Apple's iPad 2 may be difficult to beat when it comes to all round user-friendliness and performance, but not everyone can afford the £400 asking price of the entry-level model. This is where cheaper tablets come in, such as the 10-inch Creative ZiiO. It runs on Android and aims to give you many of the features of the iPad 2, but for the bargain-basement price of just £200 or so.
Design and ports
The ZiiO lacks the premium feel of higher-end tablets, but that's to be expected, and it actually doesn't look too bad. The chassis is made primarily from matte black plastic, with a fairly thick glossy border around the screen.
The ZiiO is relatively slim, at 14mm thick, and feels quite light -- something that certainly wasn't the case with the original iPad. The glossy border houses the four touch-sensitive buttons familiar from other Android devices, along with three controls for music and video playback.
At the top left-hand corner, there's a VGA camera, while the left-hand side houses an SD card slot that lets you expand the built-in 8GB of memory using cards of up to 32GB in size. This edge is also home to a mini-HDMI output, along with a mini-USB port that's used for syncing content with a PC. You can't charge the device over USB though -- instead you have to use the supplied wall adaptor.
The ZiiO offers Wi-Fi connectivity, but doesn't support 3G.
The ZiiO is built around Creative's own ZiiLabs ZMS-08 chip, which in turn is based on an ARM Cortex-A9 design. It's a 1GHz chip with just a single core, so its performance isn't exactly mind-blowing.
Still, the ZiiO doesn't feel too sluggish and it's far quicker than the, for example. Games like play at a decent speed and, as the processor has been tweaked for media playback, it has no problem dealing with hi-def video files.
The ZiiO runsrather than 2.3 Gingerbread, or the tablet-specific 3.0 Honeycomb. Although Froyo supports Flash, the ZiiO actually doesn't.