I even got to play with it.
It's been a long, long year since I first started covering Notion Ink's Adam. Many doubts have been raised about this Tegra 2 slate- Notion Ink has no real product history. Their non-standard pre-order process raised a ton of questions across the tech blogs. Since then, I've been waiting with bated breath until CES 2011. This afternoon, I had my first chance to play with the Adam. The wait is over.
And the Adam is legit.
I can't verify the battery life- I only spent around fifteen minutes with the machine. But the tablet works. The Eden UI is so fast it'll blister your eyeballs. Opening up a dozen panels and flipping between them caused no lag at all. I played 1080p video and skipped ahead and back with no lag. It just played, every time. The same was true with the web browser. You can open up to eight tabs at once- and we did. Switching between them was easy and speedy.
We were in a crowded convention hall, so sound was a bit of an issue. But the Adam -was- louder than any of the other tablets I've listened to today. And there was definite bass, it even rumbled a little bit. Gaming looked great too. He popped on a football game and ran through a couple of tackles. Again, no lag, great picture.
Switching between E-Ink and LCD was almost seamless. I tried it three times. The touchscreen seemed to lag for just a second or two each click, but other than that I noticed no problems. Video continues to play, live tiles stay live. I couldn't test the outdoor visibility (it was late afternoon and in-doors) but I didn't notice any glare. The matte screen looks a little odd at first, almost a little bit filmy. Buy my eyes quickly adjusted, and I didn't really notice it once things kicked into gear. I didn't test the camera, but the swivel action worked wonderfully.
The Adam is a beautiful device, and it feels wonderful in your hand. The cylindrical bulge on the side doesn't do as much to focus weight on the hand as I'd hoped, but it grips well. There's enough weight that it feels comfortably solid, but not too much that extended use would be a pain. At least, no more of a pain than it is with the iPad. I had the Notion Ink guys do a little video walkthrough, but the Internet here is barely hobbling along. 120k nerds will do that. Instead, you'll have to make due with a photo gallery.
So there you have it. The Adam is real, and real pretty. Those of you who dropped the money on a pre-order can sleep a bit better tonight.