Kno decides cheap textbooks answer lies in software

The Kno tablet was to be a hardware solution for cheap textbooks.

As we reported in January, Kno tablet thought their unique tablet design was the answer; however, it now appears they believe the answers lies in software. They recently secured another $30 million in investment capital led by Intel Capital.  As a part of the deal Intel will acquire the Kno tablet designs that it is planning on releasing to other tablet hardware manufacturers, while Kno will focus on its software to manage devices focused on the college market and delivery cheap textbooks solutions to college students.

Sources report that the Kno executives, including Osman Rashid, founder of textbook rental company Chegg that is rumored to be focusing on preparing for an IPO in the near future.  Rashid has a great deal of experience providing cheap textbooks to students with Chegg that allowed students to rent college books online, but also he directed the company in more of digital education direction before leaving to found Kno.  It is believed that after looking at the already very competitive tablet market, currently dominated by Apple, but including Google, Motorola, Microsoft, and Dell, Rashid and Kno decided it would be better to focus on software solutions and leave the hardware to the heavy hitter experts.  The Kno had been priced at $599 and $899 for the dual screen model, but reports say that very few of the units have shipped, especially when compared to the millions of iPad 2 units that shipped within weeks of initial release.

Cheap Textbooks

Kno Tablet was to be the hardware solution for cheap textbooks

Therefore, Kno will now be focused on providing its software solutions to other tablet devices like the iPad platform, but also including platforms based upon the Google Android mobile computing platform expected to be released over the next several months.  “We are excited to have the opportunity to continue building our solutions in broader education markets and onto the innovative Intel-based platforms,” said Osman Rashid, CEO and Co-Founder, Kno, Inc. “We look forward to working together with the ultimate goal of making learning engaging, collaborative and fun for students.”  Kno will continue to focus its software to accomplish its mission of making college learning more interactive, engaging, social for students and ultimately more effective.  Look for Kno to provide a creative solution in the etextbook market as they now solely focus on electronic textbook innovations.

For now, rent college textbooks online for cheap textbooks and get a online comparison for selling textbooks for cash.

Look for Kno to bring us a solution for cheap textbooks in the near future.


  1. violajack says:

    I think digital sheet music is the future, and the future is not yet. There are pluses and minuses to both systems, but I have yet to pull off using digital music in a performance.

    iPad pluses – lightweight, forever battery life, tap to turn the page.
    minuses – even with a good stylus, it is very hard to write small enough and accurately enough to put in fingerings and bowings. If you already know your music and just want a reference, this is not a problem. If you need to really read it, including markings, or you need to mark it up quickly (catch bowings in a rehearsal) this could be more problematic.

    Windows tablet pluses – active digitizer is accurate and you don't have to worry about keeping your hand off the screen, a variety of page turn options – some have touch, some have jog dials (my favorite), all have USB ports so you can use the much less expensive wired foot pedals. You will get better library management as this is Windows and you can arrange your files in whatever folders and directories you want. Also, SmartMusic!
    minuses – even the longest lived have less battery life than an iPad (the lenovos are up to 8 hours, my 2370p with extended slice battery gets 9), heavier, takes longer to wake from sleep and get going, thicker – I would not put my tablet on a folding stand, only a sturdy manhasset style, the iPad would be less likely to tip over.

    Despite the variety of sizes Windows tabletPCs come in, nothing is really big enough to be comparable to sheet music. You will only ever get one page at a time, or really tiny 2 page layouts. I guess that's fine if you're playing mostly from memory and just need the reference, but if you need to really read it, it's hard to get it big enough. That's the biggest thing that has stopped me from trying it up until now, I just don't want to have to flip every single page. Perhaps it would be different if I had a page turn pedal, but I don't.

    Also, do you share a stand? I can't even give it a try in my chamber orchestra, as I have to share a stand, and it's just too much to try to get my stand partner on board. I have a dream of scanning all my trio music and taking just the tablet to gigs, but I just can't drop out at each page turn. I either need to get a pedal, or something, I don't know.

    I'm actually very interested to see what comes of the dual screen Kno tablet: Two 14″ screens might actually make for readable sheet music, and you get two pages at a time.

    What we really need is epub for sheet music. We need a file standard that can re-render and re-flow the notes based on the size of the window and the size of font chosen. I should be able to pick how big I want the notes to be and have the software re-flow the measures and staves to fit the page. I guess it's time to test page turn and annotation options in Finale. And figure out how to get my trio books in.

    I think I just wrote a blog post of my own here in your comments, but I really do think tablets and digital music is the future. I just can't wait for the future to get here.

  2. Rent-A-Text Becomes the Fastest Growing and Most Successful Textbook Rental Rollout in Industry /…

  3. Post : Kno Bails On Hardware, Takes Another $30 Million URL : Take a good look at the Kno textbook tablet at above because you might not ever see it again. Kno is getting out of the hardware business and, as reported earlier , taking another $30 million from Intel Capital, Advance Publications (owner of Conde Nast), and its previous investors (Andreessen Horowitz, Floodgate, First Round, and SV Angel). The company is now confirming the reports. Kno started selling its textbook tablets last year, with a $599 single-screen version and an $899 dual-screen.

  4. Mark Smith says:

    Textbook Rentals are great – but what if you need or want a new textbook. lets you decide between a new, used, or textbook rental.

  5. Cheap Textbooks – Buy Them Online?