Creative enhances tablet audio, connectivity with ZiiO lineup

By Mike Fischer on November 2, 2010, 7:31 PM
Before the iPod Touch and the iPad, Creative Labs was a major player in the portable audio market. Today things have changed a bit, but Creative hopes to recapture lost ground with the new ZiiO line of "Pure Wireless Entertainment Tablets." Running Android 2.1 and utilizing Creative's in-house ZMS-08 processor, the tablets will come in 7 and 10-inch versions. Besides the usual features like email and web browsing, they deliver "the most seamless, fuss-free Bluetooth pairing experience" with external speakers and headphones (also included in the product line), as well as built-in Wi-Fi.

Where the tablets should really shine though is in audio quality. Capitalizing on Creative's base as a sound card manufacturer, the ZiiO will utilize proprietary technology previously used to enhance multimedia on its X-Fi line of Sound Blaster products. The X-Fi Crystalizer restores lost sound quality in digital formats, while the X-Fi Expander creates a greater depth of field for a more immersive experience, especially when using headphones. Also included is support for apt-X, a high-performance, low-latency audio codec designed to work well over Bluetooth connections.

Price will range between $359.00 and $459.00, depending on storage (either 8GB or 16GB) and which screen size is chosen. Also featured in the new product line is the ZEN Touch 2, the pocket-sized cousin of the ZiiO, which features the same Bluetooth connectivity and retails between $279.00 and $319.00.

User Comments: 18

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Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Tablets look like they would be nice to have but when I stop to think about it, I can't think of one reason why I would need one other than it would be cool to mess around with for a bit. Idk I guess there's a market out there for them.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

I'm using an ipad now, and I honestly dont really see whats the big deal with tablets or ipads... Nothing I cant really do on my smartphone.

More of like an oversized mp3 player in creative's case


A plus for yet more competition in this market. Seems like every other day we hear about a manufacture making a tablet. I will agree though these are mostly just toys, and there probably isn't much of a real use for them in the consumer world. I do however see a lot of potential for business use, which is probably why HP and Blackberry are making business-aimed tablets.

Either way... and I say this every time, but it's good to see competition coming to this market. I hope it catches on and the technology matures and prices go down.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The Samsung YP-K5 had an epic pair of speakers which on it's battery could last 6-8 hours easily. If Samsung was able to get those speakers into other phones (namely there own of course, but regardless) and even laptops, I think integrated portable audio solutions would be a lot different, namely for the better.

Anywho, too bad Archos beat them to most of that a long time ago.

nismo91 said:

the earlier creatives zens and nomads players have quite a great sound quality compared to the ipods, especially when cranked. they also serves as mass storage devices well. if it wasn't for the horrid battery life and stupid design.

this one just looks like another tablet. tired of it, i'll just wait till all the tablets are on sale side-by-side in a local store then i'll decide one.

hassaan said:

Tablet wars are coming with RIM, HP, Dell and others launching their products in coming months.

gobbybobby said:

This seems a bit overpriced really, and only 8GB or 16GB, Not worth it at all! While I would love a device like this, I cannot justify the price.

kaonis92 said:

It's funny to see that Apple is always leading the market by introducing something that already exists and conviencing everyone that they can no longer live without having it and then all the rest try to catch up with similar products...

unrealmp3 unrealmp3 said:

I've been waiting for the Zii Egg to come out, but it seems like it won't happen anytime soon. Too bad, because the size factor and the overall feature list was impressive


dansausage said:

I really have no use for a tablet at those prices why not buy a netbook much more useful.

turbotank84 said:

It look like a nice tablet. Hopefully it can be upgrade to froyo 2.2 or higher and soon. It doesn't make sense that all of these new tablet, cellphone are using android but takes forever to upgrade. It's very disappointing that you can make good use out of android.

ChrisG683 said:

I wish more companies would invest in Creative's X-Fi technology and embed it into their devices. It makes everything sound so much better, and Creative is licensing the technology to other sound card makers, so I don't see why others won't pick it up.

Puiu Puiu said:

New and expensive tablets. I'm so happy now that i'm still not able to buy one.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i want a really good audio portable player by creative, but don't need a tablet. so this product looks interesting but not for me.


hassaan said:

Given all the progress that Creative has NOT made in the last decade, it's easy to forget that they were once as the forefront of the portable electronics market.

These might bring in a few buyers, but they're really weak efforts compared to what the competition is doing.

crazyboy88 said:

Could you guys also specify if it's 3G capable?

AbsolutGaloot said:

Neat and all, but Creative has fallen so far behind in the personal media device market. They used to have the best offerings, but now they seem to only be interested in something "good enough to sell" and not "best in class"

hitech0101 said:

Price seems to be high for this type of device if they are making an entertainment tab they really have to bring down the price if they have to compete with other tabs out there but banking only on entertainment feature seems a bit too much.

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