Pretty soon, it might be easier to list out companies not releasing an e-book reader than ones ones that are. Just as quickly as netbooks took off, digital e-book readers are fast becoming the next must-have portable device, as evidenced by the number of product announcements from a variety of players. The latest comes from Creative, who will look to make a splash with its Zii MediaBook.
According to Creative, the Zii MediaBook will be unlike any other e-reader on the market. The Zii will come with a touchscreen, text-to-speech, an SD memory card slot, and the ability to play video files and roam willy nilly across the Internet. That means you can probably expect WiFi, though whether integrated 3G connectivity comes as part of the deal remains to be seen.
Creative will also implement a strong social networking element to its device by offering users access to Facebook and Twitter while on the go.
The Zii MediaBook will face stiff competition from Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's nook (with a lowercase 'n') right from the outset, and it won't get any easier over time. Asus, MSI, ViewSonic, and several other companies are either working on e-readers of their own or have shown interest in the fast growing digital reader segment.