Notion Ink Adam: Rooted, Market Access, Unsettling FCC Pictures, and Bugs & Complaints


The Notion Ink Adam has been in the hands of users since Tuesday, and you had to think those excited folks would start tinkering with their shiny new tablets right away. It’s Friday, and there’s a whole lot that’s come out to help you keep busy with it on the weekend.

Firstly: it’s been rooted. The process is as simple as they come, and even if you somehow mess up, it’s just as easy to unbrick. Not only will this root your device and give you superuser access, but it”ll also install a working Android market so that you can use the same apps you always have. NotionInkHacks has the instructions to root here, while the unbricking or restore instructions are here. (Note: there are separate files for the Pixel Qi and LCD versions.)

Secondly: the FCC has published the materials associated with the Adam’s filings, and with that come pictures of the device’s innards. Taking one look at this thing, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think the processor was literally hanging on by a thread. It isn’t a pretty sight, and it’s cause for concern in terms of the product’s longevity. Don’t be surprised if something inside your Adam breaks soon.

Finally, you had to expect there’d be bugs uncovered with this thing by now. Several users are alleging that their Pixel Qi screens constantly show a vaporizing pattern, something Notion Ink says is characteristic of the Pixel Qi display. General build quality (see: FCC pictures) has also been questioned, and they feel the bezel isn’t as thin as product images would have them.

Furthermore, they said Notion Ink has been pretty ho-hum when asked about returning a device for a repair, exchange, or refund. Let’s hope they’re just going through their customer service growing pains as a start-up because something like this could easily ruin a reputation.

[via Android-Police, Engadget, Electronista]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Anyone surprised?

  2. In all fairness to Notion Ink, looking through the pdf of internal photos on the FCC site it would appear that item seemingly not attached to anything other than by a cable is the GPS antenna and not the processor (page 11 of the FCC doc).

    However it still seems strange that it isn’t doesn’t appear more securely located in these pictures but I suggest we’d need a more detailed review of the internals before passing judgement.

  3. Oh yeah I knew this was coming when I went to their website and noticed that the only link to customer support was a email address. Notion Ink knows exactly what they are doing. Thats why all of the Blog Sites haven’t received their adams yet, because Notion Knows that once those official product reviews come out this piece of shit will be deemed an official fail. They also knew that they needed to get those pre-orders running before anyone could see the actual product because no one would have bought it otherwise. And now the arrogant Rohan Shravan is gloating and bragging about the Adam 2 which I am now certain is being funded by the purchases of this crappy tablet. I want all of the Adam Preorder contestants to please answer this question honestly: If you knew back then what you know now, would you still have preoredered?

  4. “Taking one look at this thing, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think the processor was literally hanging on by a thread.”

    You don’t. The processor has to be physically attached to the main board.

  5. Quentyn, just review the damn thing before throwing more opinions and remarks out about it! I don’t know what to think anymore!

  6. Good point Matchstick. In all fairness, we are looking at photos the FCC uses to document a product. Quentyn Kennemer displays his innability to research before broadcasting an opinion by mistaking the GPS module for the processor. Whether you write an editorial review to be an impartial author or to flame a new product into oblivion is your choice as the author, but expect readers to respond appropriately.
    Lets remember to consider what the FCC’s purpose is. They aren’t users of the product. Often times manufacturers attach items to both sides of a case. Doing this would obviously impede the FCC’s efforts and they may have removed whatever method was used to secure the GPS module.

  7. Yeah, the fourth picture in the “Internal Photos” document has the CPU pretty clearly shown. I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure it’s the big square that looks like a heatsink with a CPU on it.

  8. Looking at the FCC document, it appears that the item this blog says is the processor is actually the GPS module. Too bad the author did not look at all the pictures in the document.

  9. I can’t decide if I want to order one or not. It’s just about the cheapest option for someone like me who wants the no-contract option and a 10 inch screen (so no Nook). On the other hand, the bezel is kind of huge.

  10. Looking at the coaxial wire attaching the floating metal thing, I’d say it’s an antenna of some kind. It’s probably floating because it attaches to the removed panel.

  11. Looking at the logo on one of the external photos in FCC site it is clear that the model in question was an old one.
    So, things may have changed afterwards. But someone needs to tear down his/her own device and tell us what is inside now.

  12. “I’d think the processor was literally hanging on by a thread”. That was just hilarious. Don’t want to say anything more. Good luck phandroid.

  13. @Simon that’s what I thought, and from first glance, it looks like it’s dangling from a couple pieces of wire. I insinuated nothing more and nothing less. But I now see where the actual processor and heatsink is. Still, that dangling “whatever it is” doesn’t look pretty.

  14. it runs great now with Market Access~


  15. The ‘dangling thing’ is the GPS or compass. The ‘wire’ it attached with is a micro coaxial cable, a standard in govt and consumer electronics. I assume it actually mounts to the housing panel not shown in the image, thus why it is loose.

    I work in the electronics industry as a manufacturing engineer, I work with consumer and military products and nothing from those images shows anything less than a standard product and should not arouse any concerns.

    “Don’t be surprised if something inside your Adam breaks soon.”
    That is just distasteful to say.

  16. That’s what she said.

  17. True dat, Quentyn, but what about a review? Are you going to put it through its paces?

  18. Quite glad I did not buy this thing…

  19. This is basically a Malata Zpad (Harmony device) in a new case with a custom UI. It’s made by Malata. It has all the same hardware too as the ViewSonic G Tablet (also made by Malata) with exception to the camera.

  20. “Don’t be surprised if something breaks soon” …? Pretty irresponsible thing to say.

  21. Lazy, irresponsible, and malicious. Isn’t time for you guys to throw in more sponsored text from anyone with some dollar bills behind them ? C’mon.

  22. @wise: “And now the arrogant Rohan Shravan is gloating and bragging about the Adam 2 which I am now certain is being funded by the purchases of this crappy tablet.”

    I’m puzzled: Isn’t that the way new product development is usually funded — by revenues from existing products?

  23. Folks at XDA will be posting pics of the innards any day now. Then we’ll get a real assessment of build quality. Those are the people to pay attention to, not reviewers — they’re the ones who actually know what matters. e

  24. Look at the pics on notion inks blog. There is something missing in the fccs pics compared to those from the factory assembly line. The processor in the fcc pic had been tampered with already before the pic was taken. In anycase id take a four day old rooted Adam over a locked down moto Xoom any day.

  25. LMAO! If one were to look at the inside of any device such as this, one might conclude that at some point something might break really soon. Especially if you don’t know wtf you are doing. Put the cover back on and hope… you didn’t mess up anything. (One puts cover on, ganders from side to side and whistles.) Great chuckle thanks. :)

  26. uh yea…
    I wouldn’t go drawing any conclusions about build quality from some photos by FCC. First, we’re talking about the FCC…a government agency.

    Wait for a proper tear down by some techs who know how to desect a piece of electronics without breaking it.

    But that said….
    I wouldn’t buy of these tablets at this point. Let the early adopters waste their money. NI and Adam will suceed when they are in Best Buy and the Big Box Stores. They don’t even have a supply chain established yet, and can only sell units basically by lottery. How many preorders are they going to have? 1, 2, 3. I don’t give them much chance right now. Too many heavy hitters coming up to bat with thier own tablets, and honeycomb. Adam is safe for technogooks to play with, but not for the general public consumption.

  27. I doubt the will be shipped to customers with the GPS antenna dangling and the back panel off. Also note that the fcc does tear down a device esp. all things RF, like the antennae.

    Any thing that FCC can open up, they will, and keep photos of them. I am actually impressed at the build quality. The GPS antenna seems large and I am guessing is very sensitive.

    BTW FYI The chips (ICs) including the NVIDIA Tegra2, are all hidden under paper cutouts to prevent competitors from seeing too much.

    Shoddy misinformed , mis-informative article.

  28. From a few comments I read on other sites, this is a PROTOTYPE of the adam. If you compare it to pictures Rohan posted on the blog, it looks nothing like this. One commenter pointed out that the touchpad is still there, which was removed in the final build, and the ADAM name was in all capitols which was also changed. Remember the FCC did probably review this a while ago. It’s not meant to look gorgeous, it’s just supposed to work and show off. Hence the name prototype. Just my 2 cents.

  29. Sigh. Anyone can start blogging or writing for a “tech site” and Google calls it news. The same conjecture and fiction gets regurgitated by numerous sites. Makes it frustrating when you want NEWS alerts.

    At least this writer understands that the FCC doesn’t tear down anything – these are photos submitted by the manufacturer with the application for certification.

    I’m probably holding out for a Motorola or Toshiba tablet, but still looking to NI if some of these issues are resolved. Nonetheless, it is unfair to bash NI on the basis of these photos which are to illustrate and document the RF components.

    Anyone who has EVER opened an RF equipped device (WiFi, cellular data) would IMMEDIATELY recognize the mini coax RF cable attached to the “processor” and would know that this was an antenna. It was likely detatched from the portion of the case that was removed and “posed” for the picture.

  30. Eh?? Have you ever seen a processor in your life connected with a single thin wire like that? No, right?

    Then why would you even suggest this is a processor????

    I like Phandroid but this is a pretty bad article.

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