Post image for The Kno – Dual Screen Tablet

The Kno – Dual Screen Tablet

August 13, 2010

Many Windows PC manufacturers are scrambling to find a product to compete with Apple's iPad. A fan of both PCs and Macs, I find the delay to market rather disappointing because Windows 7 and its predecessors (dating back to Windows XP) all have tablet functions built into the OS.  Tablet PCs with pen input have been around equally as long.  PC manufactures such as Fujitsu, Toshiba, and Dell only needed to revamp their design and get rid of the battery and heat issues.  Yet,  to date, they have all failed to present anything remotely resembling the iPad.  

But there's a new kid in town "in the Kno" and he's entering this fight with two sticks instead of one.  Correction,  two BIG STICKS as each of the dual touch screen displays that make up the Kno's design are a massive 14.1 inches!. Compare that to the iPad's singular 9.7" display.   

Equipped with a stylus for inking directly on the screen, the Kno is targeting the education market. You can display full pages of text books without scrolling, take notes and highlight as if it were paper-bound. Unfortunately, you can't run out and purchase the Kno right away.  It is only being released to 100 students spread across three unnamed colleges.  Technology Review's article on the Kno states "What a student needs, according to Kno's research, is something that faithfully reproduces a full-size textbook, without compromise. In contrast, the attempt to cram a textbook onto a smaller screen is a primary reason that previous trials with replacing textbooks with e-readers such as the Kindle DX were abject failures."

On the one hand, the Kno comes with the one thing the iPad struggles with – pen input.  Yes, there are 3rd party digitizers for the iPad, but the device itself and the OS were not designed with this type of input in mind.  This is where PCs can shine because Windows 7 has brilliant handwriting recognition already built into the OS. Are you kidding?  OneNote would be a powerful application for PC slates. Furthermore the slate form factor SCREAMS "Write all over me!".   On the other hand, without having handled the Kno, I can't co-sign on its design.  My guess is that it's probably rather cumbersome.  For me, one 14.1" touch screen with pen input would be ideal.  

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