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Jumbo Dual-Screen "Kno" Tablet Debuts At D8 106

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-don't-supersize-me-quite-so-hard dept.
itwbennett writes "The Microsoft Courier may be a dead project, but that doesn't mean you can't still have a dual-touchscreen e-reader. And a super-sized one at that, says blogger Peter Smith. The Kno, which debuted at All Things Digital's D8 conference yesterday has '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. ... 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-inch screen.' 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 $1,000."
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Jumbo Dual-Screen "Kno" Tablet Debuts At D8

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  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @11:13PM (#32454146)
    So why not just get a laptop? For $400 you can get a 14 inch screen, full keyboard, a real OS, can do tons of other things, etc.

    If its not e-ink to reduce strain on eyes, not running a real OS (as in full Windows, Linux or OS X), no full keyboard, etc. Why buy it? Under $1,000 means nothing, if its $200, yeah, I can think about getting one. For $250, I can buy a dedicated e-ink e-reader, for $350, I can buy a low end laptop or decent network, for $500 I can buy a great laptop or an iPad and anything more than $500 would just be pointless.

    Really, why would I want a giant, heavy, LCD tablet not running a real OS?
    • *network should read as netbook.
    • Entourage Edge (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Daetrin (576516) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @11:50PM (#32454328)
      I agree completely. I'm much more interested in the Entourage Edge [wikipedia.org], or at least the general idea of something like that. One regular LCD screen and one e-ink screen.

      Of course i'll be waiting to see if there's a second generation version that fixes all the problems present in the first model. [engadget.com] In particular, it needs to have Android 2.2, complete with access to the regular app store. Both screens need to have multitouch. You need to be able to put it in laptop configuration and use the bottom screen as a virtual keyboard. And it would be nice if when you have it folded all the way backwards you could use the screen on the back to control a pointer on the front screen. (I think the Motorola Backflip does something like that?) Oh yeah, and it needs expandable memory. Now if they could get all that together in one package for a reasonable price i'd be seriously interested.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I find the completely different format on the screens a bit distracting, but it's still better than this Kno thing.

        I will just keep carrying a little torch for the Courier that could have been, and stick to my moleskine.

      • >Of course i'll be waiting to see if there's a second generation version that fixes all the problems

        Does the Kno have these problems or are you completely off-topic?

        • by Daetrin (576516)
          The Kno has all the problems listed in the comment i was responding to, which are part of the basic design of the Kno and not something that can be fixed without entirely redesigning the product. The Edge on the other hand has the right idea, they just didn't do so well on the implementation.
    • Yeah, sorry - at that size, weight, and price, it's not worth it.

      Wanted a courier bad. This? This doesn't hit the same buttons, and you're still stuck finger painting.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by dangitman (862676)

      anything more than $500 would just be pointless.

      So, laptops that are powerful enough to run video editing or 3D raytracing software at decent speeds are pointless? Laptops that don't have shitty displays are pointless? Way to project your individual preferences onto an entire market.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by antifoidulus (807088)
        Apparently to you reading the post before replying is pointless, the device that would be over $500 isn't a laptop but the Kno. The op made no value judgement on laptops over $500, just saying that slate devices over that price don't really have a market segment.
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by dangitman (862676)

          Apparently to you reading the post before replying is pointless, the device that would be over $500 isn't a laptop but the Kno. The op made no value judgement on laptops over $500, just saying that slate devices over that price don't really have a market segment.

          Do you have problems with reading comprehension?

          The post I was reply to begins with "So why not just get a laptop?" and later says "for $500 I can buy a great laptop or an iPad and anything more than $500 would just be pointless," and end with "Really, why would I want a giant, heavy, LCD tablet not running a real OS?"

          How does anything in that post restrict the comment to the "slate device" market? It does the opposite, and puts laptops alongside "slate devices" as an option.

          • Sigh, you just proved yourself incorrect, amazing. Read the first part again. He is comparing what you can get for various price levels, and concludes that for prices above $500 there is no point in gettting a slate device because general purpose machines(as indicated by the comment that you so helpfully provided) will outperform the slate for about every purpose imagineable. To which you made an angry reply acccusing him of saying something that he didn't say. Nowhere in the post does he say general pur
            • And I'm making an ass out of myself by not closing my tags properly.
              • by AaxelB (1034884)
                I read it as you progressively getting more agitated and increasing the volume of your voice. It really made your post more dramatic :)
            • Actually no, the other guy seems to be reading it right.. you're inferring things that don't actually seem to be implied.

              or $250, I can buy a dedicated e-ink e-reader, for $350, I can buy a low end laptop or decent network, for $500 I can buy a great laptop or an iPad and anything more than $500 would just be pointless.

              He says he could get a low end laptop for $350, a "great" laptop for $500 and that anything more would be pointless. I think he is using "great" as an objective term rather than just saying it would be great as a studying tool. But he's ignoring those who might want to game or do any other kind of heavy lifting on their laptop.

              I don't know why you are so combatitive, you are really just making a fool out of yourself.

              Exactly.

            • > there is no point in gettting a slate device because general purpose machines(as indicated by the comment that you so helpfully provided) will outperform the slate for about every purpose imagineable.

              Incorrect. This is the first time I've seen side-by-side e-reader screens and I've had dual monitors and web access for over 10 years now.

              If you want to prove yourself right, program a web page that supports dual screens.

              Can you write an HTML table with one row and two cells? Good luck, you'll be the firs

    • Heck, now you can get e-ink ebook readers for $150. The Sony Pocket Reader is discounted to that price in a lot of places, and the Kobo reader apparently also is at that price too. I just got a Pocket Reader off woot and it's pretty awesome so far, besides the small screen, but I think any ebook reader that's less than a full size letter paper is going to have problems with viewing PDFs without reflowing. As a note, my Pocket Reader actually reflows the text in a PDF pretty well for the most part, but it ju
    • Why e-readers? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CMontgomery (1238316) on Friday June 04, 2010 @12:52AM (#32454608)

      If Kno (the company) has its way, students will be carrying around a Kno (the device) rather than a stack of textbooks

      Speaking as a student I want to know why all these companies keep thinking we want e-readers and e-books instead of textbooks. I don't want my textbook to go dead 9 hours into studying, or not be able to have 3-4 books open to 3-4 different sections each. I would however, like one for pleasure reading, but not a $500/5.5 lb machine. What exactly is this for?

      • ...not be able to have 3-4 books open to 3-4 different sections each

        Just buy 3 of these beasts and lug 17 pounds of electronics in your backpack. That will require the optional portable nuclear reactor to power them, but then you will look cool like those Ghostbuster guys. "Egon, switch me on!"

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Speaking as a student I want to know why all these companies keep thinking we want e-readers and e-books instead of textbooks. I don't want my textbook to go dead 9 hours into studying, or not be able to have 3-4 books open to 3-4 different sections each. I would however, like one for pleasure reading, but not a $500/5.5 lb machine. What exactly is this for?

        The big problem is, electronic documents are great for searching, but terrible at seeking (searching - you ask computer for location, it finds. Seeking

        • >why the "paperless office" never really happened since screens are lousy seekers, and the only way we can fix it is ... more screens!

          That's why this one has two.

          > the real reason is the inability to resell

          But they've mostly mastered that, haven't they?

          Besides, I have no personal need for textbooks, but a device that can read them can (theoretically) read anything else.

      • >Speaking as a student I want to know why all these companies keep thinking we want e-readers and e-books instead of textbooks.

        Did you watch the product demo? This completely replaces textbooks. It makes Kindle look like cheap newspaper.

        >I don't want my textbook to go dead 9 hours into studying

        Like you've ever studied that long.

    • by imroy (755) <imroykun@gmail.com> on Friday June 04, 2010 @12:55AM (#32454616) Homepage Journal

      not running a real OS (as in full Windows, Linux or OS X)

      From the first link:

      It runs a browser based OS running on embedded Linux that sounds almost like Chrome OS in some ways.

      Personally, I'm liking the look of the Always Innovating Touch Book [alwaysinnovating.com]. It's much more open, in both the hardware and software. On the downside, that means it's not as polished and ready for mainstream use as the other netbooks/smartbooks.

    • by OrangeTide (124937) on Friday June 04, 2010 @01:00AM (#32454640) Homepage Journal

      does it come with multitouch and pen interface and two screens on that $400 laptop? No?
      Dell Latitude XT2 with the same sort of touch and pen technology = $2,686.00

    • by vlueboy (1799360)

      Year 2010/11 tablets will be the new "netbook," but manufacturers are doing it all wrong. Seeing how nobody wants to use the iPad formula for size and lack of Windows OS, and the prices don't present any temptation to would-be netbook byers, the industry has again misunderstood what we needed.

      1. iPad- lack of flash, and strict market with proprietary Apple software needed to transfer files. Mainstream windows users aren't impressed while power users await for flash alternatives. Price is $500+
      2. Kno's "tablet" i
      • Eee touchscreen? (Score:3, Informative)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        There's the Asus Eee T91 [slashdot.org], a touchscreen netbook. It's cheaper than the other tablets, runs a real OS (Windows XP, and you could presumably put Linux on there), and isn't too heavy.

        (Unfortunately the problem with Windows 7 Starter seems to be a problem with netbooks in general - there's always XP or Linux; and I'd still rather have Windows 7 starter than a locked down OS designed for phones that can't even multitask.)

    • That's what I've been asking myself ever since the iPad came out. I still don't have an answer, but other people seem to have found one. If the guys selling this thing think people will find a use for it, maybe they are right.
    • by spire3661 (1038968) on Friday June 04, 2010 @02:04AM (#32454964) Journal
      We do not have to be forever shackled to the laptop paradigm. It is OK to develop other types of computers. A laptop is not the END ALL solution for computing. It is a great general purpose design, but there are many areas it can be improved. Not every type of personal computer in the world is going to require a full hardware keyboard to be useful, why is this so hard to understand?
      • >A laptop is not the END ALL solution for computing. It is a great general purpose design, but there are many areas it can be improved.

        Indeed, I think what Apple is teaching us is that major leaps forward in end-user software design are not happening on general-purpose computers. Sure, they CAN, but for some reason nobody is doing it.

        Example, what made Apple great? The iPod jog wheel. Does your computer have one?

        It could but it doesn't.

    • by MikeFM (12491)
      #1 "Real OS's" suck. They have a high learning curve, are fragile, aren't designed to be efficient to use, etc.
      #2 Laptops suck. You have a bulky device that is difficult to use unless you are sitting down. They are heavy. You're forced to haul around a keyboard and mouse you could usually do without and you don't get a touchscreen. The hardware is very variable and again the system as a whole is fragile from a technical point. Oh and they break easy - another type of fragile.
      #3 e-ink still sucks. Dual mode
    • by EdZ (755139)
      Pixels. Your regular e-ink reader is 800x600. This has a combined resolution of 1800x1440, more than 5 times larger. The ipad is a paltry 1024x768. You're lucky to get anything more than 1024x600 in a netbook.
      You want to look at images, charts, or graphs? Current e-readers are simply crap at it. You have to zoom in at least 3x just to read some axis labels, maybe even further to see the error bars properly, and by that time you're only looking at a section of the graph, not the whole thing. Never mind if y
    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      Indeed. And you can blame the media hype over the Ipad for this change of direction. Before, people knew that the e-readers had advantages over normal LCDs, and meanwhile, if you were happy with an LCD, you could get a dirt cheap netbook or "ultra mobile" laptop.

      But now look at where the hype is. Expect to see companies and the media pushing expensive keyboard-less tablets, running a locked down OS designed for feature phones, and I fear that netbooks will be forgotten.

      And Slashdot is just as much to blame

    • >Really, why would I want a giant, heavy, LCD tablet not running a real OS?

      You should try looking at the product before trashing it. What's worse, I'd love to know the thought process of the guy who modded you from +4 to +5. Seeing as how you've added nothing to the discussion (besides angst) that wasn't already in TFA.

      This is really more like flamebait considering you didn't do your homework.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They're clearly making up for something. I'll buy one of these, and say to my classmates, "Hey, when you stick that iPad in your backpack, does the backpack say, 'Is it in yet?'?".

    • Yes in fact I can think of one individual I work with who buys his own work laptop so he can have the biggest one in the meeting room. I am sure there will be a small market for this device.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @11:16PM (#32454166)
    I wasn't impressed with the performance of it in the video. The scrolling stuttered and he had to press/click some items multiple times in order for it to register. It is an interesting device so I hope they can improve its performance. I doubt they'll get the price "well under $1000" with two 14" touch screens.
  • I thought naming your product after your company was a Kno Kno

    • by dangitman (862676)

      I thought naming your product after your company was a Kno Kno

      Well, it worked for Apple, IBM, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and countless others, so I'm not sure what your point is.

    • silly. It's named after that one eyed guy from Mortal Kombat that rips people's hearts out.
  • The Kno will be a serious failure.

    Publishers damn well could spend a tiny bit of time publishing .epubs that ran well on Kindles and iPads alike. Of course, when you publish electronically, you can't justify $149 for a copy of Organic Chemistry 14th edition, and you can't publish new editions every year to force the used market out of business. Who cares about the consumer when the market is inelastic and professors are forcing you to buy books that equate to the yearly incomes of people in third world coun
    • I don't see how going to a non-dead tree platform means they can't come out with new editions. Although, with enough DRM they can force all students to buy *new* copies of what every edition they'd like without having to worry about the used book market.
    • The... er... fine folks at adobe [adobe.com] will be more than happy to assist in selling a $150 copy of Organic Chemistry 14th edition that magically goes "poof" as soon as the 15th edition is published... Let's see the used market get past the fact that circumventing the(no doubt shoddy) DRM is felony offense anywhere in the greater American empire. Never mind the DRM, it's EPUB, so it must be open!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TooMuchToDo (882796)
      Just wait until college textbooks are open source. It's already happening with K-12 material:

      http://www.ck12.org/ [ck12.org]

  • by proxima (165692) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @11:44PM (#32454312)

    A second screen seems less useful than a keyboard, so I'd rather just have the latest tablet offering from Lenovo/HP/etc which converts to a tablet mode with a pen. 5.5 lb is way too heavy to be used like a book (people complain about the ipad's 1.5 lb feeling heavy), though I suppose it's comparable to very large textbook. Still, a now-standard tablet with an extra-large battery and some decent software can do most of what this hopes to do and act as a primary laptop, all for around the same price ($800-$1000).

    • Yes, I don't get the fascination with dual screen tablets. They seem cool and they have some advantages, but I don't think those advantages are anywhere near as large as many people imagine. Kno talk about how people don't like the scrolling and panning (that seemed like a dig at the iPad), but I think that is total BS. Perhaps the people they asked did say that, but people often have no idea what they actually want when it comes to computer interfaces. If the screen was a flexible display that allowed you

  • It's both incredibly cool, and unbelievably stupid. I love it. But they can't possibly make this monstrosity sell at a reasonable price.
  • by mxh83 (1607017)

    I have never wanted anything less.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I grabbed an average size texbook (out of my engineering texts) and the largest from my shelf:
    largest: 1.5kg, 12 inch diagonal
    average: 1.2kg, 11 inch diagonal.

    So for less mass than this device (~2.5kg) I can carry two decent sized dead tree books. If not all publishers sign on for the Kno, then I would need to carry the heavy Kno and paper books.

    Among my course, this device wouldn't be particularly successful. Most of my subjects are lecture oriented, as such I've only needed to take more than one textbook

  • It's amazing these people had the knowledge, funding and support to build a sophisticated device like this, based upon such a ridiculously bad idea.

    How is this possible? Maybe "imagine sticking two iPad clones together as a book" looked good on paper?

  • There was a time, not so many decades ago when, "Made in Japan" meant, "Crap".

    India has a long way to go before they figure out the design and marketing game. It's an art form and they're still finger painting.

    At the moment, absolutely everything about India's global marketing efforts stress me out. -I had the 'pleasure' of dealing with a couple of different go-getter hyper-competitive lunatics from India trying to engage me in business deals which had no chance in hell of happening because I was speaking

  • "Most products i intend to buy haven't been invented yet" - The Big Bang Theory

    Well, i'd buy this. I'm all for dualscreens and like the fact that it supports both fingertouch and pens. I've never been apt at writing in anything other than italic with my pointy finger.

  • Grrr! All E-reader designers: rinse, lather, repeat:
    1. Take your favorite O'Reilly book.
    2. Open it up and measure it's size.
    3. Make a folding E-Reader that is the same size as the O'Reilly book closed that opens up like a book
    4. In landscape mode show two pages, one on each display, in portrait mode show a single page spanning both. (gives you newspaper/magazine page access)
    5. Make it e-ink only so I can read it outside and so it does not kill my eyes and so the battery lasts a while.
    6. Do NOT tie it to some stupid sto
  • It ain't real - it's just a trial balloon to test the market.

    We see all sorts of "iPad competitors" now that the iPad has shown it is possible to make a profit in this format, but unless it is actually for sale, it's just a marketing exercise. I get really tired of reading all these breathless "announcements" of products that never see the light of day...

  • To my mind the whole process needs a re-think. Contemporaneous note-taking in a lecture (or a business meeting or a deposition etc.) is a vastly different task from research reading. I don't see how a single device should be bound to be good at both tasks. For notetaking, I want to be able to create links to various pieces of information quickly (photos, soundbites, manual notes, text clips etc.) and then be able to make sense of it afterwards, eg. follow the text clipped from a book back into the book to r
  • I was wondering when something like this would be produced, as I thing it's design is the only true replacement for school books. Being a student myself I would defiantly consider getting one of the these devices. This easily weighs less than than the text books I have to carry for a mile to school everyday. Some people say that a laptop is more useful, but I really don't think it is. Have you ever attempted to do a-level maths in a word processor? You can't type maths. I honestly think this device would

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