Kno tablet wields dual 14-inch, 1440x900 displays


— 11:29 AM on June 3, 2010

Just over a month ago, Microsoft confirmed that it has no plans to produce the dual-screen Courier tablet that been rumored to be in development. Courier enthusiasts need not fret, however, because the dual-screen concept has been given new life by a company called Kno, Inc.

Designed as a textbook replacement for students, the Kno is considerably larger than most of the slates making the rounds at Computex. It's basically two tablets bound together like a book, which makes for a relatively portly system that's over an inch thick and weighs 5.5 lbs. The payoff is two massive 14.1" touchscreens, each with an impressive 1440x900 display resolution. Gesture support is promised, and the screens will also accept stylus input, hopefully with some form of handwriting recognition.

Nvidia's latest Tegra system-on-chip does all the heavy lifting behind the scenes, which should enable smooth HD video playback on those massive screens. Flash is supported, as well, and I'd expect some form of hardware acceleration for streaming video.

The Kno runs a variant of Linux, but you won't need to be a *nix nerd to write applications for the device.  According to the company, "if you can build a website, you can build a Kno app."  The SDK supports JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS, and it appears that the WebKit browser engine is being used as a conduit for apps.

As always, there's a catch. In this case, it's the system's price, which company execs have pegged at "under $1,000." That doesn't seem entirely unreasonable for a device that's very nearly two tablets, but it's still an expensive proposition given the target market. $1,000 buys a lot of Ramen noodles, and that price presumably doesn't include digital textbooks.

   
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