11 Comments

Summary:

Earlier this week, TheAppleBlog turned me on to the Zii EGG from Creative. I didn’t have much interest at the time because the EGG isn’t yet a consumer device. It’s available to developers and OEMs — meaning it’s more of a working concept than an end […]

zii_egg

Earlier this week, TheAppleBlog turned me on to the Zii EGG from Creative. I didn’t have much interest at the time because the EGG isn’t yet a consumer device. It’s available to developers and OEMs — meaning it’s more of a working concept than an end product. But then I saw this video demo of the EGG over at CNet. Color me intrigued by the EGG based on the user experience walkthrough and these specifications.

  • 3.5″ display running 320×480 resolution with 10-point capacitive multitouch support
  • 1080p high-definition output
  • 32GB internal storage memory, 256MB of RAM
  • SD slot supporting up to 32GB of expanded storage
  • 802.11g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2.1 +EDR, GPS, 3-axis accelerometer
  • 3D hardware graphics accelerator supporting OpenGL ES
  • Support for Android and the Android SDK

You can grab one of these devices for free, provided you pay $399 for the Zii Plaszma SDK. I don’t know the details of Plaszma, but of course you could turn this into an Android device with a little elbow grease. Behind the scenes is what Zii claims to be the “world’s first stem-cell computer.” This one chip handles everything from audio and video to processing power, which Zii says can be scaled from 10 Gigaflops to PetaFlops. That sounds impressive, but it remains to be seen what that means in real-world scenarios.

In a sense, the Zii EGG is a cross between a next-generation iPod Touch and today’s Android devices. And that’s intriguing to me. I’m really interested in a handheld device that can hold high-definition video for local playback but can be connected to my 1080p television for enjoying on the big screen. I’ve envisioned that for nearly four years now and the EGG seems closest to making that a reality now. I’m not sure I have $399 to find that out, but I’ll admit that I’m thinking about it. Pre-orders aren’t expected to ship for a few weeks yet, so I’m on the fence like Humpty Dumpty right now. I don’t want to order a half-baked unit only to end up with EGG on my face.

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  1. I do think Creative, Sony and others are sensible if considering Android as the base platform to compete with the ipod touch.

    I think the next year or two is going to see a massive battle in the portable OS space between Apple, Microsoft and google Android.

    Intel could be left out in the cold if they are betting on a Linux platform for Moorestown.

    1. In fact Moorestown IS going to help elevate Android above competition :)
      Android is scheduled as far as I know to get on top of Moorestown, giving it the edge over the rest of the platforms for the new MID-cell market.

  2. You would think that the SDK for Android development, which is supposedly opensource would be at a lower price point if not free. Well see how app-development for this device [if it does not sell well] turns out.

    1. Paul, the Android SDK is free. I’ve downloaded it. The $399 cost is for the Plaszma SDK, not the Android SDK.

  3. My apologies Kevin, I meant the Plaszma SDK. :)

  4. Gadget Merc Friday, July 31, 2009

    To bad you cant make voice calls with it, then without a doubt we would get a review from Matt Miller.

  5. Quite frankly i wouldn’t buy this device without android, for two reasons:
    1. Creative has a terrible history of software support for hardware devices.
    2. To compete with Apple/Android for developer support it will need to adopt the latter.

  6. Question for you Kevin:

    Creative have said elsewhere that the mutli-touch screen won’t be available for android because android doesn’t support multi-touch……………. and yet only last week we learn that android 2.0 will indeed support multi-touch.

    which is it, and why would CL make such a daft decision?

    1. The touchscreen will be on every player, it’s just that Android itself does not natively support multi touch. Also, there is no Plaszma OS version or Android version- they are the same device. The Plaszma OS is installed when you get this dev kit, but Creative is offering Android as an update if the developer/oem/user wants it a bit after ship date.

  7. This will indeed be a very good device.

  8. It’s rather enticing. Bonus points for NOT being a phone.

    However, the 3.5″ 480×320 screen is rather disappointing (even though it’s right in line with the iPhone and iPod touch), I’d need a capacitive stylus to use it with, there’s no hardware thumbboard, and I’d have to abandon all my Windows Mobile software.

    On the other hand, it has GOBS of storage inside and a FULL-SIZE SDHC card slot, not to mention multi-touch. (But 10-point multi-touch on a 3.5″ screen? Can you even FIT ten fingers on it?)

    The Zii Egg, or the Samsung Mondi…it’s going to be a tough call.

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