Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kno to Also Make a Single-Screen Tablet Textbook

Kno, the start-up that is creating a digital tablet for students, said it is also planning on releasing a single-screen version.

The company–which was started by the founder of Chegg, the online textbook rental service–had debuted a double-screen tablet (pictured here) at the eighth D: All Things Digital conference in June.

The current clamshell device has a pair of touchscreens that open and shut like a book, and Kno will offer an online store linked to the tablet for the purchase of materials.

Some felt the double-screened device might be too cumbersome, given the plethora of tablets in a variety of sizes that are being planned and released soon, all influenced by the popular Apple (AAPL) iPad.

Kno said its single-screen tablet will be smaller and sold at a lower price point, but will be shipped at the same time as the original double-screen, by the end of the year.

The company will be announcing pricing and ship dates soon.

When it does, Kno will be headed right into a competitive and increasingly innovative tablet market that now also includes Amazon (AMZN), Samsung, Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Google (GOOG).

Kno is certainly girding for battle in this portable arena. It nabbed an additional $46 million in venture funding from a panoply of Silicon Valley bigs earlier this month.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Kno previously raised almost $10 million in funding from prominent venture players like Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital, along with investors Mike Maples and Ron Conway.

In addition, well-known techie Marc Andreessen is now on Kno’s board.

Here is the video of a prototype of the double-screen Kno in action at D8:

Want to see it bigger? Click here.

And here is the official press release from Kno:

Kno Breaks New Ground with the World’s First
Single Screen Tablet Textbook

Kno Continues the Pace of Innovation in Integrated Learning with a Smaller Version of the Kno

San Francisco, CA–September 27, 2010–Kno, Inc., the groundbreaking tablet textbook and dynamic learning platform, today announced its further commitment to the education market with a single screen version of its tablet textbook. The single screen version extends the breakthroughs and functionality of the dual screen version announced in June.

“Kno fundamentally improves the way students learn,” said Osman Rashid, the CEO and Co-Founder of Kno, Inc. “We are driven to innovate in a category that has been static for too long. Even though the Kno pays for itself in 13 months, the smaller up front investment of the single screen version will allow more students to use our learning platform.”

Kno, short for knowledge, is a transformative learning platform that blends a touch-screen tablet, digital textbooks, course materials, note-taking, web access, educational applications, digital media, sharing and more into a powerful and engaging educational experience that is not available on any other tablet or eReader today.

“From day one, we designed the Kno with flexibility in mind,” said Babur Habib, CTO and Co-Founder of Kno, Inc. “We developed the product to have multiple configurations and meet different student needs. The single screen maintains the elegance of our fluid, intuitive interface while capturing the richness and ‘page fidelity’ of the original textbook.”

The company plans to ship both the single and two-screen tablet textbooks to consumers by the end of 2010. Pricing and pre-order announcements will be made in the coming months.


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