After the Creative ZiiO Android tablet's impressive debut at the beginning of November, the announcement of availability and pricing for Europe only left some concerns and questions regarding when or if the devices would hit the US. Luckily by the end of November, we got a big hint that the ZiiO was officially coming across the Atlantic from evidence that it was passing through the FCC. And with that, as expected, Creative's first foray into the Android tablet marketplace has gone on sale through its online store for a very tempting $249.99 for the base 8GB model, with the larger 16GB model coming in at $269.99.
The very reasonable pricing gives you an Android tablet that clearly wants to stake its claim in the higher end of the spectrum, with the stand-out features being a 1GHz Cortex-A8 based ZiiLABS ZMS-08 HD processor, playback of 1080p Blu-Ray quality HD video, Creative's X-Fi enhanced sound technology, and hardware 3D graphics acceleration. Other specs include b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a front-facing VGA webcam, microSD support, and various standard connections such as HDMI output, mini USB, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The tablet ships with Android 2.1 and unfortunately doesn't have access to Android Market, with Creative's ZiiO Space acting as a stand-in, but the company has promised a future update to Android 2.2 including built-in support for the Market. Another potential issue for some buyers is the tablet's use of a resistive touch screen panel instead of a capacitive panel. However, with its combination of impressive hardware and a very competitive price, I think the Creative ZiiO 7 is definitely a welcome addition to the Android tablet race and an option to consider for those searching for a good performance/value option.[Creative US store via Engadget]