April 8, 2011

Creative Launches ZiiO Tablets in India

One more company has joined the Tablet bandwagon – enter the Creative ZiiO. Creative has been in the audio and PMP business for some time now and their ‘Zen’ range of devices, both DAPs (Digital Audio Players) and PMPs, have enjoyed quite a bit of popularity in the Indian marketplace. They have however been a bit low key of late but the introduction of these two new devices should give their fans the shakeup that’s been much needed.

Part of their new Pure Wireless Entertainment solutions, the ZiiO 7-inch and 10-inch Pure Wireless Entertainment Tablets were announced today. These devices were announced back in December of 2010 but have only made it to India now.

 They will feature Google’s Android OS running FroYo aka version 2.2 running on a ZiiLABS ZMS-08 HD Media-Rich Applications Processor. The company claims that these devices have been designed to offer their users the best wireless audio performance they can get from an Android-based tablet in the market. That’s a pretty strong statement but they’ve been able to cope very well in the portable audio segment for a long time so it’s a possibility they just might pull it off. The ZiiO tablets have been infused with their Sound Blaster and X-Fi (X-Fi Crystalizer, X-Fi Expand) audio enhancement technologies to try and make good on that statement.

The ZiiO tablets will be able to connect to Creative’s new range of wireless Bluetooth speakers and headphones that are all A2DP compatible. The tablets will feature –
  • 7-inch (480 x 800 with 16 million colors) and 10-inch (1024 x 600 with 262k colors) resistive touchscreens
  • Wi-Fi only models (since their primary USP is media)
  • Bluetooth with A2DP + EDR and apt-X, USB 2.0
  • Front Facing VGA camera
  • Support for H.264, MPEG4, WMV9, MJPEG, MOV, AVI and MKV video formats
  • Support for MP3, AAC, WMA9, FLAC, OGG, ADPCM, MIDI, WAV, Audible Format 4
  • HDMI out supporting 720p
  • Available in 8GB and 16GB memory capacities with microSD card support
  • Features a built in microphone
  • 3.5mm earphone socket

The resistive touchscreens could be a bit disappointing for some considering the very last thing you want to do with a finger friendly OS like Android is to whip out a stylus.

Creative ZiiO also comes with various other accessories which include a Leather Case, Screen protector, a Stylus and Universal Power Adapter. The Creative ZiiO 8GB tablets will be available in India at select outlets for suggested retail prices of Rs. 17,999 (7-inch tablet) and Rs. 21,999 (10-inch tablet). Prices of the 16GB models have yet to be announced.

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