Creative Ziio 7in review
The Creative ZiiO does things a little differently to most. A 7in Android 2.1 tablet from a manufacturer with plenty of media expertise, it boasts enhanced audio features and a price of only £200 inc VAT. In the current tablet deluge, we could be looking at a real bargain.
The headline feature is its ZiiLabs ZMS-08 processor, which combines a 1GHz ARM CPU with a media-processing array to jointly power a range of X-Fi audio enhancements. For instance, audio geeks can tweak EQ settings in Expand and “restore missing detail” in MP3s via Crystalizer; controls for these are always within reach, both within the audio app and right on the homescreen shortcut. And the ZiiO pairs effortlessly with headsets and speakers over Bluetooth 2.1 with the apt-X codec, so it can be your high-quality music hub in the home and on the move.
It’s slightly larger than some of the dearer 7in tablets, such as the ViewSonic ViewPad 7, with a 15mm white bezel around the sides that gives it a plasticky look. The chassis is the opposite of stylish but it doesn’t feel overly weak or flimsy, and the materials mean it’s thinner – if not lighter – than many of its rivals.
The ZiiO comes with 8GB of built-in storage (or 16GB for just £183 exc VAT) for all that media, along with a microSD slot to accept up to 32GB more. Volume controls sit on the right side (as you hold it portrait style), with HDMI and a 3.5mm headphone jack on top, next to the power button and a mini-USB connector. In fact, this is the easiest way to get content – specifically apps – onto the ZiiO.
This is because the ZiiO doesn’t have access to the Android Market; instead, you can sign up to the installed ZiiStore for a narrow range of generally poor and obscure apps. Alternatively, ZiiO Space, which irritatingly requires a separate sign-up, is where you get your firmware updates, and it also features popular web-based apps with instructions on how to get them yourself. That’s a start at least, but doesn’t get round the fact that getting hold of apps in this way isn’t really ideal for beginners.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||133 x 207 x 14mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||480|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|Display type||Colour touchscreen LCD|
|CPU frequency, MHz||1,000MHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.3mp|
|Built-in flash type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||1|
|Mobile operating system||Android 2.1|