Notion Ink Adam finally in end-users' hands, but challenges remain

Let's catch up on the continuing sage of the Notion Ink Adam tablet. My last post on this one-time Android fan favorite was that it had suffered another delay due to a hold-up with FCC certification.

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The good news is that the delay was very brief and at long last, the Adam is shipping to those brave souls who pre-ordered. Retail units are now in end-users' hands, and you'll note we're still in the month of January, so kudos to Notion Ink for making that deadline.

The bad news? Upon first starting up their shiny new Adams, users were prompted to install a patch. In some cases (and it is still not clear if "some" means a handful or a significant percentage) that day zero patch bricked the Adams. Can you imagine tthe heartache of waiting all this time, taking a chance on a brand new tablet, finally getting it, and bricking it before you ever get a chance to use it?

Back to the good news. Notion Ink quickly acknowledged the situation and sent out an email to customers advising them not to run the update until they figured out what was going on. Of course that's no help if your unit is already bricked, but there is still hope. NotionInkFan posted instructions on how to recover your bricked Adam without the delay of sending it back to the factory for repair. They claim the directions came from Notion Ink. I suppose if your Adam is bricked you don't have much to lose. So aside from this minor problem, is the Adam worth the wait? I'm not sure we've seen a definitive, unbiased review as of yet. CrunchGear did pull together a 'meta-review' based on opinions they've dug up. The general sense I'm getting is that the Adam is...OK. But I'm still waiting for what I'd consider a thorough review. Now if you're cruious about the Adam's UI and you just happen to have a ViewSonic GTablet kicking around, an XDA-Developers user who goes by the handle Roebeet has released GAdam, an alternative firmware for the GTablet based on the Adam's Eve interface. It's still early, buggy and there's no camera support, but the crew over there, led by Roebeet, seems determined to keep working on it to get it perfected. Suddenly I find myself wanting a GTablet! Anyway, if any of my readers is a Notion Ink Adam early adopter, I'd love to hear what you think of the device. Last summer I was sure this would be my Android tablet but now I'm glad I didn't pre-order. If you have an Adam, are you happy with it?

Peter Smith writes about personal technology for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @pasmith.

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