When textbook tablet startup Kno raised $46 million in September from Andreessen Horowitz and Silicon Valley Bank, it was shooting to price its dual-screen tablet at under $1,000. On Tuesday, it will announce the pricing of its tablets at $899 for the dual-screen version and $599 for the single-screen version. It will also start taking limited pre-orders for shipping before the end of the year.
At $599, the single-screen tablet, will be $100 more than a WiFi-only iPad and the same price as a Samsung Galaxy Tab from T-Mobile without a contract. But the Kno is ginormous. Even the single-paned one, with its 14.1 inch screen, is nearly twice as big as an iPad. That one debuted at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco (see demo video below).
Although the Kno has a color touch-screen and runs a browser and learning apps, it is competing less with the iPad than with the extra-large Kindle DX, which sells for $379, has a 9.7-inch black-and-white screen, and also targets the textbook market.
What it will come down to, though, is not so much the price of the device as much as the availability and price of the textbooks on each device. Kno CEO Osman Rashid declares that that the number of textbook titles available on the “Kindle Dx won’t be more than ours.” By the time, the Kno gets into students hands there will be tens of thousands of textbook titles for sale at 30 to 50 percent cheaper than the print editions. The Kno should pay for itself within three semesters, and students won’t have to lug around a backpack full of paper textbooks. They can also take notes on the Kno.
The money is in the textbooks and apps, not in the hardware. “We don’t see ourselves as a hardware platform, but as a learning platform company,” says Rashid. In a year or two, it is not hard to imagine that $599 Kno costing only half as much, opening up the world of digital textbooks to even more students. Below is the demo video if the Kno from Disrupt:
So is that gonna work okay?
Up on stage with me is Osman Rashid and Babur Habib.
Founder and CTO and CEO of Kno.
And you were also also the founder of Chegg.
Which just raised 75 million dollars.
W e’ll talk about that later.
Do you have a mic?
Are you mic-ed up?
I am mic-ed up.
So go ahead.
You’ve got 10 minutes to do your demo.
What are you gonna show us today?
First of all.
What is Kno?
Kno stands for knowledge.
It is short for knowledge.
But before we get into our announcement for the day, let me just take a quick minute to give a little bit of a background.
So we started Kno with one clear mission to improve the way students l earn.
In order to do that, we must first improve the learning experience that the students have today.
And the first thing we introduce the Kno a few months ago.
With the notion of doing just that to digitize the learning experience and to create a fusion between the national analog behavior, digital content and the learning experience.
Now to replace to improve experience, you know the first thing you have to do is really replaced what’s inside his backpack as you know, this can weight a lot.
And the Kno digitizes how you read, how you read, how you write, you do your research.
Y ou collaborate with other students and organize your knowledge .
We then wrapped that up into a learning platform to provide in context learning.
For example, if you’re a biology student, and you’re studying on a topic.
This was from information from the knowledge platform based on all the thing you are learning on the topic.
The entire notion is that when you combine this two together, you can fundamentally shift the way students learn today.
Is this your existing product?
So, this is Kno that was announced a few months ago.
So in June we unveiled the Kno.
A ground breaking dual display tablet textbook.
Our aim was to mimic the analog behavior of student learning into the digital platform.
And with 2 displays we can show a textbook alongside or a full browser all at the same time.
Exactly like how students do right now.
So our philosophy has always been that we are creating a learning platform in multiple devices.
W e’ll be able to access the platform and today we had taken the full step in the direction for.
For the first time, we’re very excited to announce a singles screen tablet textbook, and this 14.1 inch tablet text is fully integrated with o ur learning platform and allows the student to read, write, to collaborate, to organize your knowledge and research.
A nd so this one is what we’re gonna show for you today.
Now for the demo.
What I would like to talk today is the integrated experience that we want to provide students on our platform.
Can everybody see that.
So first all, and foremost for students is organization.
Our desktop provides kinds of space which organizes students life.
There’s a dedicated section to apps.
W e’ll have a full support for third party app developers as well as a software develop ing kit that we will be announcing in the future.
One of the examples of an app maybe a white board where the student’s chalked up what they need to do through out the day.
The micro c-section i s where all your course material is organized for that particular semester.
Now, in our previous announcement, what we showed you guys was how nicely a textbook is laid out on our device.
Today, we wanna one step further and show you how the notebook is integrated into our platform.
We want to provide students with a writing experience such that they forget the physical hand and paper.
Students have told us the designs of text book, taking class notes, doing home work annotating lecture notes is extremely important to them.
Now you can say, well, why don’t you give them a virtual keyboard and they can type away?
Well, it turns out the research had shown that students retain a lot more when they write rather than when they type.
A nd as you can see from this particular example of a class note page is not just about the text.
It’s about complex figures It’s about even more complex figure say when you’re doing a a homework problems, it’s about equations.
As we all know e quation editors are the most cumbersome piece of software that we know of.
Not only, it’s about the equation but you know, at time, students have to relay the equation, or a particular figure to grasp what are they’e drawing.
So here, let me do that as an example.
So, as you can see we will provide a seamless integration of into our device as well which is very, very important to students.
And this is s econd most important thing Integrating with our device now.
Let’s take this example a little bit further.
The notebook is not only just a place for writing.
But it’s also for integrating information from other sources.
In this particular case, it so happens that the student has imported a copy and pasted a figured from the textbook.
So now when they are reviewing all of these material from their midterm exam.
They come to the figure but, like yeah, you know what, there were a couple of other highlights that I did on that particular textbook.
Let me go there.
And with a single touch, you’re on the textbook now.
Exactly the same figure with all the highlights.
We’ll have a full integrated internet browser by the way, we’ll support flash as well as a HTML files.
Students can link particular sections of the page of the textbook to their duplicate websites as an example over here the students has l inked it to their department website.
Okay my files is slow.
Well, this is to show you how it will actually be Integrated over the .
I must be holding devise wrong.
Let me go back to the notebook and highlight a few other features of note taking.
It is not only a note taker but a lot of students like engineering students as well as art students will use it for drawing.
Here’s an example and you know one of the most important things about writing for students’ is how well doodle in class And, here is an example of what happened when we were when we were preparing for tech launch.
I hope you recognize the face.
You got a nice doodle there I wanna show the yeah.
You can give him mustache and a little thing.
We ‘re running out of time.
So I’m just gonna put the summary page here and show you guys how we’re integrating giving the students an integrated experience and bringing the analog world in which they live right now into the digital world.
Do you have a booth or anything?
Can people see this?
If they wanna check it out or just grab you before you leave.
I don’t believe you have booths right now.
Okay, well that was in, so you can look at the video.
Just one quick question before you get off here.
In the back stage we’re talking about ,you know, you started with Chegg, which is physical books
It’s sort of ,you know, you started with Chegg, which is physical books
It’s sort of disrupting the textbook market, and that now obviously that this sort of really disrupting it potentially.
Do you see a time in the future where you know these books are pay per download.
Could this be the rentals?
The whole notion is that we want to give students a choice in any medium physical or digital to get the book at a price or in the term that they want so they can buy the book completely or they can actually rent the book for short amount of time, it’s a different options.
Right and so who do you think this has been appeal to, versus the double paying book.
I mean it’s it’s a different or these targeted a different type of users.
We believe that they will be target audiences for both of the the devices.
There are some category of students that will be lighted to displays and would want to work with that and you know there are certain college students where they will feel that you know a cheaper device is what I want they will go for a device.
Is this gonna be gonna be cheaper.
Just will be absolutely cheaper than the dual screen and we will be anouncing pricing about 4 weeks.
Well everyone, please give him a round of applause.
Thank you very much for filling up.
And, we’re gonna take a five minute break as we’re running late and we got a jam-packed.