Print 9 comment(s) - last by magneticfield.. on Nov 3 at 8:37 AM

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.

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At least they're not calling it "eReader"...
By quiksilvr on 11/2/2009 12:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad they are calling it what it is: a MEDIA book.

RE: At least they're not calling it "eReader"...
By fatedtodie on 11/2/2009 12:47:38 PM , Rating: 1
I prefer truth in advertising and naming.

It should be called "another product you won't buy or if you do you will regret 1 minute after you are unable to return it".

Ebook readers while nice in concept are screwed by the 15 million brands/formats. If we learned anything from the Blu-ray HD-DVD war its that any competition in FORMAT delays adoption when/if there is a winner.

RE: At least they're not calling it "eReader"...
By Smartless on 11/2/2009 1:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
There are that many brands and formats? Wow. Or whoever makes it the easiest. Look at the iPod.

RE: At least they're not calling it "eReader"...
By Motoman on 11/2/2009 2:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
While I'd never recommend an Apple product over anything else, I agree with your point.

...which is there's little or no point to eReaders of any name. Use whatever you already have. Because you almost certainly already have a laptop, MID, or something that will do everything an eReader will do and more.

If you don't have any of those devices...your first purchase most certainly should not be an eReader.

By jkresh on 11/2/2009 4:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree with you, while I will read some pdfs on my tablet and on occasion on my tp2 (and both have nice screens) neither compares with a kindle for long reading sessions and I know more then a few people who cant read a book/pdf for more then 20 minutes on an lcd but have no problem using a kindle for hours. eReaders are limited in their use, but eInk is much easier on the eyes then any other display at the moment, as long as you don't need color their are a lot of benefits to a kindle or other eReader.

By Bremen7000 on 11/2/2009 2:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think there are like 3 or 4. Regardless, this mediabook is missing the point of eReaders, since it's not going to be able to compete on battery life with all those extra features. This sounds more like a nettop or even netbook competitor.

By Suomynona on 11/2/2009 11:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
Creative is giving this thing an internet connection and the best use they can come up with is Twitter and Facebook access? How about something useful like Wikipedia integration with their E-book software so you can do a quick look up of anything you are reading.

RE: Internet
By PurdueRy on 11/3/2009 1:25:16 AM , Rating: 2
The vast majority of the world would rather share with everyone how awful/awesome their life is than learn anything apparently.

By magneticfield on 11/3/2009 8:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
I will never buy a single product branded creative.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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