When it comes to multimedia products Creative is one of the oldest companies that have been churning out competitive products starting off with PC peripherals like speakers and then branching out into components, media players and now tablets. In order to keep up with the public demand to stay current, it’s only natural for any company to try their hand at what’s currently trending in the market. Creative have launched two tablets under the ZiiO branding, a 7-incher and a 10-incher. Today, we’ll be reviewing the former that’s available in two memory capacities - 8GB and 16GB.
The ZiiO comes well packaged with all the basic accessories including a handy travel case. The 7-incher is only available in white so you might want to keep it in the case if that’s not your color. It's fairly lightweight at 415g and built well so it feels sturdy. Most of the ports are placed on the top which include the power button, 3.5mm headphone jack, mini HDMI (cable not included) and a mini-USB port. The volume rocker button is on the right while the micro-SD memory card slot is on the left. There were some issues with the card slot on our unit though, everytime a mciro SD card (2GB, 4GB, 8GB) was inserted, the tablet would stop responding and behave erratically. Creative also includes a thin-pin power adapter for charging although you can charge it via USB as well. The usual sets of touch sensitive shortcut buttons on the front similar to many Android based tablets and phones are located just under the display. The 7" screen sports a resolution of 480x800 pixels and is 13.7mm thick.
HDMI out supports 720p resolution
The Creative ZiiO 7 runs Android 2.2.1 FroYo with Creative's own skin. The interface is certainly not the best I've seen but it's manageable. Browsing the main menu feels very slow and laggy for some reason which is not the case with the home screen. Creative have added their own apps like the ZiiStore, ZiiAcademy which is a e-book reader that comes bundled with a few popular novels, Kindle app, Audible app which lets you access your audiobooks and their pure android audio (PAA) app that let's you control the X-Fi audio settings.
The ZiiO 7 is powered by their own ZiiLABS ZMS-08 chip which is essentially an Arm Cortex-A8 CPU running at 1GHz. Creative have also added some of their own home grown flavors like an X-Fi audio processor with Crystallizer and Expand audio features. The screen sports a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, but here’s the kicker, it’s a resistive touch screen with no multi-touch support which puts a huge damper on the overall worth of the device. There is a front facing VGA camera but no rear camera. For connectivity, we have Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and Wi-Fi with A2DP. I quite liked the overall build and design of the ZiiO, it doesn’t come across as tacky or unfinished like some lower end tablets.
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