The Creative ZiiO comes well packaged with all the basic accessories including a handy travel case. It’s fairly lightweight at 415g and built well. 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 usual set of touch-sensitive buttons on the front similar to many Android-based tablets and phones are located just under the display. The Creative ZiiO 7 runs Android 2.2 ‘FroYo’ with Creative’s own customisations.
But for some reason, browsing the main menu feels very slow. Creative has added its own apps like the ZiiStore, ZiiAcademy — an e-book reader that comes bundled with a few popular novels — Kindle app and a pure Android audio (PAA) application that lets you control the settings. An Arm Cortex A8 processor running at 1GHz powers the tablet.
The screen sports a resolution of 480x800 pixels, but here’s the kicker: it’s a resistive touchscreen with no multi-touch support, which simply put is a huge setback. There is a front-facing VGA camera but no rear camera. For connectivity, you get Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and Wi-Fi with A2DP.
We quite liked the overall build and design of the ZiiO, and it isn’t tacky like other low-end tablets. Navigating around the ZiiO is a painful experience. The interface is very sluggish and this is not because of the resistive screen, which is still manageable; rather, it’s the main menu that gets really bogged down. It’s the same scenario when you try opening an application. Many times, the screen will simply lock up and be unresponsive for ten seconds or so.
Since the ZiiO doesn’t have a SIM card slot, the Android Market Place is not available. Creative has their own version of this called ZiiStore, which requires a one-time sign-up process to gain access. The selection of apps is definitely limited, most of which you’ve may have never heard of.
You can avoid this, by connecting the ZiiO to your computer and loading the apps directly. The sound quality is really good, thanks to the X-Fi sound chip. One major glitch we found is that you can’t use the volume rocker in sleep mode or when the ZiiO is locked, which is ridiculous. This means you have to wake it up, unlock the screen and then adjust the volume. This is quite a task if you’re listening to music. In terms of battery life, we got about a day’s worth from the ZiiO.
Creative’s first attempt at a tablet is a major letdown. And to top it, off the company has priced it at Rs, 17,999. If the ZiiO was priced somewhere around 10,000, it would make a decent buy considering that it plays full HD movies, and runs Google Android.
Even though Creative classifies it as a tablet, you’ll won’t use it for productivity due to its sluggish interface and mere 8GB of memory.