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Creative Throws Their Hat Into The E-Book Ring: Zii MediaBook

Nov 1 2009, 2:39am CST | by , in News | Technology News

Creative Throws Their Hat Into The E-Book Ring: Zii MediaBook
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All the tech news sites (including this one) have dedicated an enormous amount of time, effort, and words discussing the Apple iTablet. Despite the fact that such a product may not and may never exist, every rumor and analyst speculation about it has been picked apart and discussed to death. While we were busy geeking out over this mythical gadget, Creative was busy actually building the damn thing.

That's right; Epizenter reports that, at their Annual General Meeting, Creative made a surprise announcement. They unveiled a working prototype of their very first e-reader, tentatively named the Zii MediaBook. This MediaBook isn't your standard black-and-white e-ink reader either. It's got a touchscreen, text-to-speech functionality, and an SD slot. Creative also says it will be 'Internet-enabled', but didn't elaborate if that meant 3G functionality or WiFi (or both).

Creative is building their new product as more of a multimedia tablet PC than a dedicated e-reader. While it will function as a reader (Creative is still working out deals with content providers) it will also be able to play video and browse pictures. Basically, Creative is designing a tablet with a 'large' touchscreen that's designed for movie watching, Internet browsing, and e-book reading. Sound familiar?

While it definitely won't have access to the App Store, the MediaBook will deliver on everything else we've expected from the iTablet. We'll finally get to see if consumers actually want a large-screen tablet PC for media viewing and Internet browsing. Personally, I don't see the allure of such a device over a traditional laptop, but mainstream customers may very well disagree.

No details on a launch date, cost, or content delivery methods have been given yet. Considering Creative already has a working prototype, I doubt we'll have to wait too long before we get them. So, is anyone excited about this? Or is a tablet PC made by someone other than Apple boring?

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