Notion Ink truly did come up with a number of fantastic ideas for the Adam tablet. They do show. But so little of their light shines through the muck of buggy software and touchy hardware that we're afraid even the best of them will be completely dismissed and ignored. If Notion Ink had delivered on its promises of a miniature touchscreen office where full Android apps run side by side in perfect harmony and multitask with ease, we'd award it high marks -- all current tablets claim to enable productivity, but most settle to be simple entertainment consoles. Even Google's Honeycomb OS still struggles to find a way to unify the worlds of tablet and phone, and Notion Ink's prototype shows a way it could be done.
Features like USB host functionality, a desktop-class web browser, a sunlight-readable screen and a multitask-friendly interface aren't just value-add bullet points that justify a higher price -- they're the difference between a tablet that can augment an existing computer, and one that can replace it altogether and thrust users into a new paradigm. We're sad to see the Adam couldn't make it happen, but there's still an opportunity for other manufacturers to take up the torch.