The Kno, with its dual 14-inch screens and touch-based Linux operating system, is aimed at students and is slated to hit the market at the end of the year. Kno isn't talking price just yet, but the company's goal is for it to be well under $1,000.
I had a chance to catch up with Kno CEO Osman Rashid just after his onstage demo and got a firsthand look at the device.
In particular, I was curious how the company planned to get eight hours of battery life in a device sporting two large LCD displays. Rashid noted that each screen has its own battery pack.
Rashid said the Kno's Web-based operating system was designed from the ground up to use touch as the primary input. "We are not going to try to retrofit something, we are going to build it from scratch." It also supports full Web-browsing, including Flash 10.1.
As you will see in our videos, the Kno's displays are a little extra-shiny, creating glare in any direct light. However, the folks at Kno say the final units will ship with an antiglare screen.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company and its 90 employees have been working on the product for about a year, Rashid said. The company never considered using e-ink for either screen, Rashid said, noting that the company wanted to show textbooks and other content in all their glory.
As for the market, Rashid said he doesn't expect students will give up their laptops when it comes to writing papers, but said they will find they don't need to bring that device to class.
"We believe the laptop is becoming the new desktop," he said. "It is going to stay in your dorm or in your home. This is all you need to carry around."
Here's my video interview with Rashid, followed by a closer look at the device.
And here's a closer look at the Kno's user device.