Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Adam from Notion Ink : India's foray into cutting-edge tablets

I had blogged in an earlier post that Indian companies are at the forefront of the tablet revolution. Indian based Olive Telecom released the Olive Pad earlier this year, providing us with our first 'affordable' tablet at Rs. 25,990 - this would fall in the same range as a high end smartphone.

Another company that has been making waves in the tablet world is Bangalore based Notion Ink. Over the past year, company founder Rohan Shravan has been sharing updates on his blog about the progress on the Adam tablet which the company hopes to put on pre-order by end of 2010/ early 2011.




(Images from Slashgear and the Notion Ink blog)
So far, the look has been kept under wraps (which adds to the excitement) but the specs have been released and some of them look very exciting.

Firstly, an NVidia Tegra 2 dual core mobile processor powers the Adam.This new-gen processor will feature in upcoming smartphones from Motorola and LG and is designed for larger screens, better graphics and fast multi-tasking.

Secondly, the 10.1 inch screen offers 2 flavors - TFT LCD and an optional Pixel Qi display. Pixel Qi is a 'thinking' LCD technology that can switch to three different modes by controlling the backlight. In regular (transmissive) mode, it functions like a conventional LCD. The transflective mode is enabled by turning down the backlight and allows high visibility even in direct sunlight unlike conventional LCD screens which go black or dark. Turn off the backlight completely and it becomes a reflective greyscale epaper display similar to the EInk displays on ebook readers like the Kindle. The combination of modes allows the screen to save substantial power and battery life (the company claims that in reflective mode, the display saves upto 80% compared to conventional LCD). What this means, is that the Adam can double up as an ebook reader and a tablet. Also, it should offer a way better outdoor usage experience than current products including the iPad.

Other specs on the device include expandable storage, a 3.2 MP auto-focus swivel camera, 2 USB and an HDMI port and a trackpad. It will run FroYo (Android 2.2) on release, with a promised upgrade to 2.3 (Gingerbread). More interesting is Notion Ink's intention to develop a full-fledged UI and custom apps for the device including a custom keyboard that is adapted to the requirements of a tablet.

Adam offers connectivity through 3G+Wi-fi and Wi-fi only options.

Information has leaked out in tantalising installments over the past year (Ok, I'll admit that we are impatient!). But Notion Ink has promised earlier this year that the price of the tablet (in the US) will be $498. Other options (minus PixelQi, minus 3G) will take the price down to $399. as reported by Engadget earlier this year. If Notion Ink offers similar pricing in India, we will have a cutting edge tablet in a Rs.18,000-25,000 range. I know, taxes will add on to that, but it's still pretty exciting.

Sources:
Softpedia
Wired