"Almost a keeper until I saw the cables"2.0 starson by white1
Pros: Value, size, compatibility, features
Cons: cable and adapter design just plain stupid!
Summary: I just purchased two of these for my teens. But its back to the drawing board. And back they go until I find a more intelligent solution.
It was already a struggle to decide between the trendy iPod the less proprietary Creative. The high price and proprietary iTunes swayed me over to the Creative Sleek. And it is smaller and nicer looking than the Creative Touch. It appeared to be just the thing and I got a good deal from the store with a $50 gift card on each unit.
I already own a Creative Zen Nano Plus. I purchased this for its portability to wear during bike rides and also to learn the technology. I love the fact that it takes just one cable and works without fuss with Windows Media Player 10. The only thing was the limited capacity. ALthough it uses only one AAA battery, these do not last. Also, it is difficult to operate due to tiny buttons. So I figured my teens would want something with much greater capacity and easier to navigate. Hence, the Sleek.
I think there are many comments already about the positive aspects of the much of the Creative lines. So here I'll just focus on the negatives (sorry cheerleaders) that have really got me upset...quite upset :0
Here's the problems. I tried one out prior to wrapping it for the Christmas tree. It works as expected. But there is one major flaw: the absolutely dumb proprietary connector and separate charger. Not only is this bulky and a pain to have to carry around the A/C charger for trips, the fact that I can not just buy a replacement USB cable is a show stopper.
Why not just use standard USB connectors inside the unit? Is this the trade-off for size? Or some product marketing genius' strategic design for add-on revenue? The whole idea of portability goes out the window when you have to keep up with not just one, but two other pieces of equipment. If you lose the cable or it goes bad, your hosed.
The other lesser gripes are the battery, which is non-replaceable and the headphones. Expensive technology like this should be "maintainable." Also, the headphones sound okay but are very uncomfortable. The little foam surrounds get lost, too.
I hope the next big differentiator between the MP3 player vendors will be to one-up each other with more standardized connectivity, better included ear buds, and user-replaceable batteries. Why charge me over $250 for a player and force the burden of these on your customers?
With many new designs coming on-line now and next year, I think its time for the engineers of these products to become more considerate of users day-to-day usage of their products. Nobody wants to hear negatives about stuff they buy for fun, but I hope more consumers will demand better design. I think the engineers who design this stuff are smarter; tell the product managers who control the final product release to wise up.