Creative Zen X-Fi 16GB media player
Burdened with a fair amount of frankly pointless functionality
Review When details of the Creative Zen X-Fi PMP began to leak out, many thought it would replace the Zen Vision W. As soon as you get the X-Fi out of the box you realise this is not the case.
The Vision W had a 4.3in screen, but the X-Fi makes do with a mere 2.5in panel. So what we have here is an MP3 player with ideas above its station, not a fully fledged PMP.
Creative's Zen X-Fi: loaded to the gunwales with gizmos
Creative seems to have decided that what we all want in a flagship product is a small-screen device loaded to the gunwales with gizmos, including Wi-Fi, instant messaging, a loudspeaker, an FM radio with 32 pre-sets though without RDS, a voice recorder, a calender, a to-do list and a contacts book. Phew. Of course, some would argue that many if not all those functions are largely unnecessary on a device whose main role is to play music and video.
Despite the function bloat, the X-Fi is still a small device, weighing in at 70g and measuring up at 55 x 83 x 12.5mm. It's pretty well made too, looking and feeling like a fairly high quality product. All the buttons work with a pleasant click, and SD cards slide in and out of their slot smoothly. They're flush with the casing when in place.
The exterior controls of the X-Fi are a little unusual with no less than 13 buttons on the front. The cardinal buttons of that 3 x 3 grid perform the same functions as the navpad on the Zen - previous/next track, volume up/down, skip forward/back etc - while the central button acts as an action key. That doesn't tell you what the buttons at the four corners are for - they come into play when you fire up the IM application, but more on that below.
forgot to mention....
That it was also much better value than in UK/US, cost me 170 quid ($399 SGD) with a free silicon case, for the 32GB model :)
Just bought one......
for my missus, as she needed a device with recording ability for her pesky masters degree lectures.
I've got an iPod touch and have to say that although the touch is a far more pleasant experience to use, the sound quality from the X-Fi is superior in everyway. I used Shure E310 headphones, not the standard kit ones with either the creative offering or the touch and it really is that much better.
Shame the touch doesn't have a mic, otherwise I'd give her that and keep the x-fi for myself :)
And for those of you complaining about USB only charging.....iPods are the same, unless you had an old generation iPod that came with a seperate plug in charger, your also stuck with USB only charging or have to buy a seperate charger....so whats the differance (except that a mini usb charger is cheaper to buy than an apple one)
The MuVo was my first MP3 player - it sounds like they have NOT come very far since then. True, the MuVo lacks the nice big screen, but it also doesn't pretend to be ANYthing it's not.
And at least the MuVo can be powered off cheap Ni-MH or Ni-Cad batteries.
It seems folk are continually experimenting with even worse ways of entering text. Bravo!
It's not a firmware bug, it's the album. My guess is the X-fi prefers Hatebreed or Machine Head!