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Intel to invest in tablet maker Kno Inc.

The chipmaker will take over the hardware and distribution, while Kno will begin focusing of software development.

The Silicon Valley startup company Kno Inc. has been running into unfortunate shipment problems and delays this year for its high-end dual-screen tablet aimed at students. Initially set to release last December, the company announced in February that the tablet will see delays for undisclosed reasons.

Luckily for Kno, Intel may be picking up their troubles by means of a $30 million investment, according to a report from Bloomberg. This will ultimately transfer licensing control of the Kno tablet over to Intel. The chipmaker, however, will not be directly manufacturing the tablets, and will instead be sharing the hardware of the Kno tablet with OEM partners instead, claims All Things Digital. This means we may see similar dual-sreen tablets from other manufacturers that are based on the ill-fated Kno tablet design.

In turn, Kno will shift its focus away from hardware and onto software development. According to CEO Osman Rashid, the company will likely develop for the Android platform first due to what he claims will have better stylus support than the iPad. “There is no real concept of a stylus on the iPad,” he said. “The current iPad is meant for the finger.

Although the Kno tablet was targeted at students and educational use, it had top of the line specifications, especially for a tablet that was supposed to have shipped late last year. The tablet was to have included dual-screen 14.1-inch screens at 1440x900 resolution each, an Nvidia Tegra 2 APU, 512MB RAM, 32GB SSD, and up to 6 hours of battery runtime. The massive 5.6 pound tablet was to cost $899 at launch, while a single-screen variant was to sell for $599.

If intel does indeed distribute the Kno tablet design, Electronista notes that Intel will very likely replace the Tegra 2 APU, possibly with an Intel Atom processor as the Nvidia mobile chip is one of the direct competitors of Intel in the mobile market. 


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Allen Ngo, 2011-04- 9 (Update: 2012-05-26)