one:

    1. Which tablet/pad has the better specs for the price?
    It seems the Adam wins hands down on almost everything.

    2. Which tablet/pad has a more polished, robust, and mature experience?
    Very likely iPad wins here. Apple makes things that work, work well, work reliably, are generally easy to use, and with user experience in mind. Notion Ink is a new, small company with apparently great technical expertise and perhaps some user experience knowledge, but don’t have the resources or experience that Apple does in this respect.

    3. Which is more flexible for the geek/hacker user?
    Clearly Adam wins hands down. Lots more things to access in HW and SW and linux will go on it. But, as always, this means less robustness. Flexibility means more things that run into each other. That’s why it is mostly geeks and hackers that enjoy flexibility over average public who just want a standard set of things to work the same all the time.

    4. Which one will sell better?
    Is this even a rational question? The Adam is not an iPad “killer”. It likely won’t even make a dent. It might sell well though, and I want one. Specs and flexibility only sell to geeks. What sells to the general public is branding. That’s it. As long as Apple products are known for a clean, friendly, easy user experience that just works, people will buy their stuff. Branding is part of human psychology. Even geeks are prone to it (i.e., fanboys).

  13. Derk says:

    i would not buy an ipad for many personal reasons as well as rational ones like the MANY stated here. i would also love one to shove in my apple loving friend’s face, “look, i can listen to my mp3s and browse the internet and watch youtube” :D

    its upsetting however that the investors pushed the release date back to november, although a number of samples have been sent out for reviews and such.
    i dont need the e-ink version (IF its a separate priced one)
    i’ve seen the ipad, its a “neet toy” sort of like the nintendo wii vs the 360 or ps3, and in that way, i dont want a $500 TOY. i have hobbies for that :)
    plus the addition of 3 usb ports is HUGE, all the different things you could use there. i bet someone will make an add-on to support a 360 controller for games or whatever which would be amazing. plus the use of inexpensive usb keyboard vs the $70 apple ipad keyboard lol

    ipad = interesting toy
    adam = decent powered tablet

  14. John Morrison says:

    hi friends

    how can one compare a prototype as a apple ipad killer. why the Adam has not been launched yet???? may be they are not able to keep up their promises which they showed on the prototype. adams launch is again delayed it will now be launched in September. Adam a product being manufactured in india how can you expect it’s finishing to be as good as an iPad. do you think that you will get the same technical support and international warranty for Adam as iPad. how many of you guys think that every person who wants to use an Adam would know how to operate a Linux os which is so hard to understand when you compare it with an iPad where different apps change the user interface so easy to understand.

  15. Everium says:

    First of all there are more windows users and lovers and a lot of apple haters like i am,i want a tablet that’s powerful not a huge iphone that its lame and it drains a lot of money and it’s not compatible with anything i’m using,apple will always be limited because they want to make to much money and give shiny crap in return for stupid people that can’t handle more power and are not smart enough to learn something useful so all the apple fags that will read this shut the fuck up we’re not interested in your stupid dreams of apple being god-like and there so many other things way better and more powerful then it that are cheep and durable.so go play with your toys and let the adults enjoy something worth planing for.

    • john says:

      apple ipad is not that bad. the only thing good about apple is their apps and UI. Ipad is just HUGE ass ipod and nothing more. I must say that apple is doing wonderful job of taking people’s money away. people are SO Stupid to pay for ipad, which should worth no more than $250. if it had more features like expandable memory or support flash and so on, even then it doesn’t worth $600. I THINK THE ONLY REASON (STUPID)PEOPLE LIKE IPAD/IPHONE/IPOD, IS BECAUSE IT’S EXPENSIVE. i mean think about, for instance if you ask someone if they like Lamborghini, most likely they gonna say i love Lamborghini. they have no idea about hp or about the engine. just b/c its expensive and shine people like it.

      • $ Mac Down says:

        Nice One Dude…
        The only reason i will buy IGadgets is because of Brand name and If I’m Drunken and have more money to spend….

  16. Mitch says:

    How much would you pay to be one of the first in North America to have an Adam?

  17. beep0 says:

    i am just a bit concern on the keyboard cuz the keys look a bit small to me. the keys are rectagular, or am i seeing things?

  18. jscottu says:

    Five years from now you will be able to pull out the original Adam and put the latest version of Ubuntu on it…making it like a laptop…can you say the same about the ipad ??

  19. n.krishna says:

    Investors are delaying the launch. It looks like the investers are from Apple

  20. Emo says:

    I really think so too:P I have been looking around the web for a while today, and its kinda hard to find something good to read on blogs. Maybe thats because there are too many of those around =) But this place actually keeps catching my attention=) Great posts, and kawai design ^__^. Ill be sure to give it more time from now on :P

  21. bric&brac says:

    where can find It to buy??
    thks alot

  22. technodesperate says:

    the adam truly seems better than the ipad but the only problem they might face is brand name even though it is techno savvy lets be honest people buy only things they have heard work well,that’s where notion ink loses to apple but they can probably make up for it with a cool advertising punchline like “ADAM he can eat an apple raw”.

  23. ten thinlay says:

    i like it………………

  24. Amit Tanwar says:


    I like apple products… coz my friends flaunt them.

    But for my personal use, I would like to buy things which compliments my needs and are value for money.

    The Thing is Adam gives us following:
    1. Sim Card Slot
    2. USB ports (I think they are providing USB 3.0)
    3. Ability to read books in Sun-light
    4. 1Ghz processor
    5. RAM and Graphics Card
    6. 3G/WIFI/Bluetooth
    7. HDMI Output
    8. Twin Camera
    9. Easy to attach accessories (Economical range)
    10. A very Less PRICE (Value for Money)

    I expect the best version to be around $500.

    This is going to be a great machine and will not hurt our pocket too, Moreover you can replace your PC or need not to buy any PC because you can do all the required work with ADAM what a normal person do.

    Thanks all who shared and updated us about Notion Ink.

    (PS: once Apple IPod/IPhone/Ipad were also new, so do not hesitate to go for new things in your life)

  25. bluechip says:

    You blog is eye-catching. I get pleasure from it. Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece of writing with me.
    Company India

  26. Emil says:

    The iPad DOES have an accelerometer and proximity sensor..

  27. surani bhavdip says:

    it’s really very nice concept ….
    And attreactive design .

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