updated 08:15 am EST, Tue November 9, 2010
Kno tablet priced and shipping end of year
Kno today locked in the pricing and launch timeframe for its education-focused tablets. The 14-inch displays used by both will carry a premium over the iPad, as the single screen tablet will cost $599 while the dual screen model will cost $899. Both should be shipping in limited numbers by the end of the year.
Both designs are intended to preempt Apple in education and use the large screens along with a custom Linux touch interface to replace both textbooks and notes. Students get access to "tens of thousands" of common textbooks and extra materials that Kno believes could save money over both Apple's tablet and conventional paper books. A tablet could recover its own costs and still save $1,300 over the course of a degree, Kno said.
The designs run on NVIDIA's Tegra 2 dual-core ARM chip and as a result can support full web browsing with both Flash and HTML5 as well as HD video playback, music and audio recording in a multitasking environment. It can use both finger and pen input to highlight text or write notes. Kno has claimed "full day" battery life but hasn't quantified the figures.
Apple has made some inroads into education with initial iPad textbook arrangements and early school projects, but the design has usually been targeted at home users first. The Kno is aimed at college students first and was given the large screens to make sure that even larger textbooks could show at full size.