Monday, May 30, 2011

Notion Ink Adam Eden 1.5 Review

     This is the review that I wanted to do when I first got my Adam. I was hoping that everyone was wrong and Eden was fantastic. I was proven very wrong, and had to write a bad review on a device that had a lot of potential. Four months have passed since then, and the tablet market has exploded since that time. Eden has improved a lot with this iteration. Is it enough? Find out after the break.
     A lot of emphasis has been put into managing tasks in this update. Everywhere you turn, there is an option to kill a process or clean something up. It may seem like overkill (get it?), but it really is useful. In the home button long press menu (HBLPM for short) you have a mini panel that shows how much RAM, CPU, memory, etc. you are using at the time. Also included in the HBLPM is the option to clear all panels or kill all processes.
     Let's talk about panels for a minute. They are finally worth using. There is very little lag in all of the animations and movements of the homescreen panels. There are a few more useful apps to utilize them now. They have made opening a full app or closing a panel much easier by putting both options at the top of each panel. Before those options were hidden in the menu key. Panels have been made much easier to manage as well. In the HBLPM you can scroll through all of your open panels and clear them as you please. If you so desire, you can also add apps into panel view from the HBLPM by dragging them from the bottom list of apps, or so I thought, as this action cause the process homescreen to force close nearly every time.
          In both of the app drawers (on the home screen and in the HBLPM) the apps the have an active process have a box around them to let you know that they are indeed working. Something that I found a little alarming is that the RAM meter you can see above is almost always full. This could be because it's limiting the amount of usable RAM, or it could be because Eden is a memory hog.
     Performance got a huge leap in this update. The quadrant score is about the same as before, but everything is so smooth now. It's amazing the amount of difference this makes in the user experience. There are also far less random crashes. They still occur, and since I've only been using this today, they could be more frequent than I know about. Still it's nice that I can actually do a little work on the tablet without fear of losing it all the next second.
     The browser is a little bit of a different story, but don't worry because it's a good one. What the browser gain in functionality, it lost in aesthetics. The side bar has been enlarged and given and odd blue and gray color scheme. It's almost like you are using some sort of accessibility magnification. The address bar has been moved to the bottom and much improved. It works like it should now. Tab switching doesn't cause the the browser to force close anymore (Thank Goodness!). I didn't have the chance to test flash, which is something I should point out. Flash was supposed to come bundled with this update, and it simply didn't.
          Chords is excellent (yes, that is proper grammar). There really isn't much more to say than that. I did have a not responding problem with it once, but a quick process kill took care of it. For some reason they left the stock android music app for you to gripe at. At least you can see how good you have it now.

     The alpha panel has received a few more options to control your Adam. Added is the new ToDO list app. With that they removed some space for the recent apps. The space is more than made for in the HBLPM. You know the HBLPM? It's practically like another home screen, or mission control if you prefer. A tap on the clock no longer show you a list of all of your apps, and unless I'm missing something, that option is gone entirely. A long press on the launcher button brings down the list of apps. Each app that has an active process is boxed here as well.
      This is what the Adam should have been back in January. Is it perfect? No. It is still missing one crucial feature. The Android Market isn't there. It isn't Honeycomb. It is more of a place filler; a drink of water to calm the hunger pangs if you will. Is it better? Much. This is a vast improvement over the old broken Eden. Most importantly, it is now usable. It may be great, but it isn't enough to keep me away from other Honeycomb tablets. We'll have to see what the June 27th slated Honeycomb update brings.


  1. Good review, thanks. I just installed the update. When I first got my Adam, I rooted and got market. After this update, I still have all my apps, but market is gone. Do I need to root it again? I gots to have my market!

  2. I haven't rooted yet because I wasn't sure the root for the old Eden would work on Eden 1.5

  3. Nope it worked fine. I used the automatic updater in settings. Install was perfectly smooth.

  4. I just read that you can get market back by doing root+market again.

    Discussion here:


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