Notion Ink might just be the darkhorse for the company that creates "the" tablet to beat in 2011. All of the mainstream buzz is obviously surrounding the purported second-gen iPad
, which is rumored to ship later this year, but Notion Ink's 'Adam
' has one thing that Apple probably doesn't: a Pixel Qi display. If you aren't familiar with Pixel Qi, that's a display company based out of Taiwan, and their proprietary panels are very unique in a couple of ways. For one, they're nearly as energy efficient as your average E Ink display, like those found in the Kindle, but unlike typical e-paper, the Pixel Qi display is capable of displaying color and full-motion video.
On the Adam, the Pixel Qi display has a matte overlay, and early reports are suggesting that it's one of the nicest mobile displays in the industry. Notion Ink has had a whale of a time getting everything perfect in the lab, as people have been expecting it to ship for the better part of last year. The company was at CES 2011 showcasing it to select media outlets, which signals that it's actually fairly close to final. That's a very positive sign for a very small company; as Fusion Garage knows, it's quite hard to compete with Apple and the iPad, but having a standout display like this may be the difference maker.
According to a recent blog post by the company's CEO, the Adam has just received clearance from the FCC in order for it to be sold in America, and generally speaking, that's the last major hurdle to hop before a wireless consumer electronics product goes on sale. It can take days to weeks for an item to pass through the FCC and then go on sale, but it's clear that the product here is quite a bit closer to retail reality than it has been in the past. If all goes as planned, Notion Ink plans to start shipping out Adam tablets to those who pre-ordered around Wednesday, and we're hoping that production ramps up nicely so that shipping can continue for those who are willing to buy now that it's shipping. But of course, with the delays that the company has already endured, we're trying not to get our hopes up too high just yet.