The future of textbooks? A look at the Kno Tablet

| March 4, 2011

“[The Kno] brings to life the interesting notion of browsing a text book on one screen while simultaneously looking up background references on the Web on the other–or taking notes; it has handwriting recognition so your lecture notes get automatically neatened. It’s also being touted as a powerful media-playing machine–with HD video playback and audio recording powers.” (Reference)

The days of lugging around heavy textbooks and organizing your academic life in various places are being revolutionized by technology. I didn’t feel this “revolution” until I returned to school and realized that I had a few tough decisions to make, some relating to money matters and textbooks, that would redefine how I studied, researched, and connected with others about research.  Do I make some sushi-money by reading textbooks off of my computer screen instead of purchasing the more expensive textbook?  If I read off of the screen, what program or method will I use to take notes and highlight important information?  Will it be on the computer?  Wait–but if I take notes in a separate document, I’ll have the book open on my desktop, too. This might get difficult…..What to do?

One such device is attempting to consolidate the many items students use in their academic lives.  The device is…(drum roll, please) the Kno Tablet– a technology that is working towards reinventing the way students research and study.  Complete with the option to turn the pad into one or two 14 inch touchscreens, the Kno Tablet makes reading, browsing the internet, taking notes, highlighting…and organizing your student life, a relative breeze.  The built-in browser with WiFi allows students to immediately access course information on websites and browse the internet for research (and non-research) purposes–gotta love those Facebook breaks.  Boasting “thousands of books at your fingertips,” the ebook store allows students to save money for the overall cost of education and claims to be able to pay for itself in three semesters.

Although I must admit all of this sounds very cool, my one question is…How is this different from what I’m already able to do with my laptop?  I already read my books and articles on my computer, I take notes using my word processor, I can highlight information on most pdfs and the ebrary books.  Why would I need a Kno Tablet–other than the fact that it looks pretty cool?

Check out the Kno Tablet website