Pros small; flexible; easy
Summary This is my first MP3 player, and I love it. Easy to use, tons of features, great battery life. My only regret is that I didn't get one with more memory because my 2GB are filling up quickly.
I also like the accompanying software. While it's not required, it's aided my first experience with MP3 players.
Documentation is a slight problem. I couldn't find a comprehensive feature list with instructions on how to use various controls. It's all there in the software files, but I had to search for it. Luckily, most controls are intuitive.
Pros Very slim. 2.5" screen. Attractive design. Intuitive menu navigation. Smooth video. Feature packed.
Cons No external speaker. Occasionally freezes. PC sync software is buggy but usable. Has occasionally lost settings. Very minimal instructions.
Summary To me, the Creative Zen (2GB) is a feature rich jewel of a device for a small price tag. In my opinion, it blows similarly priced products away with its style, features, and ease of use.
I'll get the negatives out of the way first so I can get on with the good stuff. It has no built-in speaker, which is a bit of a bummer. Since the device has an wake-up alarm, it seems obvious that the makers either originally intended to have a built-in speaker or they intended to sell you connectable external speakers (probably the latter). I have unfortunately had an occasional 'hard' freeze of the device where the only thing that will turn it off and back on again is poking the button in the 'reset' hole. I also had a problem after updating the firmware where the device would not turn on, but a quick punch of the reset button brought it back into working order. Some of the 'sync' software that comes with the device seems buggy to me, but the bugs were more annoying that 'show-stoppers' (e.g., ZenCast for podcasts seems to do strange things with some entries appearing, disappearing, reappearing after being deleted, podcasts no sorting in correct date order no matter how many times you hit the sort button, etc.). This is probably more my fault the the device's, but I have often had the device lose my overall settings and radio presets. I haven't figured out, yet, what I am doing to cause this. While it is likely my fault, the device probably could have been designed a little better in this respect. A better set of instructions would have helped. The device comes with very minimal instructions. Luckily, with a few exceptions, the device is so easy and intuitive, that instructions *are* almost unnecessary.
Now on to the good stuff! The 2GB version is priced between $70 and $90. I tried a few others in this same price range at a local store and was very frustrated with how unintuitive their user interfaces were. The Zen, on the other hand, was very intuitive and I found myself easily and quickly navigating its menus. I love the style, with its rounded corners and very thin profile (I can carry it around in my front pants pocket). Even though it is so thin and small, the Zen has a 2.5" screen (lots more real estate than similarly priced models I perused). The display is crisp, clear, and bright. As long as you download good videos, the picture quality is great. I have had no problems with pixelation or skipping. The video has been smooth and fun to watch. Finally, the device is feature packed. It has a built-in microphone/voice recorder. You can turn your stored images into a slide-show. Any image you upload to the Zen can be turned into a wallpaper for your background (if you want it to be something other than the default...even the default wallpapers are cool though). It can store songs by album, artist, genre, and you can create your own playlists. You can rate each song and there are 'DJ' settings you can choose from that allow you to play highly rated songs, unrated songs, or other options. There are several equalizer settings, including a custom equalizer. It, of course, stores video and comes with PC software to help you download podcasts and digital books. There is a calendar and 'task keeper' that you can sync up with outlook if you like. It has an alarm and a clock that you can choose to display. There is a slot for an SD card so you can copy things straight from them or just look at and use their contents.
Basically, I love the device for the price.
Pros Good video, picture and sound quality. Has a lot of features, cheap, light, small
Cons No speaker so it's pointless to have an alarm on this thing, doesn't warn you when battery is going to die
Summary Over all I think this player is a great device. It's definitely cheap ( you get what you pay for) I don't really see much flaws to it, I know a lot have complained about it freezing up or what not, but it's yet to happen to me and I've had it for 5 days now. So far so good. I like the video and sound quality of it. The program that it comes with is not the best but it works, converting takes a while but the quality comes out looking good for video when you watch it on the player so I'm satisfied. Really the only complaint I have is the fact it doesn't have a speaker, what's the point of having an alarm on this thing if it doesn't have speakers? Who wears headphones to sleep???
"Love Creative!!"on by techgeek09x
Pros Love the audio quality, the screen is bright, love everything!
Cons none really
Summary LOVE IT. Will never go back to Sansa EVER AGAIN. Had 3-4 Sandisk products, then a Creative Zen for 2 years! Loved it, but dropped it and it broke. Then bought a Sansa and it randomly stopped working, so I bought this Zen. I absolutely love it and would not buy from any other company probably!
Pros doesn't need the creative software/drivers to be install to transfer music onto the player's built in storage, built-in fm radio, also it has a built-in SD slot which supports some SDHC cards
Cons display gets scratched easily, synching music/media can take some time, videos have to be converted, small built-in storage, sometimes the zen has issues where the screen will be white the fix is let the battery die out then it should be ok.
Summary if you want an affordable media player, that supports video, podcasts, mp3, and a SD slot, then this is would be great for you. Make sure to get a screen protector, so the display won't get scratched. If you have a hard time with the white screen error, there should be a lot of posts about it online to help you out. The display is somewhat dim when in Flourescent lighting. I still use this player and it's still great.