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Creative is latest to tackle e-book readers

Maker of Zen MP3 players is said to be readying an e-book reader, tentatively named the MediaBook, that will harness videos, pictures, text, and services for a "media-rich experience."

Barnes & Noble Nook
First the Nook (pictured), now the MediaBook? Barnes & Noble

The question is, who isn't getting in on the e-book reader action these days? Less than two weeks after we met Barnes & Nobles' Nook and just a few days after hearing of tire maker Bridgestone's plans for a flexible e-reader, our friends at Crave UK alerted us that Creative may be hopping on the e-reader bandwagon as well.

Creative fan site (so named for Creative's family of popular Zen MP3 players) reports that the company showed off a working model of its first e-book reader, tentatively named the MediaBook, at its annual general meeting Thursday in Singapore. The device reportedly has a touch screen, text-to-speech function, and an SD memory card slot. It will run on Creative's Zii System-On-Chip technology and will be Internet-enabled.

At the meeting, Willie Png, Creative's vice president of strategic business, described Amazon's Kindle as "just another electronic device which displays books in text" (snap!), according to, and said Creative's e-reader will harness "videos, pictures, text, and services in one device that supports a media-rich experience." Color Creative ready to join the ever-tightening race to produce that proverbial "Kindle killer."

Creative reportedly is talking to 10 international and local publishers to provide content for the MediaBook, with fiction, newspaper, magazines, education materials, and textbooks all slotted for the device. Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes 17 newspapers and more than 100 magazines, could be one local content provider, saying it is exploring with Creative how to provide a variety of multimedia content, including videos and radio programs, for the device.

No word yet on pricing and availability, but we'll fill you in as soon as we hear.