Last week, I received a review unit of the Adam II from Notion Ink just before the device went on sale. I’ve been playing around with the device since then and I’ve been impressed with some of the features that the Adam II has to offer.
Learning from the mistakes of the ill-fated original Adam tablet, Notion Ink has redesigned the Adam II from ground up to impress us.
While the original Adam came with a Pixel Qi display, which promised a lower power display tech, the Adam II doesn’t feature this technology. When asked about why they decided to forgo Pixel Qi, Notion Ink replied that the Pixel Qi displays had a limited viewing angle, they were looking for a 180 degrees viewing angle along with a display thickness of less than 2.5mm which Pixel Qi couldn’t provide.
Where’s a review without a quick peek at the device specifications? Of course we all know that only the specs don’t tell the full story, but here goes:
- The Adam II is powered by a 1.5Ghz Dual Core ARM (Cortex A9) processor.
- Display: The 10.1 inch IPS LCD display has resolution of 1280×800 pixels with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The outer display is protected by a pane of Asahi scratch resistant glass.
- Memory & Storage: 1GB RAM and 8GB Internal Storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD card
- Camera: The front and rear cameras are BSI OmniVision Camera 3.2 Megapixel shooters capable of video capture at 720p
- Battery: 6000 mAh battery
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, HDMI 1.4b, 3.5mm headphone connectors, Micro USB 2.0 with USB-OTG
- Weighs 584g (lighter than the 4th Generation iPad)
- Powered by Android 4.2.2
- The Adam II comes in white only.
Build and Design
The Adam II comes in white and features an industrial design which is mostly rectangular in all aspects, with slightly rounded corners. According to Notion Ink, their design is inspired by the art form of a book. In fact, where the book’s spine comes, the Adam II has an extra bezel area which houses the speakers and front-camera.
I like this since my (relatively large) hands can easily grip the device from the left, without touching the screen. This prevents unwanted touch events from triggering while just holding the tablet.
The materials used on the Adam II are of great quality, aluminium matte finish back. A very premium finish if I may add. The top of the device features a Power button recessed near the corner with the 3.5mm headphone socket next to it. The connectivity options are at the bottom where you have the volume control, SIM, MicroSD card, HDMI and USB connectivity options.
The spine of the device features something Notion Ink calls the STM Secondary Display which is Black and White LCD display without a backlight like those you see on digital watches or calculators. This shows up notifications if any or the time of the day and a custom Message.
Adam II Review
Notion Ink decided to forgo heavy UI customizations on the device and have gone with (an almost) stock Android experience, which is a good in my opinion. This should let them come out with future updates faster.
The only additions I did notice were buried in the setting screen, where there were options to configure the HDMI display options and time outs, the Secondary Settings options and Screenshot settings. The Screenshot settings allow you to add a screenshot icon to the status bar for you to quickly take a screenshot.
The Adam II, even though runs on a dated processor, runs well pretty much most of the time lag free. Of course if you run apps which run a lot of background tasks, you may start to notice a lag here and there. For my reading and casual gaming experience on the Adam II, the device performed flawlessly.
The display on the Adam II is a 720p screen with a resolution of 1280×800 is a slight negative on this device, since the 10 inch display with that resolution does show slight pixellation on the screen if you look real close. This doesn’t affect the day-to-day usage on the device though . I’m sure all of us are getting spoilt by the Retina and beyond resolution of the iPad and it’s competitors. Remember that the Adam II is way below these in the price band.
Notion Ink claims that the Adam II’s display comes with ICC Color profiles, with one of the best color reproductions available in the market. They also uses Diamond Glass from Asahi for the display which is quite scratch resistant.
The stereo speakers on the device are good. Since they are front facing, the sound pretty loud and since the two speakers are spaced out on the side, we can clearly make out the stereo effect with these speakers. Being smaller speakers, the bass reproduction is not too great, but then you can always plug-in your favourite pair of headsets for more serious music listening.
One thing to note is that the in 3G version of the tablet, the SIM is used only for data, so you can’t make Voice calls or receive SMS on the Adam II. This is pretty much like the way the iPad works on 3G. I don’t mind that since I won’t really be making calls or messaging from a 10 inch tablet. A tablet this side is mostly for media consumption and entertainment.
The Secondary Display or the STN is still a novel feature in the device, and could do with more useful features going forward. It’s kind of useful right now if you want to see if you have any notifications without switching on the display. You can set the custom message from the Settings menu. When reached out, the folks at Notion Ink said that they are working on additional features like battery percentage and cycling though the notifications using the volume key in the near future.
I didn’t get a chance to try out the HDMI output from the device since I didn’t have the right cables handy.
Pricing and Availability
In terms of pricing, Notion Ink is selling the WiFi only version of the device for Rs. 16,499 and the 3G device is Rs. 18,999. They are currently shipping the Adam II only within India via their website. They do plan to have it available on other online retailers like Flipkart soon.
[alert style=”2″]For the holiday season, Notion Ink has a Christmas offer running – the WiFi is available at Rs. 13,499 and the 3G version at 15,499.[/alert]
Warranty and Support
The Adam II comes with a 1 year replacement warranty. Which means if you do have any issues with the device, they’ll replace the device. If you do have any problem with the device, you can contact the folks at Notion Ink via [email protected] and they’ll arrange for a pickup of the device from your home.
I love the premium finish of the device, coupled with the connectivity options the Adam II provides. I love the way they’ve designed the tablet so that it can be held like a book in the portrait mode, and the light weight also ensures that the tablet doesn’t weigh you down.
The pros pretty much outweigh the cons, so if you are in the market for a 10 inch Android tablet in the Rs. 10,000 – 20,000 range, your search stops with the Adam II tablet.