When Microsoft confirmed and promptly cancelled the Courier, many of us were heartbroken. The idea of a dual screen tablet was enticing, especially with what the product videos showed off. The Kno may not be the Courier exactly, but it does promise a dual-screen tablet that has the chance to make it to market.
The Kno is a Tegra 2-powered dual 14-inch tablet running on a custom Linux build. Both screens are IPD with a 1440×900 resolution and accept touch and stylus inputs. The main idea behind the Know is to make a digital textbook for students. Kno already has many textbook publishers like Pearson, McGraw Hill Education, Cengage Learning and Wiley who have agreed to ut their textbooks onto the device. The textbooks will be interactive with video and hyperlinks. Students can use both screens for the texts or just one screen with the other screen a web browser, notes or any other app. Of course this also means students can just have notes on on screen and the web on another.
There are claims that the tablet will run for six to eight hours. Each screen will be just over half an inch thick, and it will weigh about 5.5 pounds. The Know will only have 16 GB of flash storage, though that’s probably enough for a few semesters of textbooks. There is one downside, however, the only price Kno will say is “under $1000,” which usually manes $999, though not always.
If the Kno does cost $999, the impracticality of the screen sizes paired with the price would likely mean it’ll be dead in the water. Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s no market. Having just left college I can say that the idea of being able to carry all textbooks around as well as a computer without all the extra bulk would have been very nice. It would mean that textbooks would likely be more expensive due to the lack fo used market, but the convenience of having so much less to carry or remember to bring would be much easier. There’s something nice about the idea of just throwing something like the Kno in a bag and not much else and rushing off to class.