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Jumbo Dual-Screen "Kno" Tablet Debuts At D8

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the maybe-don't-supersize-me-quite-so-hard dept.

Books 106

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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Nigger Fixes the Economy! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454066)

In a stunning turn of events, and uppiddy nigger actually did what he said he would.

Good job Jigaboo President Obama! Way to fix the economy!

Re:Nigger Fixes the Economy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454618)

In a stunning turn of events, and uppiddy nigger actually did what he said he would.

Good job Jigaboo President Obama! Way to fix the economy!

do you hate black people?

Different than a laptop? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454160)

*network should read as netbook.

Re:Different than a laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454186)

when was the last time you could scribble notes by hand on your laptop screen?
This would be great for uni.

It runs Linux BTW.

Re:Different than a laptop? (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454226)

When was the last time I -wanted- to scribble notes on my laptop screen. I can type much, much, much, much, much faster than I can write and they are much readable than my handwriting. I had a tablet in college, one of those old things running Windows CE with a keyboard bottom and a touch screen pivoting top. I used the note taking app exactly twice before I realized I should have just shelled out for a fast laptop.

As much as everyone thinks that they would get a lot of use of a tablet in university. They won't. Get a fast laptop, its much better in the long run unless

A) You have the weird ability to write at superhuman speeds that is still legible

B) You have superhuman drawing abilities and enjoy drawing diagrams for everything

As for running "Linux" you have a locked down obscure distribution. Yeah, if it gets popular you might have a community developing things for it, but you aren't going to be able to apt-get everything like Debian and Ubuntu.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

HBoar (1642149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454290)

I see your point, but I think it very much depends on what you are studying. Laptops are utterly useless for note taking in some subjects due to the heavy reliance on diagrams and sketches. Think about how long it would take you to draw a rough P-V diagram for a Carnot cycle on a laptop vs a tablet.

Another advantage of the tablet is the noise -- imagine a whole lecture theater full of students typing away on keyboards. This is the reason why using laptops in lectures is a little frowned upon by many lecturers.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of all these touch screens in use these days -- I'd certainly never go near a cell phone or mp3 player without real buttons -- but I do think that this device could be quite useful, especially if it had roughly the same specs/capabilities as a netbook.

Re:Different than a laptop? (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454320)

Sure but at least when I was taking my courses, any of my classes that really relied on diagrams would either have them printed in the book for you or the lecturer would put them on CD (or floppy!) for any student who wanted it.

I think though university has changed a lot since the days of floppy disks and handwritten notes. Most people who I've talked to in university say that nearly every single professor has their notes up on their site, most textbooks have electronic versions (though its questionable if you can use it if you buy a used textbooks) and even the local college is advertising free laptops with tuition!

When I went, technology was just budding in education and was more just added in addition to traditional courses. The way it is now, the entire university system is based on technology, especially when it comes to taking notes.

Re:Different than a laptop? (2, Informative)

HBoar (1642149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454476)

I finished undergrad three years ago, and am still at university doing postgrad work.... Some lecturers certainly do provide either hard or soft copies of all their notes, but plenty still don't. I can't see this changing, as they do it to encourage students to actually attend lectures, rather than just get the notes off the website and not bother.

There are certainly some papers in mechanical engineering that are still pretty heavy on copying down notes here -- and I don't see it as a bad thing, I actually learned more in this style of lecture simply because it forces you to pay a certain amount of attention....

Re:Different than a laptop? (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454564)

"I finished undergrad three years ago, and am still at university doing postgrad work"

get a job hippy.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457194)

Bart, don't make fun of grad students, they just made a terrible life choice. -Marge

Re:Different than a laptop? (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32455604)

I find it very hard to pay attention when I'm trying to take handwritten notes, because my handwriting is so incredibly feckin slow. After my first year of Uni I realised I didn't even refer to my notes once in my revision either, so I stopped taking any. Lectures actually being interesting and well presented "forces" me to pay attention a lot more than having to take notes.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457738)

IT doesn't much matter that you don't read them again.

Taking good notes forces you to think about what's being said.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32458462)

People have said this to me before, and I just don't really buy it. Like I said my handwriting is pretty slow. I'd probably be okay with a laptop, but if I'm too busy trying to take down a previous point (whether summarised or not) I won't be able to pay as much attention to the next. I always found academic learning pretty easy and note-taking just got on my nerves. Some people maybe even take notes when reading textbooks but it just doesn't sit well with me. I'm happy to go and Google stuff these days anyway rather than relying on everything being firmly entrenched firmly in my long term memory..

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32455750)

If a professor spends a lifetime finding illustrative material, why should he put it up online? If he did, why would next year's class need the professor?

That made a lot of sense to me when offered as a reason for not offering hard copies of lecture material.

Not everyone can bother write a textbook, either.

Re:Different than a laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32456044)

Why should knowledge be allowed to be trapped by a professor for the sake of him being needed?

I for one would like to see a society where knowledge is easy to obtain even for the lazy (Anyone who is willing to dedicate his/her life to it does not really have a problem to obtain knowledge today.) Sure, some people who benefits from managing information today might have a harder time earning money but I think the benefit for the society as a whole far outwheight this and I am willing to pay taxes for information to be free.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32455998)

Uhhh...maybe I'm missing something, but if you need to draw a lot of diagrams for class wouldn't it be easier (and probably better in the long run) to just get one of those mini Genius pads and put it in your laptop bag? I've set up several of those for customers lately and you can get very small ones, they are very light, and with an average of 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity you are gonna get better drawings than any tablet I've seen yet, and the preset keys around the edge make it trivial to add your own shortcuts.

So while I'm sure there will be those that have a use for this thing, webcomic artists come to mind, I don't know how well something like this would work for students, especially when compared to a good $400 netbook (the new AMD Neo ones are pretty scary fast) with an $80 Genius tablet for when you need to draw. As a bonus when not in class you can just carry the light netbook and be ready to go.

Re:Different than a laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454410)

When was the last time I -wanted- to scribble notes on my laptop screen. I can type much, much, much, much, much faster than I can write and they are much readable than my handwriting. I had a tablet in college, one of those old things running Windows CE with a keyboard bottom and a touch screen pivoting top. I used the note taking app exactly twice before I realized I should have just shelled out for a fast laptop.

As much as everyone thinks that they would get a lot of use of a tablet in university. They won't. Get a fast laptop, its much better in the long run unless

A) You have the weird ability to write at superhuman speeds that is still legible

B) You have superhuman drawing abilities and enjoy drawing diagrams for everything

As for running "Linux" you have a locked down obscure distribution. Yeah, if it gets popular you might have a community developing things for it, but you aren't going to be able to apt-get everything like Debian and Ubuntu.

This device is about reading text books, thats it. I don't think they are expecting people to scribbling is just one feature. It also has a touch keyboard..

Re:Different than a laptop? (2, Insightful)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454468)

Also, it's a capacitive screen and they didn't mention an active digitizer so I don't know how well scribbling would work anyway.

Re:Different than a laptop? (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32455626)

Yeah it seems they really missed a trick.. if you're going to have two touchscreens, why not have one capacitive and one resistive? If they'd done that then I'd definitely have bought one of these as it has the best of both worlds :)

Also just having it as basically a giant textbook reader seems to be limiting the scope a bit. I'm guessing it was maybe running Android though so it will hopefully be capable of far more.

Re:Different than a laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32455654)

it is a combination digitizer that supports pen up to a high degree of precision AND touch rumor has it - it's an ntrig screen like the one in dell XT2

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32455864)

Ah cool, didn't know anything like that was possible yet, thanks :) The XT2 looks pretty good, I wonder how well Ubuntu would support it..

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32466278)

Oh, didn't realize that, that makes my post invalid.

Yeah, this whole thing seems ill-conceived (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#32458356)

For one thing, I really don't understand why you'd want to have a device like this with a split screen (aside from slavish copying of the appearance of a book). It would be a lot more useful to have a single screen with the same width - then you're not stuck with a giant seam down the middle of the thing. I suppose being able to fold the thing in half is useful, but I'd still prefer it as a single screen.

Also, this seems like an awful lot of money to pay for a device that just displays books. I can't help but think that a netbook would be more versatile and cheaper.

Re:Yeah, this whole thing seems ill-conceived (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32458924)

Well, the folding would definitely be useful for transport and storage. I like the concept of dual screens because one can act as input device and the other as display (personally I prefer real keyboards to touch ones, but I do like the idea of a customisable input area and a lot of people these days seem happy with onscreen keyboards..), and the hinge means that you don't always have to manually support the device at an angle that isn't going to kill your neck.

Definitely think the OS is too limited though. It's not even running Android, it's running something along the same lines as Chrome OS (embedded Linux with a browser on top) that appears to be just for students.. that's severely limiting any potential market unless it's easy to install your own distro.

Dude, I was a physics major (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#32458282)

Sure, in history or english 101 or whatever, I'm sure I could type faster and more legibly than I could write. But when the prof is covering the board in Hamiltonian dynamics equations... you can damn sure bet that I could write that down faster than I could peck it out in an equation editor. I would have been hopelessly behind. And I never got very much out of pre-printed notes - it was the act of writing stuff down that helped me understand and remember it.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32459410)

Actually I can write notes on my laptop screen. A sharpie works very well.
On a more serious note, I often used to write in pencil on the silver-colored palm rest area of my old compaq laptop. It was good for telephone numbers etc.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454448)

when was the last time you could scribble notes by hand on your laptop screen?

You've forgotten all those dumb blonde putting liquid paper on the screen jokes, haven't you?

Want to bet you could convince 'her' [google.com] to use use a magic marker ... so you don't lose your work when the battery dies ...?

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32456956)

when was the last time you could scribble notes by hand on your laptop screen?

Anytime you want, with a touchscreen netbook or laptop.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

GrantRobertson (973370) | more than 4 years ago | (#32464498)

Just now. I have a Tablet PC. It cost me about $1200 and was worth every penny to me. I have been using Tablet PCs for about seven years now and would never go back to a regular laptop.

Entourage Edge (3, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Entourage Edge (2, Insightful)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454384)

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.

Re:Entourage Edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32457048)

the edge looks completely stupid, extremely bulky and lame.

Re:Entourage Edge (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32466432)

>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?

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454368)

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:Different than a laptop? (1, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454372)

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:Different than a laptop? (2, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454594)

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:Different than a laptop? (0, Flamebait)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454808)

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.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454942)

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 purpose laptops over $500 are worthless, in fact he makes the exact OPPOSITE argument by pointing out that he wouldn't want a big device that doesn't run a general purpose os. His words, not mine. Laptops do in fact run general purpose oses, this was the ops point.

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

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454948)

And I'm making an ass out of myself by not closing my tags properly.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 4 years ago | (#32456564)

I read it as you progressively getting more agitated and increasing the volume of your voice. It really made your post more dramatic :)

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32455722)

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.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32466452)

> 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 first.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454456)

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 just involves a lot of page turning (4ish page turns for each real page). I actually am finding that while most devices are moving towards convergence, dedicated ebook readers are actually pretty nice. I agree, I'm not sure who this is targetted at, especially since it doesn't have the brand appeal of someone like Apple. Maybe if Apple made something like this, people would buy it for $600-800, but anyone else would be SOL (Apple would probably also make it more usable, RDF notwithstanding, but that's another story).

Why e-readers? (5, Insightful)

CMontgomery (1238316) | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Re:Why e-readers? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457076)

...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!"

Re:Why e-readers? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32459066)

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 - you know you saw something interesting 10 pages forward and move that way). This applies to e-readers, iPads, PDFs, HTML files. A hack is being able to bookmark the spot, but putting bookmarks is terrible since they quickly muliply if you bookmark everything, or didn't bookmark that interesting thing.

Reading fiction requires little seeking and electronic means make it very practical.

Textbooks and other reference materials are full of seeks - you look at the table of contents and go there, then scan from that to find the relevant information, then back and forth, back and forth. On paper, you use little post-it tabs or something, or if it's a quick browse, your fingers to act as temporary bookmarks. Seeking back and forth is instananeous, and even though you might not know where something is exactly, you can probably roughly tell as you skim the headings during your seek.

It's a subtle concept to master, and why the "paperless office" never really happened since screens are lousy seekers, and the only way we can fix it is ... more screens! After all, I can have multiple documents open (e.g., one document describes a hardware register, another document describes the settings I need to put on the register, a third describing how to set the register properly, and a fourth maybe to reference background material on why certain tings are set certain ways. If it's one document, it's a nightmare having to rapidly go between these places (seeking), and why I often print out the relevant pages so I can have them "all open" at the same time.

And on a more cynical note, the reason publishers are going electronic is simple - the used textbook market is a major thorn in their sides, just like used games are a major thorn on game publishers. They may tout crap like you only carry a 1lb device instead of 30lbs of books, but the real reason is the inability to resell.

Re:Why e-readers? (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32466484)

>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.

Re:Why e-readers? (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32466470)

>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.

Re:Different than a laptop? (3, Insightful)

imroy (755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454616)

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.

Re:Different than a laptop? (3, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454640)

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

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454724)

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" is too huge and heavy (5.5 pounds, mum on the extra battery weight) to be practical.
  3. Archos 9 [bing.com] is not even advertised properly or present at important Best-buy type stores in New York city. The Bing link also shows the price around $475. Windows 7 "Starter" is not something I want as a portable OS, and an $80 upgrade to "Home Premium" to "unlock" features. I'll pass on Windows tablets --they probably $$$uck at natively opening office docs too.
  4. The Dell Streak is also in the $500 range and is too damn small to promote book reading or movie watching.

I always hoped that the Apple premium would translate to inevitable competition with a slew of Dell tablets costing $200-$300. I guess the US economy killed that idea because everyone wants in on the new "Android-sy" $500 price ranges. The bad part is that contract-less android phones cost just as much as this new breed of full tablets.

Users in this "emerging" market of tablets and e-readers want alternatives here and now, but long term portability goes first or second in our decisions (we already have laptops and desktops.).. Kno is NOT something that can attract first time tablet buyers, because it is too niche-y due to lack of portability. The original 10 Commandment stone tablets were meant to be huge dual tablets ... probably emulated well by this Kno waving it as a threat over web 2.0 pagans' heads. I'll pass on the tablets this year and get and save a bunch of cash with some rave review netbook.

Re:Different than a laptop? (0, Troll)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32456730)

I suppose the idea that there's no real premium attached to the iPad price is something you can't bear to entertain.

Eee touchscreen? (2, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32456876)

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.)

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454840)

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.

Re:Different than a laptop? (4, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454964)

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?

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32466500)

>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.

Re:Different than a laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32455204)

Nice but they have the wrong screen type, they should be using something like the new Sony's super thin flexible/bendable screen that way they can have a continuous screen the folds like a book.

http://singularityhub.com/2010/05/29/sonys-new-flexible-oled-display-can-roll-into-tiny-cylinder-while-playing-video/

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 4 years ago | (#32455922)

#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 screens are promising but I've yet to see one that works well both as reflective and back-lit and has a high refresh rate. I do think eventually such dual mode screens are going to be where everything goes. If they could figure those points out AND figure out how to make the screen roll up or otherwise support fitting in the pocket but expanding to a large size then they'll have a winning product.

I can agree that I don't see much point in a giant hinged tablet running some ass backwards OS of it's own. The hinge and size gives it many of the problems of a laptop and I doubt the OS is as well designed as iPhone OS (but I do think a Linux-based OS could be as good or better than iPhone OS in the right hands). I could possibly see a use for a hinged paperback sized tablet thing as sometimes an iPhone is to small and an iPad to big but I don't think the market is ready for that yet. To many people are still wrapping their minds around the iPad form factor.

If you really want a large $1000 dual iPad sized thing why not get two iPads and a case that holds both together on a hinge. They can connect by Bluetooth, Wifi, or dock so just make an API that lets apps communicate if they need to. All these iPad knockoffs are just proving that the geeks designing them don't understand their market. The only interesting concept I've seen was for the OLPC tablet and that was just a concept; if they get it to work at anything near the mentioned price and specs though it'll be awesome - especially if they take Android and make it kid friendly without reducing it to the level of garbage Sugar is.

Re:Different than a laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32456506)

"why not get two iPads"

just amazing mike. i'm sure that apple shaped hole in your heart is getting bigger. i mean just how much plastic crap can a consumer fill up their "lifestyle pad" with? yours must be an Aladdin's cave of softly glowing edges and tarnished chrome finishes.

your low self esteem and poor taste aside - don't you ever feel a bit self-conscious unzipping stevey boy in public all the time?

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 4 years ago | (#32458754)

why not get two iPads

You missed the point, AC. Parent's point was that the Kno isn't competing well - especially on price.They don't appear to have any special hardware or software that would set them apart from the rest of the Linux tablets. Given Apple's history for greasing their products with "cool" and given their current stance as the market leader in the tablet category, I can't imagine many students opting for the Kno over the iPad. Lets face it, college freshmen care a lot about looking cool and establishing a sense of belonging. The Kno will be a hard sell without a unique selling point. (Other than a hinge)

That being said, I've no use for a tablet and generally avoid Apple products because I switch between Linux, Mac, and Windows enough that I need devices that play nice on all. But that doesn't concern most people.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32456244)

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 you want to read comics/manga/etc without having to zoom about the page in a ridiculous fashion (and losing two page spreads).

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32456800)

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 in this - look at the coverage the Ipad gets, compared with any given netbook, for example.

Re:Different than a laptop? (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32466428)

>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.

ePenis/ePeen (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454158)

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?'?".

Re:ePenis/ePeen (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454176)

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.

I Hope They Improve The Performance (3, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:I Hope They Improve The Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454364)

It's still a prototype so it doesn't really work YET. I don't think anyone can really judge the speed and bugginess till the final product is launched..

Re:I Hope They Improve The Performance (3, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454526)

True, but that really just points up that you should never, ever show something before it is ready. People--even bosses--will only see the glaring things that are wrong. They won't skip past that stuff to see the potential. I think that is one reason Apple is so successful. When they roll out a product it is really ready to go. Don't get excited, I didn't say they were perfect.

I thought... (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454282)

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

Re:I thought... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454390)

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.

Re:I thought... (0, Flamebait)

shikaisi (1816846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454426)

It's better than naming your company after a description of your private parts, like Bill Gates did.

Re:I thought... (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457088)

silly. It's named after that one eyed guy from Mortal Kombat that rips people's hearts out.

Re:I thought... (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457792)

screw MY comment... someone mot THIS guy up!

Hardware fix for a software problem (2, Insightful)

Kashell (896893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454304)

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 countries?

If publishers won't bother doing such a simple thing for popular devices, do you honestly think they are going to support this monstrosity?

Re:Hardware fix for a software problem (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454322)

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.

Re:Hardware fix for a software problem (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454362)

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:Hardware fix for a software problem (2, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454772)

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

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

Re:Hardware fix for a software problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32456116)

Anon because I've already moderated several times in this story thread.

MIT OpenCourseWare [slashdot.org] (That's their silly capitalization, don't blame me.)

Wired story [wired.com] about Flat World Knowledge [flatworldknowledge.com] , a company that provides free online and cheap printed copies of college texts that sells study aids and practice quizzes to support the business. Online browsing is free, PDF is about $20, and printed books cost about $60 or less if the pricing I read about is still current.

Wikibooks [wikibooks.org] has books of several levels.

Here's a list of open books for undergraduate mathematics [ups.edu] as recommended by Robert Beezer at University of Puget Sound

US House Bill 4575 [opencongress.org] is an attempt to authorize government grants to publishers of open-source college texts, as widespread affordable education is seen as good thing for the country as a whole. There's also a Senate version [opencongress.org] .

There's a consortium for Open Educational Resources [oerconsortium.org] among community colleges. They have lists of many titles under many categories. There's still a lot of work to be done, but some of the books have been peer-reviewed and they clearly mark which ones those are.

LibrarianChick [walkerhost.com] links to all sorts of books and all sorts of sites that links to all sorts of other books. Some of these are texts, but there's also reference, fiction, tutorials, and more. Several of the linked works are university-level. There are also links to non-books, like search engines, research results pages at places like Harvard, and open online encyclopedias other than Wikipedia.

Textbooks Free [textbooksfree.org] is a fairly ugly site with beautiful content: links to textbooks by subject, links to other open textbook projects, and even an Amazon affiliate link so when you buy what non-open books you want you can support open textbooks. They also have links to open course materials like audio and video lectures. Their links include material from MIT, Johns Hopkins, University of California at Irvine, Tufts, Stanford, UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon.

Bookboon [bookboon.com] has ad-supported free textbooks [bookboon.com] . For those of you who won't get too distracted from studies by the ads, I think that's not a bad model. These are free but not open and you have to give them your email address to download the books.

Free Book Centre [freebookcentre.net] has links to lots of open and public domain texts. They are mostly CS, engineering, and mathematics but they have some medical books too. There are some books linked that are free-but-closed, and some of those are only free for non-commercial use or only in electronic format (sometimes only by browsing the book on the author's web site without even saving a local copy). Some of the links are currently broken, too. Overall, it's a pretty useful site if you're looking for CS/math/EE/medical materials. One additional note of caution: at least one "book" is just a detailed ToC for a book by someone else, some "books" are just sample chapters for closed books for sale, a few are lecture notes for specific courses collected but not necessarily edited into textbook form, and there are a handful that seem to be pirated copies of commercial books from the likes of O'Reilly. You have been warned.

Creative Commons has a tag for news items about open textbooks [creativecommons.org] to help us keep up to date on the issue.

Re:Hardware fix for a software problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32458610)

There are already moves for college level open sourced material:

http://globaltext.terry.uga.edu/

I'd rather have a 12" tablet (2, Insightful)

proxima (165692) | more than 4 years ago | (#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).

Re:I'd rather have a 12" tablet (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454686)

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 to carry a small device that unfolded to a large, seamless display, that would be something else. When turning a page on a virtual book is easier than turning a real page, when you have search functionality, and when you can have interactive and contextually-aware TOCs, who cares if you have to turn the page twice as often? It's a bit like how people used to think that web pages should be contained within the "fold". And, of course, that thing is so big and heavy, I'd rather just take a laptop, too.

This is really quite comical (2)

zephvark (1812804) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454356)

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

Gaming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454402)

Doesn't make much sense as an e-reader, but might be awesome for 2-player gaming.

LOL (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32454466)

I have never wanted anything less.

Too heavy, too big, too expensive? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454614)

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 a couple of times in the last semester. Where possible I have copies of texts on my Kindle. It's not ideal, it's not convenient to annotate. But if I just want to read or find a reference quickly, the kindle does a great job. No need to carry a large reference with me. The find-in-text is great for some situations when I know exactly what figure or section I want to see.

If they made this 'Kno' smaller and thus lighter and cheaper (ie, MS Courier) I think it'd be great. Two iPads stuck together should be under 1.5kg (given 1x3G is 0.73kg) and that screen is sufficiently large.

The ergonomics of using that large, heavy, thick thing on a desk are dubious too:
  - I place my paper on an angle when I write, which would push the opposite page of this Kno away from me.
  - Reading of a textbook for long duration on that screen would be uncomfortable.
  - As it's so heavy, you're desk bound, unlike the paper alternatives

I doubt this monstrosity will make make it to market, or be a success if it does. The weight needs to come down, a lot.

Is it shipping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32454620)

No? Then it doesn't exist.

Re:Is it shipping? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457150)

We had daily Ipad stories for months before it "existed" - and in fact, we had many rumour vaporware stories on the Apple tablet/Istale/etc even before the Ipad was announced.

Amazing (1)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32455986)

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?

Re:Amazing (3, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457046)

True, though let's face it - if this was from Apple, there'd be people here praising how revolutionary and innovative the idea was.

Re:Amazing (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457268)

Not really. People would be saying the OS is great (although closed), but that the device is too big and heavy.

India is a madhouse of enthusiasm! (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#32456182)

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 at the speed of sane and they were speaking at the permanent setting of won't-take-No-for-an-answer-total-readiness-for-verbal-combat. It staggers the mind to think that Yoga came from India. Alert: The following IS A RACIST COMMENT:

India stresses me right out.

Until that country relaxes a LOT, nothing they make will be attractive to me and unless I am mistaken, the West. Fortunately for India, the West appears to be sinking fast, so it looks like they may be selling largely to themselves in the future. I hope they like their own media and technology because I absolutely can't stand it. It screams, "TRYING SOOOOOOOOO HARD! DO YOU LIKE ME YET? HOW ABOUT NOW? ACTUALLY YOU ARE WRONG BECAUSE HERE ARE SIX EXCELLENT REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LIKE ME..."

All my herd instinct "cool genes" are begging, "Please tell me you didn't invite India to the party." And I don't HAVE any cool genes. I'm a giant geek with a Slashdot UID over ten years old. That's how much India stresses me out.

But I do wish them well; give them another ten or twenty years and I'm sure they'll figure things out. Everybody seems to.

In the mean time, their giant freak show of a touch screen textbook is both endearing in its earnest attempt to please the market it is aiming at, and so entirely idiotic that I have to actively fight my instincts to not want to strangle it.

-FL

Penny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32456586)

Well finally we can have Penny's computer book from Inspector Gadget

='products i want haven't been invented yet'- 1 (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32456886)

"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.

Why can't anyone build to this spec? (1)

Stainless_Steel_Mous (1130169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32457304)

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 store/publishing service, or if you do, make sure I can just load content to it without passing through your service.
  7. Sell it for lots less than a laptop.
  8. Profit! sell lots to geeks that want to carry their entire tech library in something the size of one book.

If you can't buy it.... (1)

rclandrum (870572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32458544)

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...

Note taking is in the dark ages still (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32459678)

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 read some more if I want to. It's not like court stenography, although at least the stenographers have put some thought into their profession and come up with the tools to do their jobs.
The whole thing needs a rethink and it needs infrastructure to support it too. Things like a video feed of the lecture being wirelessly broadcast live and sound on an inductive loop and links to background material being sent out in real time during the lecturer's presentation. Something that allows the student to create, on the fly, whatever mash-up passes for notes in his imagination.
The real test will be if the technology facilitates a change in the way lectures are presented.
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