Creative is showing off its new line of Android tablets at CES, and I got a chance to check out the Creative ZiiO 7 and 10 inch devices. Both tablets feature Creative’s own ZiiLabs ZMS-08 media processor which has support for a wide range of audio and video formats. The tablets can also pump out 1080p HD video to an external display over an HDMI port, and high quality audio over a Bluetooth (or headphone jack) connection.
The tablets seemed relatively fast and responsive — but only when using a fingernail or stylus. That’s because both models have resistive touchscreen displays, and not very good ones either. While I’ve used resistive screens in the past which are actually hard to tell apart from capacitive touchscreens, this one is pretty bad. You have to press very hard with a fingertip if you want to use the tablet without using a nail. And when you do press down, you’ll notice that the plastic film on the screen actually depresses a little bit. The viewing angles are also pretty poor.
The ZiiO 7 also has a rather cheap feeling plastic case with volume buttons that feel like they were made for a toy. The bezel around the screen is rather large, making the tablet much bulkier than the Samsung Galaxy Tab even though both devices have 7 inch displays. The ZiiO 7 also has a lower resolution 800 x 480 pixel display.
Creative does offer a larger model called the ZiiO 10 with a 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display. The case on this model is also made of plastic, but it feels a little sturdier. A nice touch on this model are the capacitive buttons below the screen — which include media buttons for controlling audio and video playback.
The Creative ZiiO 7 is available from Amazon for for $249 and up. The 10 inch model isn’t yet available in the US, but it should be soon.