Notion Ink Scraps High-Resolution Screen For Next Tablet

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We’ve always been interested in the Notion Ink project, which has always striven to be a true alternative to both the iPad and Android masses. Last time, it was through both a Pixel Qi screen and an interesting custom interface, but delays and yield problems more or less buried it and competitors piled up.

The sequel to Notion Ink’s Adam was originally going to have a 10″ screen running at 1920×1200. A post on the company’s development blog has admitted that this is not likely to happen.

What would replace it in the new model isn’t said, though a more common 1280×800 screen or thereabouts would be a likely candidate. They’re common, efficient, and cheap, and the high-resolution panel they were looking at before was none of those.

It says something about the trials of developing hardware as a small company. Someone like Apple has the clout to make the components and materials for something like the new iPad cheap enough to buy in bulk. But if you’re only shipping, say, 10,000 units, the cost per unit starts looking way different.

He notes also that such a high-resolution screen, while it has its benefits, is not really beneficial in the Android ecosystem now. Apple’s high-res screen is being adopted at large by developers (or else), but Android is a more complicated beast and the display engine isn’t locked down quite so tightly.

On that front, Notion Ink’s Shravan says that their next blog post will go over the new Adam’s “Visual Enhancement Engine,” probably a serious makeover of stock Android, and a “Display Power Optimizer,” which is probably what it sounds like. Once they lock down the hardware specs, they have the advantage of knowing what they’re developing for, and final software work can begin.

It may not ever ship as many units as an iPad or Kindle Fire, but the David vs. Goliaths story continues to be worth following.

[via Engadget]