Notion Ink's Adam finally available – India’s best tablet?

Bangalore-based startup Notion Ink finally puts the much delayed Adam tablet on sale. The device, which is priced a tad lower than the iPad, is a standout product from an Indian manufacturer, which aims to compete with Apple and Samsung not by offering a low price, but by providing a user experience and device engineering at a quality that matches the global leaders. The launch has not been without controversy, however, and CEO Rohan Shravan defends his company’s decision to keep things under wraps even as it starts to sell the tablet.

e4m by Gopal Sathe
Updated: Dec 20, 2010 7:35 AM
Notion Ink's Adam finally available – India’s best tablet?

Bangalore-based tech startup Notion Ink recently announced the pre-order of their device, the Adam. The company, which is rumoured to be backed by Reliance, is one of the many developers making a tablet in India, but unlike their peers who have made cheap and low cost devices (OlivePad and iSlate, we’re looking at you!) Adam, which was first announced around two years ago, has spent a lot of time in development with the clear goal of providing a product which can directly compete with the iPad.

In that time, shadowy details of the product have appeared. While Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravan has been in constant touch with people over email and through the company blog, there have been no pictures or videos of the entire device even though pre-orders have started.

While it is exciting that an Indian company is trying to put forward a product as slick as the Adam, and is aiming to compete internationally with the likes of Apple and Samsung, it’s a little unfortunate that they have not been able to show the device yet, and now, Shravan said, “We want to wait till CES in January to show off the Adam. If we put the pictures and videos out now, then our CES showing will be very flat.”

However, the company has already sold out all the devices they had available for sale at this stage. While the Adam has been sold out already, no actual details of the product are available yet, and this situation will continue till CES in January, around the time that the first buyers should also be getting their devices.

Shravan added, “The Adam will be shipped from a facility in China to buyers from around the world. Around 60 per cent of our buyers are from Europe and 40 per cent from the US. We will also become available in the retail space soon.” This entry into the retail space for the Adam, which was originally only supposed to be available online, will likely boost buyer confidence for many, and if the Adam lives up to the hype that its creators believe in, then it could well be a game-changing device.

This time in 2009, people were still worrying about the future of the iPad, but 2010 quickly revitalised the tablet category, helped define the app market as the dominant path for online access, and has even had an effect on the way webpages are being designed. Adam could well become a significant competitor in the segment, along with the big boys like the iPad, Galaxy Tab and the inevitable tablets from other manufacturers like Motorola, Dell and HP. However, as the Playbook prepares to roll out and Google has given a demo of a new Moto tablet based on the next iteration of Android, even as details of the iPad 2 are starting to emerge, it might just be that Notion Ink brings an excellent product to the market, just a little too late.


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