Creative set to jump into eReader market with Zii MediaBook

The eReader market is booming with products available from multiple manufacturers including Amazon, Sony, and more. Manufacturers are trying to set their devices apart from the other readers with new features like touch screens and dual screens.

Late last month, Barnes & Noble unveiled its plans for the Nook eReader. Reports are now coming in that Creative is working on an eReader of its own called the Zii MediaBook. Creative promises that the MediaBook will be different from the other eReader on the market thanks to added multimedia features like a touchscreen, text-to-speech, and an SD memory card slot. Perhaps the biggest of the promised features is the ability to playback video files and surf the internet.

Those last two features imply that there will be Wi-Fi, but no mention of integrated 3G connectivity along the lines of what the Kindle offers have been made. Creative claims that the MediaBook will offer user's access to Facebook and Twitter on the go and will be able to view photos on the large touchscreen.

Exactly what OS the device will run is unknown, but with the Zii Egg sporting Android, it would be easy to see the MediaBook running Android as well. Creative is in talks with international and local publishers to offer their content on the device. The publishers print a wide range of content including fiction, newspapers, magazines, educational materials, and textbooks.

Singapore Press Holdings said, "We are discussing with Creative how SPH, as a significant content provider in Singapore, can provide what it has - stories, images, videos, or radio programmers - for the e-reader."

There is no word at this time when the device might hit the market or at what price it would be offered. If the device wants to battle, the Kindle and the Nook in the market a price of around $259 will be needed.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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