Creative ZiiO review, first impressions, gallery and video

This morning we got a look at the two new Creative Android tablets, the ZiiO 7″ and the ZiiO 10″. While they’re a snip at around £200, there’s also some major corner cutting gone on with Creatve’s latest offering.

The biggest corner that’s been cut is in the screens. Both the 10″ and the 7″ ZiiO tablets have resistive touchscreens. When we heard this a big cross got struck through these two tablets in our minds. But then, in the demo we were given, we didn’t notice any clunky pressing action going on, or any excessive finger stabbing: it seemed like (and we know this might be hard to believe) that for resistive touchscreens, these ones are pretty good.

The other major corner that’s been cut is in the operating system. It runs Android 2.1, which, according to Google, tablets are not supposed to run. Google has said tablets should not be running Froyo, never mind Android 2.1, as both the ZiiO tablets are. While the brief demo we got of the black 10″ ZiiO tablet seemed to work fine, it does seem to be a gamble. A Froyo update is apparently incoming though, but we think it’s worth holding off buying one of these until this update arrives.

Which brings us to the third corner cut: there’s currently no apps provider available on the device. The ZiiO tablets do not have Google Certification, which means they do not have access to the Android Marketplace. If and when Creative gets Google Certification for its tablets, then it will be able to get Android Marketplace. But a spokesperson told us today that Creative would bring out a new model of the ZiiO tablet if and when this happened.

The ZiiO 10″ and 7″ tablets appear to be for little more than media players with big screens. They are not built for all the other things you want to be able to do on a tablet. There was no news on the processor and RAM of the ZiiO tablets either, and we were told that these were “still being optimised”.

In terms of inputs and outputs there’s a headphone jack, HDMI, and microSD. Battery life is five hours of continuous movie playback, or 10 hours of mixed use. If all you want is something to watch videos and play music on, then here’s you answer. But if you want a content-rich tablet, then look elsewhere.

ZiiO 7” out early December | £200-£220
ZiiO 10” out mid December | £250-£270

What do you think of the Creative Android tablets? False economy or real bargain? Drop us a line in the comments and let us know what you think!

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