Pros Size - Weight - Build - Screen
Cons Older Firmware that Creative won't upgrade - Screen
Summary My NINE rating takes my price of $70 into consideration. At the normal price of approx. $160, I'd give it a SEVEN.
Though this is an old 'toy', Creative has recently dumped about 700 units in a fire sale. So for the newbies, some notes re Windows XP.
The main complaint I've seen in many posting about this toy, on various boards, is the fact that you CANNOT "Drag 'n' Drop" - because the Sleek does not appear in "My Computer" as a drive with a drive letter. This is true but it does appear as "Other" - My Zen - Storage Device - and here you'll see the directories: Music, My Playlist, Picture, etc. At this point you can do your "Drag 'n' Drop" routine.
The Sleek also pops up in the "Device Manager" under Portable Devices -- Creative Zen Sleek Photo. Here you can Enable and Disable the device; when Enabled the unit is Docked so that you can use WMP or Real Player or Other or "Drag 'n' Drop" to load you media and charge the unit. When Disabled the unit is usable as player that is being powered/recharged by the computer.
It should also be noted that the Vision:M and Sleek accessories are interchangeable, so you can attach the Vision:M's ZEN Sync Adapter to the Sleek. From here you can use the Sleek's power supply to recharge the unit, and by attaching the ZEN Vision:M Video Cable you'll get Audio Line outputs as you'd get from the unavailable Sleek Docking Station. The Vision:M's ZEN Sync Adapter seems to have been discontinued (dumb) as an accessory, it been replaced by the less portable ZEN Multifunction Cable. This new cable will allow you to do the same things you could with the Sync Adapter. Yes, you can use the Sleek's power supply to recharge the Vision:M. Yes, you can use the Sleek's Sync Cable on the Vision:M to sync and charge (also seems to have been discontinued as an accessory). And yes the Sleek will fit in the Vision:M's docking station, just note that it will fit loosely because the Vision:M is .7 in. thick, while the Sleek is thinner at .63 in. of thickness, but it will work.
IMHO, the sleeper accessory for either the Sleek or the Vision:M are their wired remotes; yes these units are also interchangeable. It is a pity that these 'toys' are rarely promoted and poorly documented, but I find them indispensable. They gives you: On - Off - Lock - Player/FM - Volume (up 'n' down) - Play/Pause - FastForward - Rewind and an earphone jack. The full assembly is 35" long, with a spring power clip on the control end's back. A lovely 'toy'.
May all your Music be Sweet.
Cons Little bit of learning curve but if you have every had an Mp3 player ; they all have learning curves.
Summary I've had several MP3 players and they are all based on preferrence. I started with the Dell Juke box which I have not seen in rotation for a few years( maybe I am not looking harde enough after the experience I had with it.) The dell Crashes several times before I decided to give it a proper burial which driving 80mph on the high way. I had the ipod which is a mp3 player that has alot of hype, short battery life and is too delicated for my likes. I dropped it once and it died on me. I have had two creative labs. This creative lab is an upgrade from the Zen 30g I had The color screen is nice and the addition feature make it more attractive. I usally don't use a lot of the other features but I love to customize alot of stuff i own. There are skins but the screens and menus can be customized. The software has a learning curve to say that I had one of these in the past. Once you get the hang it's great. It's built like a tank and THE BATTERY LIFE IS GREAT. One day I played it for eight hours without charging it and turned it off and played another 6 hours before recharing. In my opinion, It's apersonal choice but if i lost it I would probably buy another one.
"A good buy"on by wisdom_of_trees
Pros battery life, weight, hard drive storage
Cons accessories, dust, playlists
Summary I'm a real fan of my Creative Zen Sleek Photo. Some of the drawbacks are that dust accumulates under the screen after a period of time, and I also don't really care for the file management, sometimes it's hard to find the song I want using the Menu. Also, I'd like to have some more accessories available for it, maybe a few skins or something!
The things that I DO like about the Zen is that I can just drop files into it. It acts like an external hard drive, so I can put my papers, pictures, and music in it. Also there is no crappy software bundled with that that you HAVE to use. It comes with a Media Explorer, but you don't have to use it. Instead you can just access the drive from the "My Computer" tab, which is nice, because Apple's I-Tunes software is a real headache!
Pros improvement over predecessor, better layout, no random button
Cons goofy charging system, didn't come with belt-carrier, unlike the Zen Touch.
Summary I purchased mine when it became a discontinued model, so I got a great bargain. The sound is nice, it has a pretty user-friendly interface, the song transfer software and playlist management is much better than the previous one.
I use Sony MDR-V900HD and/or Ultrasone's HFI-650 for the on-the-go headphones. It delivers good volume to either. These are much more powerful headphones than the supplied ones, so battery time is circa 10-16 hours for larger headphones.
I don't care much for the goofy charger setup, having to unplug the USB from the puter to turn it off to charge it in the conventional manner. The Zen Touch had a better recharge setup. I also had to reuse the Zen Touch belt-carrier to house the Sleek Photo, as the belt clip for that was unavailable at the time I purchased it.
One improvement; NO random play button. I HATED that on the Zen Touch, as it was forever being triggered if the player was unlocked. The buttons on this model are better laid out and don't go off as often if the player is unlocked.
By the way, it doesn't play 16 khz or below, in the rare case that you have a file that small.
It's a great product for the price - it doesn't play movies, but who wants to play movies on a tiny screen?
Pros FM, good photo quality, excellent sound quality & good battery life
Cons cant listen to music and view photos at same time, dust under screen
Summary I've had my CZSP for about a month now, had no problems. System works excellently. Case doesnt attract scratches or smudges being aluminum, screen does though. My only major turn off after having this player is the dust under the screen. the only way to cleen it is to actually peel off the screen cover which is glued on, clean the screen, then glue it on again.
other than that this player has excellent sound quality, good (but not perfect) picture quality, and a very good touch pad. the OS is a good build similar to the ipod OS. you can change background picture but fonts dont appear as well on lighter pictures. but when setting pictures as background, you can change the color of the picture it self to be darker, slightly tented orange-ish, or change it to the color of the theme so font appears better
don't need both the cables necessisarily. as long as where ever you might be going to has a computer, you can charge via USB and transfer music/photos. can use WMP 10 to transfer music. but i find that the software that came with it is very good for transfer (but only for ripping to player/computer; not to transfer from computer to player its buggy that way.)
overall this is a very nice player, would like to see pic's while listening to tunes, but not a big turn off.
I have done a lot of research on a lot of players recently before purchasing this player and found this one the best player for its price. (found it for 129$ at walmart.com, may be sold out now.) syncs with microsoft outlook and has an auto tune feature that finds all good sounding channels in the area for FM radio.
i give this product an 9 because ive seen better/bigger screens for pictures, and at the same time it has everythign else someone who doesnt care much for squinting at ANY screen smaller than 20 inches for video. if you do like video though i suggest the creative zen vision M or W.