Kno raises $46 million to build a very powerful tablet

Why is the device compelling? [Marc] Andreessen and [Osman] Rashid talk about how Kno is offering a total product – software, hardware and services – that will be compelling to the college user. They can purchase textbooks and view them just as they look in printed format. Users will be able to take notes, draw on the pages, etc., just like the print versions. And they’ll be able to access those books on a variety of devices – even eventually their desktop and laptops – because Kno’s software is built on webkit and designed to run on a variety of hardware setups. And there’s a normal web browser too for the Internet in general.

As for textbook pricing, Rashid says the model will work. Imagine an iTunes for college textbooks, he says, and users who purchase the tablet and all their books will be paying about the same amount v. just buying print books over the first 13 months. That means individual books on the Kno will be priced lower than the average of $100 for the print versions.