It's...um, a feature?
The Notion Ink Adam will ship with at least one unusable feature. Notion Ink Hacks had a Q&A with CEO Rohan Shravan of Notion Ink. They asked him, "Will you ever send a software update to the Adam to enable the touchpad?"
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Which was news to me. There's nothing about a touchpad on the spec sheet. Let alone a disabled touchpad. The Adam IS set to ship with a 'mystery' sensor, but somehow I don't think that is a busted touchpad.
"Right now I have no idea on that. We wanted to do something special, and it seems that its going to take little more time. As a hack you can infact open the device as add as big a trackpad possible and it will just work (with x axis reversed)!"
So it'll be disabled, but not if you're willing to "hack" it. This is a bit odd. Fortunately, the Adam is out-of-stock right now. Meaning those of you who sat on the fence will just have to wait and see how well the first wave of Adams are received.
Also revealed is the fact that the multi-touch function will work in e-paper mode, and the existence of anti-rooting protections. Notion Ink also plans to give out the tools to recover the ROM, but not immediately.
I really don't know what to make of the Adam. So much about it seems right, from the posted in-use video to Rohan's regular blog updates, to the design of the Adam itself. But Notion Ink botched the pre-sale launch and failed to provide customers with adequate information before asking them to plunk down $500. Notion Ink claims to be debuting at CES 2011, but they aren't registered as an exhibitor.
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Rohan's justification is that they are saving money by hitching on with other companies (I've heard Nvidia). And the pre-order debacle may just have been the growing pains of a new company. The truth will come out soon enough, and we'll see just how much substance the Adam has.