updated 12:15 pm EDT, Tue November 2, 2010
Ziio 7, 10 debut as 1st Creative Android tablets
Creative entered into the tablet arena today with a pair of Android 2.1 tablets. The Ziio 7 and 10 both make audio their strong points and combine Creative's usual X-Fi audio processing with the use of apt-X's new audio codec. The format allows high-quality audio over Bluetooth with reduced lag, making them better fits for wireless headphones and speakers than the usual compressed sound.
The two are defined by their screens, which use a high-color but 800x480 seven-inch screen on the Ziio 7 but a low-color, 1024x600 display on the 10-inch Ziio. Both use a resistive touchscreen instead of capacitive to trade some precision for a lower price; the company includes a stylus to make up for the reduced finger accuracy. They still find room for a front-facing camera and an HDMI out that takes advantage of the Zii ZMS-08 chip to decode 1080p video on a TV.
Creative's tablets are getting a worldwide launch and should be available at the very end of the year. US pricing isn't yet listed, but 8GB versions of the Ziio slates will cost the equivalent of $279 and $333 for the seven- and 10-inch models in Singapore. The company also plans 16GB versions but is limiting those to its online store for roughly $302 and $357.
The launches were somewhat unexpected for Creative, which grew mostly silent after its media players lost much of their influence outside of Singapore. It signaled an intention to move to Android a year ago, but its only results until today were development platforms made with the hope that others would sign up. It was virtually silent on tablets until today as well and may be reacting equally to the iPad and the first wave of Android competitors.