"Excellent player!"on by JordanCS
Pros Great sound quality, bright, clear screen, FM tuner, video quality is excellent
Cons Limited video support, must convert a lot of video files.
Summary I got this player to use at the gym for workouts, plus a nice pocketable video / photo display. I have a 40GB iPod photo which is great for my whole MP3 collection, but it's too bulky for excercise.
The Zen is quite impressive. Sound quality is crisp, clear and has a good volume range. The menu system is easy to navigate and very customizable. Video quality is outstanding for such a small screen. Very tiny pixels means sharp, clear images both for photos and video. I put the portable media version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on it, and it's surprisingly clear and fluid. (protected authorized digital copy from the DVD special edition).
The FM tuner is clear and gets quite good reception. Battery life is excellent in all modes.
Connection to the computer is pretty easy, provided your Windows Media Player is installed correctly. Mine was corrupted, so the Media Transfer Protocol wouldn't work, so I had to reinstall WMP to get my home computer to see the Zen. Once that was done, it was smooth sailing. Updated the firmware in a quick, painless process, so now I can transfer data from the SD card to the internal memory directly...very nice!
Overall, a great compact multimedia player. Very glad I went this route!
Pros superb sound, sharp video, short-cut button is cool
Cons needed to update firmware twice
Summary I bought the Zen largely on the strength of the CNET review and I've not been disappointed. It has played all music and video flawlessly. The FM radio and the voice recorder are also first rate. If there is any weakness it would be in the primitive software (a.k.a. Media Explorer) that Creative employs. Be sure, sure, sure to install the latest firmware to avoid crashes and you should love it as I do!
Pros SD card slot, large screen, DivX support
Cons Not all WMV files will work
Summary The Creative Zen is a fantastic MP3 player! The videos are incredibly sharp, the audio is great, and it has a SD card slot! At first, I didn't like that I had to navigate around a lot to get back to the main menu. But, the Zen has a "My Shortcut Button" which you can assign actions to. In my case, I assigned it to the "Jump to... > Music" action, so it takes me right back to the main menu.
The Zen has native DivX support. I was able to use Dr. DivX to convert all of my YouTube FLV files and place them directly on my player without further conversion by the included software. WMV files gave me a lot of trouble, though. It's best to just stick with DivX if possible.
There are a few people here complaining about the startup time. Personally, I don't see what they are talking about. Holding down the power button for a second or so instantly shows the ZEN splash screen every time. It's even faster if the player has gone into idle shutdown. Just press the power button and you're immediately taken to the song or menu you were originally viewing.
Overall, if you're looking for a great MP3 player to give as a gift or even one for yourself, the Creative Zen is the best choice!
Pros Beautiful screen and Super clear audio
Cons Comes only in one color
Summary I had this player about a now. I have read review`s from other users. When i first installed the software it came with, it automatically upgraded its firmware. Thus there were no freezing problems. The video converter it comes with optimizes the videos and automatically puts it in my Zen. Rich 5 hour movie playtime. Watched 2 movies on it, the little 2,5 inch screen is crisp sharp, looks exactly like my laptops quality.
I considered buying the new ipod nano but somehow the user friendly Creative got my choice. It is more sturdy than the delicate nano. I would recommend it to anyone who wants an mp3 player that has excellent audio and video under 150$.
"Best current value"on by grinchy8
Pros nice screen, small
Cons sd card not fully integrated
Summary Had this about a week.
A solid value at $130 for the 4GB. Cheapest around with sd card expandability. Has basically every feature - mic, fm radio, PIM etc.
It works well, and the screen is big enough for extended video use.
Update your firmware immediately, the initial version caused me to reset the player many times, since the update I haven't performed a single reset!
Easy enough to use.
Smaller than most with this screen size.
Looked at Cowon D2, but it was $60 more for the same storage, and I didn't like the touchscreen. Better sd integration and far better amplifier in the D2 though.
Only real bummer is that the sd card is navigate and play only. If you start a video on the card and then navigate away, your last play point is not recorded - you have to ff to the location. This is a serious pain and I almost returned because of this. I don't think that a firmware upgrade will change this behaviour - it's how the software is designed. The card is not scanned, the player has no idea what content is on the card, and there is no bookmark or restart mark available for the card.
Accessories are not readily available, the clear case is backordered everywhere. You can use Vision M screen protectors, same size screen.