November 10, 2010

Kno Releasing Digital Textbook Readers By Year’s End

Kno Inc. announced on Tuesday it would start shipping its digital textbook reader for students by the end of the year.

Kno said its 14.1-inch single screen tablet will cost $599.  The dual-screen version of the device will sell for $899.

Kno received funding from Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm launched by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, to help make the device.

The California-based company said it was accepting a limited number of pre-orders to an initial shipment that will be delivered by the end of the year.

"Kno's extraordinary benefits represent only a tiny fraction of the overall cost of college," Kno co-founder and chief executive Osman Rashid said in a press release. "When you do the math, it actually pays for itself."

Kno said it began testing the device with students and received a positive response for both the single and dual screen devices.

The company said digital textbooks will be sold through the Kno bookstore and cost between 30 percent and 50 percent less than physical textbooks.

Kno is working with a number of publishers, including Cengage, McGraw Hill, Pearson, Macmillan, Bedford, Freeman & Worth, Holtzbrinck, BarCharts Publishing, Kaplan, Random House and University Presses.

"According to the not-for-profit College Board's 2010 report, the average college student spends approximately 1,100 dollars a year on books and supplies," Kno co-founder and chief technology officer Babur Habib said.

"Kno can reduce that cost while bringing education into the 21st Century, providing students with a far superior learning experience than they have today."

The company was founded in May 2009 and announced in September it had received $46 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and other venture capitalists.


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