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Via Technology Rewiev

The first thing everyone notices about the forthcoming tablet computer / ebook reader called Kno is that it’s ginormous. Each of its two 14.1″ screens is slightly larger than a regular A4 sheet of paper. The thing weighs five and a half pounds. Handling it is like cracking open a 15″ Macbook Pro (that happens to have a hinge that allows it to open completely flat on a table) sideways. It’s not the kind of thing you’re going to peruse on the subway – much less the couch.

But that’s not the point, says Osman Rashid, co-founder of the company Kno. “Rather than build a generic consumer devices and ram it down the throat of educators, we looked closely and figured out what it is a student needs,” says Osman. What a student needs, according to Kno’s research, is something that faithfully reproduces a full-size textbook, without compromise. In contrast, the attempt to cram a textbook onto a smaller screen is a primary reason that previous trials with replacing textbooks with e-readers such as the Kindle DX were abject failures.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that faithfully reproducing the existing textbook form factor means that publishers can port their content to the Kno painlessly: Publishers just give Kno the existing PDFs they use to go to print, says Rashid. “The biggest thing is that publishers don’t have to change their content to work with us,” says Rashid. Kno already has deals with the “top four higher education publishers,” and there are more coming, he adds. Backed by the likes of Marc Andreesen and Kno’s founders, who are veterans of other successful startups, the company certainly seems to be making all the right moves.