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Those in the Know Speculate Kno Might Be Creating a Super Tablet



Michael Arrington, the tablet/slate maker wanna-be, (remember the JooJoo?) is posting on TechCrunch that big money is investing in Kno, another tablet/slate maker. That big money comes from Marc Andreessen and his venture capital firm, who claims that the Kno will be “the most powerful tablet ever made.”

Kno is still working on getting a dual screen tablet/slate out the door later this year, but Andreessen is saying that this product will offer a complete hardware/software/services solution that will appeal to the college user.

They can purchase textbooks and view them just as they look in printed format. Users will be able to take notes, draw on the pages, etc., just like the print versions. And they’ll be able to access those books on a variety of devices – even eventually their desktop and laptops – because Kno’s software is built on webkit and designed to run on a variety of hardware setups. And there’s a normal web browser too for the Internet in general.

We’ll have to see what happens. But then that’s a familiar game these days.



  1. Dave P

    09/08/2010 at 7:54 am

    I would be interested in “the most powerful tablet ever made” but that does imply that it will have better than the Intel® Core™ i7 vPro™ Processor (1.2 GHz) that Motion is using in their tablets. I would hope that it also means we’ll get a touch screen with an active digitizer.

    But I’m a dreamer. I would suspect we’ll see a dual-core A9 with a resistive screen. Still, it has promise versus the Nook that B&N is selling as an eTextbook reader.

  2. Bobby Keith

    09/08/2010 at 8:54 am

    Interesting concept. I always thought Microsoft made a strategic mistake with the Courier in the leaked videos with it focusing only on design professionals. When I first saw the Courier videos I thought the device and concept would be perfect for students.

    Its a great idea, I hope they can pull it off although I’m skeptical. At the risk of sounding like a hater, I don’t know how they will be able to pull off a 6 to 8 hr battery life they claimed at the D8 conference in June. Also, at that conference in the video I saw they were just showing mockup devices and screens, nothing running at all. So the end of the year claim they make seems like a fantasy to me given they want this thing to have dual 14″ touch screens with stylus support.

    Other than the hardware, I’m very skeptical of their ambition for their software solution. It appears they will be building the OS from scratch other than the Webkit framework for their browser, I don’t think Webkit works as an OS but I could be wrong. Again how they think they can get this out the door by the end of the year is beyond me when they only have CG videos or static physical mock-ups to show for something they claim will come out by the end of the year.

    Also, is $55 million really enough these days to design out and prototype an integrated hardware and software platform along these lines?

    Back to the Courier concept, I believe if Bill Gates was still around the Courier concept would have been aimed at students and MS would possibly have a product like that coming sooner rather than later because in the past few years and even with the arrival of the iPad, Gates has been talking about how the tablet concept is tailor made for the student, as well as business professional and how those markets aren’t being served by any of the existing tablets and concepts out there outside his believe Windows tablet PCs are great for a business professional. However since he left MS, the only tablet product introduced that is geared toward a specific market segment has been by Apple with the iPad which is geared to the consumer market. I believe, like Gates, that the student market is ripe for a tablet device aimed squarely at them.

  3. Nameless

    09/08/2010 at 5:36 pm

    The Kno again…it’s a very tempting product indeed, and the closest we’ll probably get to Courier.

    But as I keep saying time and time again, 14″ makes for a very unwieldy tablet, going off my Gateway E-295C. Now I’m looking at DUAL 14″ screens and a weight somewhere around 5.9 lbs. last time I checked-admittedly lighter, but definitely bulkier, which isn’t good when two of my classes have pathetically small desks that are only just large enough to hold one 14″ device. Also, I don’t trust that hinge design. Looks like it’ll break easily.

    Then again, I’m carrying five too many textbooks, some of which are huge hardcover ones. What I’d do to replace them with a single digital device with a GOOD screen (I’m expecting IPS or Hydis AFFS+)…

  4. Sln

    09/09/2010 at 1:07 pm

    This is part of the #1 Use Case for tablets. It all starts with a capable platform including integrated dual digitizers. Yes that means capacitive and active, unless someone can demonstrate a single technology truly capable of both. Then add a nice touch friendly UI, eBook readers, pdf reader,and finger friendly version core applications i.e. One Note, Outlook, Word, Excel, PPT and Browser.

    Flash is to Film as Tablets will be to Paper..

    Steve could change all that by adding an active digitizer to the next iPad. A minor meaculpa on the stylus comment along with fully One Note functionality would truly be Magical…

    The ExoPC looks very interesting, it also needs the dual digitizer to fill the space.

    Courier was a great concept…..Microsoft should NOT be chasing this market… we shoulda/coulda been here already……

    Newton was cool in its day…. Where would be now if Newton kept evolving into modern times.

    Kno is very interesting, but dual 14″….makes me hesitate; price and functionality are critical. Even if this hits the market a general purpose but focused approach may overtake it.. Kudos on the attempt and wish all the luck…. someone needs to take on this market because so far everyone has missed it no matter how popular the iPad is, it still misses the #1 Use Case… It will make a lot of money and it does meet the other 90% of the general consumer needs but even Apple/SJ can’t change 5000 years of history.

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