Sunday, January 21, 2018

A New Tablet From Notion Ink: The Adam?

April 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Adams Hybrids

If you like ePaper, E-Ink and reading your eBooks using an eReader, then Notion Ink has come up with something that is believed to be totally revolutionary: a new tablet that really rocks! What makes it rock is Pixel Qi’s hybrid display that lets you choose between ePaper and traditional LCD display at will, even at mid-reading. And there is a third display, described below.

Why you should want to do that is another question, but it is likely that lighting conditions will sometimes be better suited to one or other of the alternative displays. It was displayed at CES 2010, although as yet has only been given a temporary name: appropriately Adam. For those of you to whom eReaders are the name of the game, you should also keep in mind that this is an ink tablet and not an eReader per se. However, it has a few exciting features that will pull the strings and press the buttons of anybody that gets excited by innovation in this technology.

Pixels’ Qi technology is one of these exciting innovations that you just love to see working for the first time. Enabling ePaper to be viewed without glare in full sun light, and then switching to regular LCD or a low-watt high definition display. It is based on Android, and offers just over 10 inches of display screen at 1024 x 600 pixels.

The purpose of the three display options is that the e-Ink and e-Paper display can be read in sunlight without reflection problems, although you also have the option of a standard LCD display if that is what you prefer – many do in fact, and the E-Ink display is not as popular as many believe it to be. The third option, a low-power trans-reflective screen, saves on battery power, and can be used whenever you want to conserve the battery and lighting conditions enable you to read the screen without eye-strain.

The tablet is claimed to be able to play a 1080 pixel video for eight hours without recharging, and one that you can browse online for 16 hours. According to Notion, it is the only company to use the Qi screens with a tablet, and so reduce battery consumption to about 10% of normal. Not only that, but there are several accessories offered such as a digital compass, GPs, and accelerometer and a 3 Meg camera. It also has speakers and a microphone, and the integrated memory ranges from 16 to 32 gig, with a SD card slot if more is needed. Something similar was created by Fujitsu a year ago: as described in the article “E-paper 2.0 And Fujitsu Has It In Color”, FLEPia e-readers incorporate Fujitsu’s ground breaking color e-paper, 4GB SD flash memory card, XGA quality display that supports 768X1024 and either 8 or 4096 colors can be chosen (Digital Book Readers).

This is some mean machine, and even though it is ‘just’ a tablet, it is extremely powerful with a price tag of around 5. Add to that Bluetooth, WiFi and USB, HDMI and headphone connectors, and you know that you are getting your money’s worth. It is possible to go further and mention its capability of running three 1080 bit streams along with its beautiful profile (not everybody is worried by the spec – they love the looks!) and you will pay the 5 without one single blink.

CoolER or BeBook? Forget it unless you want a small eReader that can do little else. This tablet is exactly that: a tablet that rocks and offers you three ways to read your eBooks, magazines and newspapers. If specs thrill you, then this is 6.3″ x 9.8″ x 0.6″, a bit thicker than some dedicated eReaders, but then again, it does a lot more. The chip is an nVidia TEGRA and it’s not hard to lose sight of the fact that this is not a netbook computer.

It is machines such as the Notion Ink ‘Adam’ that imposes (only) slight doubts upon the future of dedicated Readers such as the Kindle, the Nook and any of the Sony equivalents. However, as yet, this tablet, that is certain to take a massive chunk out of the netbook market, does not compete directly with the aforementioned dedicated eReaders for a number of reasons, one being that it was designed to be predominantly an eReader. Nevertheless its ePaper technology enables savings to be made in power usage and battery life, and glare is consequently lower although the transreflective display option enables you to have a clear view in direct strong sunlight.

Between Notion Ink, Pixel Qi paper technology and Google’s Android application framework, we have here a tablet that can truly be said to be ‘new’ in that it combines the more important cutting edge technology that is being applied to the most modern and sought after tablet and eBook readers. It will be some time, however, before tablets can compete with eReaders for that one specialist application, and because of the size and convenience of use of such dedicated eBook readers, it might never happen. At least, not using current technology.

Where this machine will benefit is with those that are looking for a small tablet computer that will also enable them to read eBooks and other publications, but for whom the eReader capability is not their sole need.

Marco Gustafsson is author of articles on ebook readers, e-inc technology and electronic books. Visit Digital Book Readers to find more information and discover new dimension of reading.

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