Creative surprises with low-cost ZiiO tablets

November 3rd, 2010 | by Alfred Siew

After staying quiet for a good while, the Singapore firm yesterday surprised many techies by pulling two Android-based tablet computers out of the hat with prices starting from a mere S$359.

That’s for the ZiiO tablet sporting a 7-inch screen and 8GB memory, and running Android 2.1. A 10-inch model with the same 8GB built in goes for S$429. Both are going on sale at the Creative online store from end-December and at other retailers a month later.

The interesting thing is that both use Creative’s ZiiLabs ZMS-08 chip, which is now based on an 1GHz Arm Cortex-based design that is common on many cellphones and tablets. Among the other “differentiators” that the company has promised is improved Bluetooth audio quality when you listen to music and watch movies with wireless headsets.

Disappointingly, though, it seems Creative has gone for a resistive touch-screen in the ZiiO, instead of the now-popular capacitive version that offers multi-touch and better sensitivity when swiping around with one’s fingers.

Another question I have for Creative is: why Android 2.1? The game has moved on to Android 2.2 months ago, and we are looking at Google launching its next OS iteration called Gingerbread, likely in the coming weeks rather than months.

Having said all that, what I do like about Creative’s new gadget is that it is cheap (in comparison, prices for the iPad start from S$728 here). For a lot of folks out there, the ZiiO’s low price may be all that matters when they see a large-screen iPad alternative at the shops.

Unlike Engadget, I’m not going to say this is a “me too” gizmo. It will compete at the low-end, and I believe there are lots of customers in the low-end. If I were a Creative product manager, I’d only worry if I can ward off the dozens of clones that can be expected from China.

2 Comments

  1. ITman says:

    Battery life will be released to surprise many!!

    Manage to have chance to hands on this ZiiO as my friend get a chance for product test. I am impressed! Good bluetooth connectivity and sound playback. I do not think Samsung Galaxy and Ipad are able to compete against Creative sound production capability.

    As I thought the resistive screen may fail my expectation, to my surprise the screen is pretty responsive. Owesome tool for entertainment on the go. Another point to add. I do not feel much warmest after abt 2hrs of constant playing on it. Perhaps is the Zii chip. Hmm.. Good battery life too!! I cant wait for the launch.

  2. Armin Wensky says:

    Nice review. But where are the informations about the battery life/battery run time? Why are you so quiet?

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