Kno to ship $899 folding dual-screen tablet this year

Kno on Tuesday said it will start shipping its book-like, dual-screen tablet later this year for $899.

The tablet, which was announced earlier this year, has two 14.1-in. screens that can fold up like a book. The tablet has been designed to be a textbook replacement, but users can also surf the Web or watch video on the device.

Kno is also offering a single-screen version of the tablet for $599, which will also start shipping later this year. The LCD screen can display images at a resolution of 1440 by 900 pixels.

The Kno sports a touch interface, and also supports stylus input for users to write notes or mark up passages. The dual-screen tablet weights about 5.5 pounds, and the single-screen tablet weighs about half as much.

The tablets are powered by Nvidia's dual-core Tegra processor, which is based on an Arm design and run at speeds of 1GHz. The devices come with 512MB of on-board memory and offer storage capacities ranging from 16GB to 32GB.

The tablets can provide up to six hours of battery life while surfing the Web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music, according to company measurements. The tablets are powered by the Ubuntu Linux OS, and support HTML5 as well as Adobe Flash 10.1.

Kno has partnered with a number of content providers to deliver textbooks for the device, including McGraw Hill, Pearson, Random House and Macmillan.

The company wants to extend the device's capabilities, but will be initially focused on the education market, a company spokeswoman said. Apple's iPad tablets are already being used in some universities as textbook replacements, and the company has partnerships with textbook providers.

Toshiba earlier announced a Toshiba Libretto W100 laptop based on a similar folding design, but the product has been discontinued, according to Toshiba's Web site.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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