Pros Design, Look, Feel
Cons Buttons are a bit stiff
Summary This is the best player I have ever owned, I previously owned a 4th gen Ipod and although I must admit the Ipod wheel was very easy to use, to get a player which is compatible with subscription services and can display video in a much more robust fashion than the ipod video, I feel I have gotten the most bang for my buck. I hooked this player up with rhapsody to go and I am having a blast.
The only things I do not love about the player are the stiff buttons, how sometimes the system will lag for 5 seconds when you go to view photos, since they are stored in a different fashion than on the ipod and how it is a little more complicated than the ipod user interface, but I feel in time it will allow me to use the player in the most effective fashion possible. These three reasons made me rate it as a 9 instead of a 10, but this is an excellent device and not to mention it looks awesome!
Also, the Ipod is much more slimmer and sleek then the zen, but the zen also packs under the hood an fm tuner and the ability to play back 4 hrs of video 2x the amount of the ipod, which makes you realize that if you watch one video, such as a full-length movie, you are out of juice for the day if you are away from an outlet. Yes, you may never use the fm tuner, but I'd have to say, it's nice to know it's there and to have a bit of extra juice to listen to music after watching a movie, such as on a long flight!Updated
If you are reading this review, you are either here to bash an excellent product because you love apple products, or you are here unsure of which product to buy, The 5th Generation Ipod, or the Creative Zen Vision M.
In terms of features and usability this product is far superior to the ipod video. The screen is more robust in terms of displaying richer colors. I must admit, I enjoy how simple and easy the apple interface is combined with its touchwheel and bundled software package for I previously owned a 4th Gen Ipod and have tested the Ipod Video, but if you subscribe to rhapsody to go or another subscription service, this allows you to get your money's worth out of the player. The touchpad is very responsive, the system is beautiful, the audio quality is excellent, the video playback is beautiful, although as with any video playing at 30fps (frames per second), the equivalent of the ipod, you can notice some artifacts at a distance on a video that displays a far away shot of a person ie in the ocean in a boat. If you think of this also happening on a small television, the result would be the same. The battery life is 4 hours long for video, twice the length of the ipod video, this comes in handy for long trips away from the outlet, you can watch a movie, and have time to listen to a few albums as well! This player also has an FM tuner, which may come in handy someday, although I may never use it, it's nice to know it's there!
Not as easy to use as the ipod video
Thicker than ipod video
Firmer buttons than ipod video
Inability to display the ITune's video format
5 second loading time to view photos
Bizzare adapter which must be plugged into the bottom of the player, similar to the ipod connector. Previous zen products had the usb port on the actual player, but they did this to allow video out to a television set and you can also charge through it as well, therefore it is a small price to pay for a highly functional little adapter.
Compatibility with subscription services
Diverse format support:
DivX™ 4 & 55, XviD5, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG4-SP, WMV9 and Motion-JPEG
Excellent Video Playback
Does Not Scratch
Long Battery Life
Pros Beautiful Screen, DivX Support, 4 hours battery life for Videos, Great viewing angle, Themes, Windows Media Player 10 integration, Upgradable firmware, Photos, Great sound
Cons Buttons a bit hard to press, Fingerprints get everywhere, Sync adapter easy to loose
Summary An absolutly amazing screen, which has to be seen to believe. It can show almost 3 times the amount of colors an iPod video can, and yet, it still gets better battery life for both video and audio.
DivX support allows this player to hold 200 hours of good quality video, compared to the iPod's 80 hours. The video playback has virtually no delay stopping, and seeking and very little of one while starting a video.
Audio playback is crisp and clear as it should be, and the included headphones are good, but not as stylish as the iPod ones. It even has a customizable EQ, and bass boost.
The internal themes allow you to make the Vision:M look how you like. There are 6 diffent color options for you to choose from.
Overall this is a fantastic MP3 player from a fantastic company, and it is actually iPod who copied off from Creative in the beginning. The easy layout of the OS was developed by creative way back in 2000 before the iPod was probably even though about.
Three cheers for Creative!
"Worth every penny"on by not_jon
Pros screen, quality, style, battery
Cons black is scratch prone, little dongle needed for syncing/charging
Summary I've had my iriver flash player for well over three and a half years, and the 256mb cap was just too small for my stuff. I decided go all out, and get an mp3 player that I could easily use the next four years of my life, college. Something with a lot of space, something that supported a lot of different files, and something that looked really, really cool.
The Creative Zen Vision caught my eye when I first heard about it at CES. I had been looking at the iPod video, but this little beast drew me away with it's radio, and support for all these different formats. WMA, DivX, it's got you covered. Practically any video you have on your computer will play of the Zen Vision M, and if it can't, the software can convert it. It's more universal than the iPod, it doesn't force you to use their software or their format.
The Creative Zen Vision M is a really, really goodlooking player. I have the black face, it just looks so sleek. The clicky buttons sit flush in the face of the player,with the touchpad in the center. The plastic is very glossy and opague, but no matter which color you choose, the back is the same shiny pearl white, giving the player a two tone. The top has the hold/power slider and headphone jack, the side has a pinhole microphone, and the bottom is the dock connector. It's pretty simple. The player feels pretty sturdy, but I'm not gonna drop it anytime soon just in case. It's very comfortable to hold and use with one hand.
The screen is, honestly, one of the most colorful, sharp and high quality LCDs I've seen. The pictures and video's you're seeing of the player can't do it justice, you need to see it in person to appreciate it. Even in the menu, the colors just jump off the screen. Every video and picture I've put on it are vivid and sharp. The contrast, color, and brightness are great. It really blows anything else out of the water.
It sounds clean. It goes loud. It's one of the best sounding players I've heard, and I've heard a lot. I was happy even before I found the equalizer! If they don't have one that suits you, go in and mess with it yourself until you hit the sweet spot.
The TV shows, music videos and clips of everything look as good as they did on my computer. If you have this out around people, they're gonna want to watch. There aren't dropped frames, no skipping, it's flawless.
While I don't see myself ever watching four hours of video, it's nice to know I can. Maybe if I'm on an airplane, or the passenger of a long car ride, I could load a few movies and kick back. I'm more an audio guy. 14 hours? Nice. I'd never use it for 14 straight hours, so it's also nice to know it'll never run out on me.
The black player is especially prone to scratches, just because of the color. NOT big honking stratches, but the little hairline ones you see if you hold it to the right light. As long as you don't put it in your pocket with your car keys, you'll be fine. If you're that worried, buy a case or screen protector. I havn't, but I treat it good. No scratches. Worst I get is fingerprints on the buttons, which I can just wipe off with a shirt. Secondly, don't loose the little thingy that plugs into the base of the player. Only through that can you charge it, sync it or play it through a TV. The reason they did it was if Creative had included these three ports (USB 2.0, DC IN and A/V out) on the player itself, it would have made it bigger.
Overall, I couldn't be happier with my new mp3 player. I wouldn't trade it for anything else on the market, and if I were you, I wouldn't hesitate to order it right now.
Pros Plays everything I have put on it flawlessly
Cons size, nothing new in the design department
Summary This is a great all around player but first I have to address some complaints that have been posted by people who are biased or just didn’t bother to get to know the player.
1) I have read several complaints about people who just didn’t understand the button layout. READ THE MANUAL that is what it is for. Anyone who is into digital photography knows: More buttons = easier access to options. The less buttons = more contextual menus and more clicking around. One of the buttons can be configured as a shortcut to what ever you would like (awesome). Another button is the same as right clicking the mouse, you can access media info, bookmark, add to list, etc. etc. I think this player has just the right amount of buttons!
2) “the touch pad is too sensitive!” Well if you bothered to setup your Vision M correctly you will see the TOUCHPAD SENSITIVITY option. You have 3 different sensitivity settings to choose from.
3) “The screen is not better than the ipod”. That is just not true! See for your self at http://www.everythingusb.com/creative_zen_vision:m_30gb.html Big big big difference.
4) I put down the size of the player as a draw back because I think for some people it will be. I am a male and have large hands, for me it is perfect. I don’t like itsy bitsy things that feel fragile in my hand, but I know this is a matter of opinion.
On to the rest. The player comes with software that sets up quick and easy. Within minutes I had all my music and a whole season of my favorite show on the player. There are 2 options of software to use; I like the Media Explorer because it is just too easy to use. MP3 play back is amazing and the supplied headphones are much better than average. The player takes only about 2 sec to start playing media (even really long play lists) which is about average. I read some where that it adds a sec or 2 in between tracks but if it does, it is not perceptible at all.
The player plays every video I have put on it so far: mpeg, divx, xvid, avi. There is no buffer interruptions like mentioned in some reviews. I couldn’t find anything wrong with the way this thing plays movies at all in fact. Beautiful! The screen blows you away and you don’t need to resize your vids. That means, unlike ipod, when you connect your player to a TV with the add on cable, it will be a beautiful full size file.
I don’t want to repeat what other people have written so here are some things that I don’t think too many people mentioned. 1) Adjustable menus. You decide what you want on the main menu by checking and unchecking boxes. 2) Smart volume. All media plays at the same level. 3)Password protected folders and hide/show protected folders. 4) Up to 16GB removable drive setup. Setup your player as a mini hard drive. 5) Browse music by artist, genre, album, track or let the DJ play the album of the day. 6) Photos do not need to be resized to show on the screen but it will take a few seconds to display large formats. Zoom option in the photos section. 7) Charges in 2.5 hours
This is a great all around player. I love apple and own a MAC but I didn’t want a player that does 1 thing, no matter how well it does it. For me, I want the whole media package. The size is worth the extra battery life during video. I am only giving it a 9 because it doesn’t bring anything new in the way of design.
Pros Screen, size, menu layout, extras, touch pad
Cons buttons can be stiff, lack of video subscription service
Summary Ipod Killer:
First off I would like to say that the people that say the Ipod is better are ignorent to the truth. My brother has an Ipod video I have a vision. The screen is better the scroll wheel of the Ipod is way more difficult and hurts thumb after a while. Ever since the Ipod became popular I have hated it. Because of this I've this I've been looking for the best Ipod killer avalible. I came across this right when it came out and after researhing it for a while I bought it.
The screen is amazing. It has 262 thousand color four times that of the Ipod. Compared to the Ipod it seems like you have an HDTV in the palm of your hand. It is also very bright and can be adjusted to 10 diffrent brightnesses.
as for storage it is the same as the 30GB Ipod so unless you'll use more than that it is more than enough. As for me I have 1364 songs, 236 photos, and 41 videos which include, 4 full length movies. Even with all that I still have 20 gigs left.
The equevlent of podcasts, I don't use theese much, but the are some pretty good ones. It comes with an application that is pretty sraight forward, but it can get frusturating trying to get the the right thing to download.
The vision M has a cornicopia of features. It has a shortcut button that can take you to, any menu, start/ stop recording, random play all, album of the day, Volume, Switch view( only while playing), or add to selected. It also comes with a calander, clock, 6 themes , the ability to make on the fly playlists, 16 language options, custom equilizer, bass boost, 6 play modes, contact list, task list, ability to choose your own backround, and allows you to set aside a certain amount of space to serve as a removable disk drive.
FM Radio and Microphone:
It has a built in radio, complete with 32 presets. It also allows you to record the station your listening to. The microphone is o.k. but dosen't work well unless it's close to the source. There isn't a whole lot of distortion as long as the sound is loud.
Along with the basic means of organization, album, artist, etc... it also has, random play all, album of the day, top 20 favorites, and 20 least favorite.
The video playback is amazing, much better than the Ipods.
It comes with many pre-installed many photos, you can also set a photo as a background and adjust it to four color settings, warm, cool, gray, and sepia.
Although it is a bit thicker than the 30 gig Ipod, it has a very solid feel. Some people might think it is a little heavy, but it feels good to me. It is not to thick and feels good in your pocket.
Included are a USB cabe, a charger, a converter to attach the USB cable to the player, a bundle of software, and a pouch that acts as a case. Altough the buttons are not accessable when it's in the case I like it any way. Creative also offers another case that is much better.
Zen Media Explorer:
This is an application that comes with the vision. It is an all in one application that can add music, photos, convert video, unlike Itunes, manage your contacts, and manage your calander.
The only thing I like about the Ipod is the video service and it makes me mad that Creative dosen't have somthing like that. Another thing is that some of the buttons are stiff and you have to press them in the center to get them to work.
My final thoughts:
If you want one of the best MP3 players with video on the market, or if you really hate Ipods like me this is perfect for you. The navigation is easy, and vast amount of features is great. I hope this review was helpful.