Creative have joined the amassed ranks of, well, just about everyone, in offering an Android tablet. But they aren’t fighting it out at the top with the likes of Samsung, and with the ZiiO 7 starting at a penny under £200 this could be the tablet you’re looking for to keep you entertained on the move.
Running Android 2.1, with an update to Android 2.2 promised (with Creative saying that this would “definitely” bring with it access to Android Market), Creative have done a little customisation to make the device their own.
Rocking a 7-inch 800 x 480 pixel resolution resistive touchscreen display, we found the touch response to be pretty good, and given the size on offer, we had no problem rattling out a few choice sentences on the on-screen keyboard.
The construction is befitting of its budget status, so don’t expect it to be beautifully hewn from premium grade metal – its decidedly plasticky in the hand. But you do get to expand the memory via the addition of a microSD card, adding to the 8GB or 16GB options available to you.
We dug around the menus and investigated Creative’s differentiator, which is on the audio front. They’ve incorporated their X-Fi technology which promises to improve the quality of your audio playback. To fit in with their line of wireless speakers, you’ll also find that the ZiiO comes with Bluetooth 2.1 and features the apt-X audio codec, which promised high fidelity, low latency audio performance over Bluetooth.
Reading from the spec sheet the video and audio format support is comprehensive, but we’ll reserve judgement until we get the ZiiO 7 in for a full review.
Creative told us that you’d get access to apps through the ZiiStore, however the sample we looked at had Slide Market. Angry Birds was present and correct, as it seems to have become the defacto game to demonstrate anything Android.
We’ll also be investigating how it performs, given that it’s using Creative’s own chipset and they couldn’t tell us what the clock speed was of the processor, or how much RAM was in support. It can’t be too shabby though, as we’ve seen it playing 720p HD video out over HDMI to a TV – and it looked pretty good.
NOTE: The model we snapped wasn’t final hardware and didn’t feature the HDMI. As we understand it, retail versions will feature the HDMI.
UPDATE: We've added some ZiiO 10-inch picture here (that's the black one). There are a range of touch controls across the bottom in the bezel, including playback controls, with Creative pitching this as a device for watching video on the move. Essentially it offers the same tech specs as the 7-inch model, except with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution display.