Lucky students who pre-ordered the Kno, which can purchase and store all of their textbooks digitally, are getting a bit of a reprieve for their backs with the educational tablet arriving on doorsteps this week.
The Kno is a 14.1-inch, color touchscreen tablet that comes with a stylus for note-taking, and is available either as a single-screen or dual-screen device, the latter sporting hinges and closing like a book.
When asked about the screen size, Kno CEO Osman Rashid said, “The readability of the content, it must, at a minimum, look exactly like the way a physical book appears to you.” He added that they tested other, smaller screen sizes and weren’t satisfied until they ended up with the 14.1-inch screen size.
“At the end of the day, we [knew] that eTextbooks [would] not work on laptops [because] you have to scroll left and right, up and down every couple of minutes, which gets annoying,” he said.
The educational tablet is powered by the Nvidia Tegra T200 series CPU and a dual-core ARM Cortex processor, clocking in at 1.0 GHz, and comes with 512 MB of on-board memory.
In an interesting departure from featuring the most notable tablet operating systems, Android OS or iOS, the Kno instead runs on Ubuntu 9.10, a Linux operating system.
The Kno will also have its own digital bookstore, offering up tens of thousands of textbooks for students to download at prices roughly 30 to 50% lower than physical copies would cost.
Ostensibly, these cheaper textbook prices will help students save some money after the amount they spend on the Kno, which costs $599 for the single-screen and $899 for the dual-screen. Rashid said that after three semesters of schooling, the Kno will have paid for itself through textbook savings.
“When you do the math, it actually pays for itself and saves $1,300 in digital textbook costs,” he said.