Creative enters tablet computing market


November 3, 2010

Creative has announced a 7- and 10-inch Android-based tablet computer with Bluetooth for wireless connection to headphones and speakers, and Wi-Fi for surfing the Internet

Creative has announced a 7- and 10-inch Android-based tablet computer with Bluetooth for wireless connection to headphones and speakers, and Wi-Fi for surfing the Internet

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Creative Technology has announced its break into the tablet computer market with the forthcoming release of the 7- and 10-inch ZiiO entertainment devices. The tablets are said to deliver the "best wireless audio performance you will get from an Android-based tablet" and also offer fuss-free Bluetooth pairing with the company's headphones and speakers. Also announced is the Zen Touch 2 media player.

Both ZiiO tablets will run on the Android 2.1 operating system and get their processing power from Creative's ZiiLABS ZMS-08 HD Media-Rich Applications Processor. The 7-inch model offers a screen resolution of 480 x 800 with 16.8 million colors, while the 10-inch offers 1024 x 600 with 252,000 colors. Sadly, Creative has opted for a resistive touchscreen interface, so there's no pinching or zooming available here but, as you might expect from a big name in audio product manufacture, the sound is said to be what separates this tablet offering from the competition.

Both ZiiO models benefit from Creative's X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi Expand technologies. X-Fi Crystalizer restores CD-quality playback to digital music files, and X-Fi Expand adds realism to sound effects in games and movies. They both come with Bluetooth 2.1 wireless technology which, together with the apt-X codec, is said to allow the streaming of high fidelity stereo digital music content to the company's range of compatible headphones and speakers.

Also on offer is 802.11b/g wireless connectivity, HDMI-out and mini-USB ports, a front-facing VGA-quality camera, accelerometer, and microSD card support on the 7-inch model, with SD card support on the 10-inch version. Users can slot in extra storage to complement the 8GB or 16GB offered with each model.

There's no word on U.S. pricing, but the ZiiO tablets are set for a December release in Europe and Singapore. The 7-inch tablet is priced at SGD359 (US$278) for the 8GB model and SGD389 (US$302) for the 16GB. The 10-inch version carries a price tag of SGD429 (US$333) for the 8GB model and SGD459 (US$356) for the 16GB.

At the same time, Creative has also announced the release of the Zen Touch 2 media player. Available in two versions, each with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display and either 8GB or 16GB of storage, the device offers lossless music playback via Bluetooth 2.1 to any compatible headphones or speakers. In addition to a standard version, the player is also offered with enhanced functionality, including GPS, digital compass and FM radio. The player also runs on Android 2.1 and benefits from 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity, a built-in speaker, 2MP camera and a microSD slot for storage expansion.

The Zen Touch 2 is also penciled in for a December release slot and is priced at SGD279 (US$216) for the 8GB standard version, SGD319 (US$247) for the 16GB standard version and SGD299 (US$232) for the 8GB enhanced version. As with the ZiiO tablets, there's no mention of a U.S. release slot.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

Hopefully Creative have addressed the problems of the first Touch model they released. I would like to see Creative back up to the high quality standards they had with their earlier media players like the ZEN Vision M and Zen Vision W.

Expandable usable card slots would be great as well to boost them to 32GB or higher.

Tony Lin

Loved my 40 GB Zen, just was pissed that couldn\'t update driver after windows media 10

Justin Schetrompf

The Zen X-Fi2 has a lousy touch interface. I wouldn\'t trust this new tablet any farther than I could toss it like a Frisbee.



Denis Klanac

It seems like good sound quality is not the top of the list for most people (who will just be listening to compressed files through headphones anyway). The better resolution of the 10\" model would appeal to me, but not more than pinch zoom, or AMOLED. People looking for a quality product will want it all the way around, not just in audio. Hopefully Creative gets the idea before going to US launch.

Charles Bosse

well well welll..make that 10 inch thing capacitive and i am right in !

Atul Malhotra
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