updated 01:40 pm EDT, Thu September 11, 2008
Rumors on Creative tablet
A Wednesday report suggests a patent filed by Creative at the start of 2008 may reveal an upcoming ZEN Internet tablet or ZEN Vision media player. Creative itself describes the device as a media player in the PDF patent document but conspicuously shows features such as a back-mounted camera that aren't normally used in this class of device.
Earlier reports had the company scrap one player and drop hints about focusing on another, equipped with Wi-Fi and with capacities as large as 32GB, leading many to believe it would be badged as the rumored X-Fi device; it's unclear whether the device in the patent was eventually replaced by the ZEN X-Fi or is an example that has never reached production.
With the above specs and talk of GPS and a touchscreen for the device in other reports, some believe the device could lead to an Internet Tablet. While there have been rumors about a high-end media player from the company, Creative itself said in April that such a device was too technically challenging to get off the ground. What, if anything, changed since the April announcement is not known, and the patent itself predates the announcement.
Such a comprehensive feature set would also drive the prices for a media-capable device into regions where Internet tablets roam.