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Kno shows a half-sized version of their giant dual-screen slate



Perhaps best known for flooring us with their giant dual-14.1″-screen tablet (twice), the folks at Kno have announced they’ll be complementing that titan with a half-sized model. And by “half-sized”, I mean that in the most literal way possible.

In addition to rolling out their big double gun, they will be releasing a single-screen model of the Kno. It keeps the 14.1-inch display, but only has one instead of two, as well as all its other features. It will remain an education-oriented device with pen input and custom operating system.

Alexia Tsotsis of TechCrunch got a hands-on with the device (and showed off his impressive portrait sketching skills). While it’s tempting to dismiss the device as a simplified Tablet PC, the fact is getting textbooks on Tablet PCs has been a challenge for years, often requiring the unbind-and-scan solution. If the Kno can make digital textbooks more accessible, more power to ’em.

The screen chop addresses my main concern with the original device, which is the awkwardness of handling a device that size. While it beats textbooks in a backpack, based on my experience with a convertible of the same weight and size, the dual-screen Kno struck me as being difficult to use unless laid flat, especially with that fabric hinge. A single-screen slate, while still large, should be much easier to handle. Quite frankly, design-wise, it looks like the 14″ slate I’ve always wanted.

Pricing and release are still undisclosed, though they’re still aiming for under $1000 for the dual-screen and less for the single.



  1. JM

    09/27/2010 at 1:09 pm

    I’m eager to see this, and the original version completed. Not so much for me, as for each of my nieces and nephews gettign ready to head off to college. I sure would have loved a device like this back then (we won’t discuss how long ago that was…let’s just say, they were not born at the time).

  2. Tuur

    09/27/2010 at 1:40 pm

    Does it have it’s own OS or is MSFT software compatible with this thing?
    Can i for instance install PDF Annotator on this machine?

    • Sumocat

      09/27/2010 at 1:45 pm

      Custom OS. Linux-based but still custom.

  3. Mike

    09/27/2010 at 1:46 pm

    I’m eager as well.
    It is, at the very least, something different coming down the pike.

    If it is lightweight enough and has the good with battery life and OS then I might be into a nicer larger screen like this. It would certainly be great for marking up pdfs or any number of other things.
    I love getting a complete and reasonably sized full page view of documents. They are, after all, created to be seen in that format.

  4. acerbic

    09/27/2010 at 1:47 pm

    Custom operating system, eh? I wonder what is the unique challenge that textbooks pose that couldn’t be solved by e.g. Kindle software that’s available for any pc, including the tablet kind. If the problem is that greedy publishers just don’t release electronic versions of textbooks, what would make them release them for this contraption?

    This is starting to look more like a scheme to suck as much money as possible from investors chasing contrived novelty.

  5. ChrisRS

    09/27/2010 at 2:04 pm

    What are the spces?

  6. Nameless

    09/27/2010 at 4:59 pm

    If the dual-screen model is 5.5 lbs., then that puts the single-screen model at about 2.75 lbs.

    At that size and weight, I’ll bite, if I can afford it. Dual 14″ has a far too large footprint for those small desks I have to put up with in some classrooms, but a single 14″ slate that I could hold up easily without tiring myself would be more than workable.

    Furthermore, they clearly demonstrate DIGITAL INK WITH AN EMR/ACTIVE DIGITIZER PEN. No apparent palm rejection/vectoring issues whatsoever. I’m a bit concerned as to how I might be able to put my existing OneNote notebooks on this thing, or if they’ll release their own OneNote alternative for existing Windows Tablet PCs.

    At this point, I just have one major question: “How much?” Hopefully, financial aid for books would cover it, given that it’s one of the main uses of the Kno, and it would sure save my back (and room in my backpack) if I just had to carry a single 2.25 lb. slate around!

  7. ChrisRS

    09/27/2010 at 9:10 pm

    QUOTE: “Quite frankly, design-wise, it looks like the 14″ slate I’ve always wanted.”

    Hack this and install Win7?

    • Sumocat

      09/28/2010 at 8:01 am

      Would be tempting, but it can’t happen. Per the unveiling of the original, it runs on Tegra graphics, which means an ARM CPU.

      • Nameless

        09/28/2010 at 8:40 am

        Hopefully, that also means longer battery life than x86 hardware could provide.

        I’ve been waiting for an ARM-based writing/drawing tablet with long battery life and a portable form factor, and here it is!

        And if I need actual Windows apps…well, I still have the E-295C for that.

        • ChrisRS

          09/29/2010 at 7:51 am

          THis looks like a graet computer for teh intended use.

          But …

          Will the programs you want/need be available and supported? (OneNote, Photo SHop, PDF Revu, AutoCAD ….)

          Long battery life will be great. FOR ME, the battery life wold be extended, because it would sit unused while I work on a different computer that runs the programs I need.

          I use an E-295 myself as my main computer. If is getting old and has been out of production so long that it really can’t be replaced. There is really no current production replacement. I guess there is not sufficient demand.

          It looks like the KNO physically meets the needs of an unserved/underserved market. (Size active digitizer, etc.) It is not capabel of running the programs that market needs. Too bad.

          • Nameless

            09/29/2010 at 11:25 am

            I can’t be certain of the software yet, but the note-taking aspect already looks promising in its ability to match or exceed OneNote for my uses (except importing OneNote notebooks; as much as I’d love for that to happen, I’m not realistically expecting it). Since OneNote is 90% to 95% of my tablet mode usage, the Kno would work out well for me at a fraction of the E-295C’s bulk and, hopefully, a battery life longer than 2:30 in practical usage (using an 8-cell main battery and no modular bay 6-cell battery).

            Of course, the AutoCAD/Photoshop/PDF Revu/3ds max/other professional production apps probably won’t be released on the Kno, and as I pointed out, I can just haul around a traditional Tablet PC as well. In fact, I can see the two working in tandem quite often-one acts as a viewer (for PDFs, Web pages, etc.) while the other acts as a notepad for jotting down info related to whatever I’m reading, for instance. It’s a lot like having a second monitor that doubles as a memo pad.

            (As an aside, how well has your E-295C been keeping up? Mine does pretty well with the factory-installed C2D T9300 and a bump to 4 GB of RAM, but the HD 2300 is holding it all back, made worse by ATI’s lacking driver support.)

          • ChrisRS

            09/29/2010 at 6:29 pm

            I am runnoing 2 GB of Ram. I does OK with AutoCAD Civil 3d 2009. Seemes to be runnig hot. (Have you replaced the fan?) It has developed a screen wobble problem If I can figure out how to get the screen bezell off, I can tighten the screws. I don’t lknow of anyone in Phoenix that does reliable laptop repairs.

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