Ok so it’s been a couple of days and this tablet really is an amazing mix. First off I have found myself saying to people a lot that you pretty much have to be someone who intends to hack their tablet, this thing really is not prime time material yet. The issue comes down to the fact that Notion Ink’s spin on adroid, Eden, is too big a goal for them to achieve. The guys at Notion Ink have created a fantastic piece of hardware (I’ll get back to this soon but roll with me for now) but are trying to own the experience from start to finish and that just isn’t going to be possible with their size team and given how much ground the big guys have already covered. They should stop, look at what their actual strengths are, and push forward in making the best android experience leveraging their frankly awesome tablet. Ok, so its clear that I like the device, I do, but its not without its faults. The big pull factor for me was the screen, Pixel Qi is great, I am drifting outside during my lunch breaks more and getting used to whipping it out in public to read and browse (this still is a little weird as a tablet is far from being as socially inconspicuous as a phone but hey) and coupled with 3G and firefox (I may have to dedicate a post to a passionate rant about firefox on this thing as it is wonderful) it is a beautiful experience.
The hardware in general is good, the processor is plenty fast enough, 3g & gps work very smoothly. The device is a touc too heavy in my opinion and you find yourself arranging yourself and world around you to rest your tablet on. The camera is poor considering what they could fit in the housing given the space, but saying that it does work (arbeit with very slow autofocus) and the spin feature is actually very useful. When you get using this thing though you still end up running back into the OS and realising that you have a very unfinished experience. A tablet is a thin layer between you and experience and all that expeirence is dictacted by apps and there aren’t any that take advantage of Eden, and with no android market place you are placed at a huge disadvantage to even those who bought crappy underpowered chinese tablets. Logically the only thing to do was root the device and root it I did! This video at youtube is a wonderful thing for the first time ‘rooter’ asit is one continuous shot of a guys rooting his adam while clearly explaining what he is doing. I quite honestly just sat down and rooted right along with him! ( I’m sure any australians reading this a smirking away to themselves right now!). Once complete the android market is available and this just transforms the device; I have all my podcast and rss feeds pouring into this thing, along with wordpress, bbc, youtube, winamp…the list goes on. The point is that I suddenly had a computer. Yet still, as before, you find yourself bumping into the interface again and so soon I am looking at two things.
First I am going to get stock android on here. No it’s not designed for tablets but still I expect it to get in my way less
Second I am going to start trying to get Ubuntu booting on here. THis really comes down to the fact that this tablet as it is is a great consumption device but a really poor creation one, let’s face it…touch keyboards suck, and as a coder I just don’t have the tools I want on here yet. Ok so the summary (as I really need to get some sleep):
The hardware is great. A little heavy, and not nearly as thin as soem tablets but still, if you want Pixel Qi this is awesome.
This is a tablet for techy people right now. I have no doubt that Notion Ink could make this very appealing to people but as it stands you really need to root it to start getting real value from it. Anyhoo Goodnigt. I’m going to try and make shorter, less rambling posts, in future as I’m still getting the hang of this.
Thanks for dropping in!