Kno: Big, Dual-Screen Tablet Debuts at D8

If you were bummed when Microsoft pulled the plug on it's Courier project, you might be interested in the Kno, another dual-screen e-reader/tablet that debuted at All Things Digital's D8 conference yesterday.

The Kno is a big device, having two 14.1 inch (1440 x 900) capacitive touch screens. Each screen has its own battery, giving the Kno 8-hours of battery life, but a hefty weight of 5.5 lbs (I suppose all that glass contributes to the weight as well). As a point of reference, the iPad weighs 1.5 lbs and people complain it's too heavy. On the other hand, the Kno is so big that you'd probably lay it on a desk to use it. And the target audience is students; if Kno (the company) has its way, students will be carrying around a Kno (the device) rather than a stack of textbooks. That's the reason for the huge screens; most textbook pages can be shown 'full size' on a 14" screen. Five and a half pounds doesn't seem so bad compared to a backpack full of textbooks.

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Inside the Kno is a Tegra 2 chip and 16 GBs of storage space. It runs a browser based OS running on embedded Linux that sounds almost like Chrome OS in some ways. Engadget, who got some hands-on time with the device, says "the entire experience is essentially a WebKit instance." Price is still up in the air but Ina Fried at CNET says the company is aiming for a price well under $1000.

Ina Fried conducted a video interview with Kno's co-founders and the video includes some footage of the device working. I'm including that video, in addition to a marketing video showing what the intended experience should eventually be like, below. Keep in mind the Kno isn't production-ready yet, so there's bound to be a bit of wonkiness when you see it working.

Kno Movie from Kno, Inc. on Vimeo.

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