Technology Review has an interesting piece about what may be the most ambitious dual-screened e-reader yet: the Kno, a color double-tablet composed of two facing 14.1” LCD screens. It is intended to allow textbooks to be reproduced faithfully at their original sizes, rather than shrunk for the 9.7” Kindle DX or iPad.
The Kno will be undergoing testing by 100 students this fall to see if it fares better than the Kindle did in prior studies. There are also some concerns about how responsive the hardware is; it’s an awful lot of screen real-estate for an nVidia Tegra 2 to control.
I have my doubts about how well this is going to work. If people think the iPad is too heavy for reading, how are they going to respond to a device that weighs in at five and a half pounds? That’s as heavy as my laptop!
It’s also worth noting that Kno is remaining mum on how much the device will actually cost:
We are not disclosing the cost at this time. However, given the price of textbooks, the Kno will pay for itself when compared with buying traditional textbooks.
I’m curious how that’s going to work, given that once you buy this turkey you still have to buy the books that are going to go on it, too. I’m not sure I can see textbook publishers lowering their prices very much for e-books over “traditional” books. They’re still doing the work of compiling and editing them, after all.