Creative announces plans to enter e-reader market with Zii MediaBook

Mediabook_mockup

At its Annual General Meeting a few days ago, Creative surprisingly announced its intention to enter the growing e-reader market with a new product currently designated as the Zii MediaBook (mock-up at left). Unlike other e-readers from companies such as Amazon and Sony that feature electronic paper displays and limited additional functionality beyond e-books, the MediaBook will be positioned as more of a complete media device with full multimedia and internet functionality.

There currently are no finalized specifications, but early reports suggest the device will sport a large full-color LCD touchscreen (around 7 inches), a text-to-speech function, and an SD card slot; it is also rumored to use Creative’s Zii Technology, specifically the ZiiLABS ZMS-05 processor. This indicates some impressive capabilities including multitouch support, decoding for most audio and video formats, HD (720/1080p) video output, and support for Creative’s Plaszma OS and/or Google’s Android OS. With the promised online functions, we can also assume the MediaBook includes WiFi and maybe even 3G connectivity. Creative is currently negotiating with 10 international and local (Singaporean) publishers to provide content for the Zii MediaBook.

Unfortunately there are no further details concerning price and launch dates, but epiZENter found a leaked video taken at Creative’s AGM event showing the Zii MediaBook’s prospective design and UI. Check it out below.

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