Notion Ink

Week-End Special!

Posted in Uncategorized by Rohan Shravan on September 18, 2010

Hello All,

This is the week-end special and I personally was waiting for long to write this up. (Its in 2 part and a long one!)

Before starting to work on Adam, I used to wonder, how actually it is done?  How so many engineer from different fields, continents and culture, come together and create things in coordination? One of the most interesting truth in this journey is, that what is initially planned, is not always what everyone end up designing, at least not on the first instance.

Today I will take you inside the Adam. Explain the design, why exactly Adam was designed in a way it is and more. Lets talk about the overall dimension of the device first.

I will start with the Concept of 3 Degrees elevation. There are 3 issues which were to be solved at the same time:

  1. Provide a Natural Angle of Viewing (else the device is horizontal and will face severe reflections, your hands obstructs more of the screen view and every thing specially test looks like a perspective view instead of straight )
  2. Provide an easy way to hold the device (some devices are there are not there to hold, either too slippery or you don’t have confidence that you can hold it for hours), and
  3. Swivel Camera (which will require a rotating arm and from here the cylindrical area emerged)

This cylindrical section solved more purposes like placing traditional 3 cell batteries (and make it easily  replaceable), good stereo speaker location (instead of at the bottom of the device), GPS antenna location (which should always face top in portrait and landscape views if you want good reception).

There is a very beautiful principle of physics which is involved here. If you hold a plank of wood with uniformly distributed weight in left hand and in another plank in right in which most of the weight is concentrated near your hands (but total weight same as of the other), you will feel that the plank on the right hand is lighter (see image below):

Try it out, and you will definitely smile! :) We have used this cylindrical section to place the batteries (which are one of the very heavy components), so now most of the weight will be in your hands and you will feel device is much lighter and easy to hold.

But there was an issue here, the camera placement (initial design suggested exact middle location [June 2009]). Initially the idea which was chosen was to split the batteries into 2:1 (cells) [Dec 2009]). In this location the camera was again closer to the mid-section and the remaining section for GPS. But as it proved, there was too much of interference with the batteries and the performance wasn’t expected to be good. This called for the final and current design change. Please see the 2 images below explaining the June and Dec designs.

I think I will share the final design in the next series.

You might have noticed the automobile style grills on this cylindrical part as well! That was actually the work of an automobile designed who was involved in the designing of automobile (in one of the earlier post I mentioned about how engineers from different specially from automobile, fields are coming together to work in electronics domain). The main purpose is to provide better grip and futuristic design.

The next section is about the ports and why I feel they are really very primitive for Tablet technologies.

Lets talk about USB ports.

This is a normal Standard Female side USB port. And take a look at the new USB drives which are flooding the market:

There is a mismatch, isn’t it! Even though we have more advanced designs for USB, HDMI, mini-USB and even Power Connecting port, but we were unable to implement those, being a start-up! But this is something which we are adamant to do in the next release. I call this primitive design since because of them I’d to trade-off the z height of the device. To give you an idea they are 5.2-5.5mm thick. Add to that the margin you need to give for the assembly, it will become 6mm.

The last topic of this post is on the topic: 16:9 vs 4:3

This is my personal observation and I believe many might agree as well. Look at the 2 images below

On the left is a device with 4:3 screen ratio. The extra thick edges (generally black as in iPad) are also there. You can observe the huge margin which is there? If you see on the right image with 16:9 ratio, the margins are already provided by the design itself (again black thick edge). I personally don’t see a need of using a screen which is 4:3 unless you can design a product without a thick edge. I wont talk about movies on 4:3 screen cos you all know about that.

In the next section I will take you further deep inside Adam discussing more about other parts, designs and lot more.

With Regards

368 Responses

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  1. Brian said, on September 18, 2010 at 13:41

    Thanks for the update!

    I find having a tablet flat on a table is actually hard to use. It is definitely a good move to have the table on a slight angle!

  2. Brian said, on September 18, 2010 at 13:41

    Thanks for the update!

    I find having a tablet flat on a table is actually hard to use. It is definitely a good move to have the tablet on a slight angle!

  3. Srikant Aggarwal said, on September 18, 2010 at 13:44

    Thanks for sharing the nice pieice of information. Looks like now it wont be much pain on hands if we hold the device to watch a movie or may be play games… :)

  4. Stefan said, on September 18, 2010 at 13:46

    Sounds interesting – like to hea more thougts about the rear-touchpad and the decsion to stick to the Pixel Qi Display. Can’t wait to preorder and hope you could show us some current pictres of the Adam soon :)

  5. Gaurav said, on September 18, 2010 at 13:49

    Hi Rohan,

    Good to hear about the idea behind the design. Waiting for next part.
    Keep up the good work.


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