Unveiled in December of 2010, Notion Ink's original Adam was intended to be an innovative, disruptive Android tablet that could compete with the iPad. Its primary selling point - besides a relatively high-end (at the time) dual-core Tegra 250 processor and 1GB of RAM - was a UI overlay known as Eden, which promised to make underlying the Android 2.2 more tablet-friendly. Launched to much fanfare in January 2011, the Adam never quite caught on the way Notion Ink had hoped; shipping delays, software issues, and poor build quality led the company to sell fewer units than anticipated. Two years and several versions of Android later, Notion Ink's ready to give it another go with the Adam 2.
The Notion Ink Adam has had a long sordid history. The 10" tablet that promised a full-color LCD display in the same housing as a transflective display that provides e-ink-like readability without a backlight looked great but failed to catch on in the market. The device still has its share of devoted followers, though. If you're among them, then we've got a tasty treat for you: an Ice Cream Sandwich beta.
The new build is being created by third-party devs, but Notion Ink is promoting it on their official blog. It's unclear how much Notion Ink is involved in the process, but it's nice to see Google's latest software come to the tablet that the blogs forgot.
In a post to Notion Ink's official blog today, the Indian manufacturer announced a new partnership with Texas Instruments. The company indicated that the Adam II (a follow up on Notion's first Android tablet) will feature TI's OMAP44xx processor, as well as a few other TI components:
Adam II will be using OMAP44xx processor along with other TI components like Wi-Link 7.0 and Phoenix Audio Power Amplifiers. Adam II will also leverage the power optimizations achieved using mature combination of TI’s integrated power-management IC.
Additionally, Notion Ink revealed that the Adam II will be running Ice Cream Sandwich, and feature "the world's first Modular Based Software Architecture," promising drag-and-drop functionality for creating customized applications.
Rohan Shravan, CEO of Notion Ink, updated a blog post yesterday with a rather nonchalant statement revealing that the source code behind Ice Cream Sandwich may be released November 17th. Yes, you read correctly – this Thursday may be the day.
Normally a remark like this wouldn't be taken at face value, but Shravan already has a track record with this sort of thing, having accurately predicted the release of Android Gingerbread last year. Shravan's claim seems even more plausible when considering the fact that the European Galaxy Nexus has been confirmed for launch on the 17th. You may also remember that Dan Morrill made it clear last month that Ice Cream Sandwich's source would not be released before the Galaxy Nexus.
The successor to the odd little tablet that is the Notion Ink Adam is set to hit the streets in December 2011 and will be featured at CES in January 2012 in Las Vegas, according to Notion Ink founder Rohan Shravan. Hardware details for the Adam 2 are pretty scarce right now, but we're hearing rumors that it could include the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and an updated Pixel Qi display that allows for better use in direct sunlight.
Of course this is all just hearsay a the moment, and I would definitely take it with a grain of salt considering Notion Ink's track record with release dates and software updates.
The founder of Notion Ink has updated the corporate blog with a number of changes that are coming to the company's Adam. For those of you interested in the Tegra-2 powered 10.1-inch tablet, the company is also opening up sales again, albeit by invite only.
We've covered Notion Ink's tablet progress through a number of controversies surrounding shipping and build quality, but it looks like the tablet will be finally getting an update to Honeycomb by the end of June if all goes according to plan.
Other updates include an new version of the Adam-specific market (even though you can unlock normal market access yourself), a kernel update, advanced customer support and hints at @Home support in the future.
Ok, so we have some good news and some not-as-good-as-you-would-like-it-to-be news for Notion Ink Adam owners. Let's start with the good: according to the official Notion Ink blog, the kernel source code for the Adam has been released. Great, right? Now all of the custom fun that you've been waiting for is just around the corner, you just have to wait on developers to download the code and get to work.
Oh, the not-as-good-but-still-decent news? It looks like there is also an update on the way... but it's not a Honeycomb update. I know, it's disappointing, but at least it's something.
Notion Ink is one of the most controversial companies in recent Android history - it's gone through product delays, building up one of the most passionate communities around, followed by communication issues that you could write a suspenseful thriller about (I am fairly sure there is enough for a trilogy with twists at the end of every chapter), and some of the weirdest reasons for shipments delays we've ever seen.
So far, the only communication methods available were commenting on the official blog, where your thoughts were quickly drowned in a sea of others', and emailing customer support, which probably resulted in more frustration and rage than trying to have a meaningful conversation with a concrete wall (those walls just don't get it, do they?).
Notion Ink's Adam has been through quite a bit on the long road to last month's launch, including concerns over its legitimacy and policies, ordering snafus, booting problems, and various bugs, but it hasn't stopped the company from steadily working on Adam's second major software patch.
While the first update ended up soft-bricking some devices (preventing them from booting, fixable by full system restore), the second one seems to be safe to apply and contains quite a few fixes and enhancements.
Infamous Greg from Notion Ink Fan does a great job highlighting some of the bugs and demonstrating the fixes in the following videos.
Well, this didn't take long - the hackers over at NotionInkHacks.com played around with Notion Ink's dual-core Adam Android tablet that finally started shipping last week and already managed to root the device.
The next logical step and the primary motivation for rooting Adam was, of course, getting the absent Android Market onto the tablet. As we all know, those with almighty root privileges are not easily stopped, so I'm happy to report that full Android Market is now also available on the Adam.
Check out these screenshots I've taken from videos by FreezerBite1 and Inspiron41 of their rooted Adams - the first one showing the Android Market, the second one playing Dungeon Defenders installed off said Market, and the third one of Launcher Pro that replaced the Eden UI (good riddance, in my opinion - I've always thought of it as too crude and poorly designed):
And here are the aforementioned videos:
Rooting + Market Instructions
Here are the latest available instructions, as per this NotionInkHacks post.