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Tablet wars claim first victim

It's not even a year yet since the iPad was released, and already most major PC manufacturers have some sort of tablet in the works. But while that's great news for us consumers, it's bad for smaller manufacturers who'd hoped to get ahead of the big boys in this new area - just as Nokia got ahead with mobile phones, or Apple with smartphones.

One such company is Kno, an electronics maker specialising in education equipment. They recently released a powerful, dual-screen tablet with dedicated software for note-taking and writing. It's a nice bit of kit, but at $899 significantly more expensive than even the most expensive iPad, or upcoming tablets like the Xoom. All the signs are that with major manufacturers piling into the tablet arena, people are more likely to go with Apple or Android than an expensive dedicated device.

So now Kno are reportedly looking into selling their tablet-making division, and focusing purely on making software for existing platforms (basically, they want to make an iPad app). Internal sources are saying the speed with which major companies moved into the tablet arena took Kno by surprise.

We suspect Kno won't be the last company to give up on tablets, just as some have given up on PCs and phones in the past. But it's still sad to see what looked like an innovative interesting product possibly on the way out. If these reports are true, we only help the eventual buyer looks after those who've already bought a Kno.

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