5 Things I Don’t Like about the Notion Ink Adam Tablet

December 21, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

Notion Ink promised that they will show a video of their Adam tablet every day till CES, so here they are with a new video today, where it seems they are starting with the basics of their Eden UI.

When Notion Ink first unveiled their tablet’s UI on Saturday, the general reactions were positive, but I think not everyone was perfectly happy with their “revolutionary” UI and even their whole tablet design.  While, I reserve my final decision for later, I do have some concenrns.

#1 Panel system

Since Notion Ink wasn’t sure if they would be allowed access to the Android Market, I think they tried to find the best way around that by modifying the UI so it supports all previous Android apps, out of the box. In this respect it seems they have managed to do it, because the “panels” look like they are nothing more than Android phone apps. I wouldn’t say this is much worse than all the other phone/tablet UI’s we’ve seen so far, but I wouldn’t say it’s much better either. As a first impression it looks like the screen is pretty cluttered by the “wholeness” of every 3 apps, especially since it looks like that’s all you’ll see most of the time.

#2 Home screen

The first thing you’ll seem is going to be a “cover flow” UI where you’ll flick through multiple panels. Now, I don’t understand what’s the point of this if you’re going to flick through the panels when you look at every 3 of them anyway? The cover flow home screen seems like an extra unnecessary step. I think they should simply eliminate that home screen and just let you see the icons, and have the desktop space all for yourself, so you can customize it however you want.

#3 Vertical position

I have a hunch that Adam can’t be used in a vertical position. Their UI doesn’t seem to be designed that way, so for most things you’ll do on the Adam, you’ll probably be limited to the horizontal position of the tablet.

#4 Orange App Bar

It seems like this orange bar is used to access the apps you can already see in the panels if you click through them. I doubt using this saves you any time at all. It seems redundant. Plus the color doesn’t seem consistent with the rest of the UI, and it looks out of place – same for that search bar.

#5 Tablet Design

To be honest, I expect a better design for the tablet. The final version doesn’t look too impressive, and in fact it looks not very well thought either. First of all, the bezel at the top looks completely inadequate. Then you have one of the buttons that isn’t aligned with the display. The buttons themselves look like they don’t really belong up there in the left corner. And let’s not forget about the back trackpad, which seems like it will be disabled anyway, because they weren’t happy with how it was working. Overall the whole tablet design seems poorly thought out and implemented.

Here’s the video, so you can decide for yourself if these bother you or not: