Pros You can hook it up to any computer and sync music
Obviously, the free earphones
I like the design; I think it's awesome
shortcut button is helpful
beautiful screen and video/photo playback
Cons You cannot listen to music while browsing the SD card library.
FM recording is gone(I guess to avoid legal stuff, so not a big deal for me)
the 9 button layout for the non-wifi 8gig is useless(no chat or apps to use it on)
it will randomly freeze
Summary I like the zen x fi alot. It does a lot more than the nano for a smaller price. The physical design looks good and I like the voice recording and FM radio. However, the player will randomly freeze up sometimes. it hasn't done it in a while, but it's still worth mentioning. The fact that browsing the SD card will stop music playback is a slight annoyance. Also, the Creative Video Converter I use to sync videos is slightly annoying, because it cuts the vid's title short, forcing me to go into the Zen through the computer and rename it.
Overall, the Zen X Fi is good for the common user looking for a good deal. 8+ gigs and a load of features for $130 is a good deal to me. With the exception of the Video Converter, all of the cons listed are minor annoyances that wouldn't really change the experience.
Pros Nice compact player bursting with features, relatively simple to use after a bit of practice.
Cons I found that the player when in shuffle mode, would repeatedly play the same track twice in a row, it did this on almost every occasion I used it, even though it had a library of 1500 tracks to choose from.
Summary Although it has lots of features, the button design leaves a lot to be desired, for example, the corner buttons on the 9 button grid array do virtually nothing and the other 4 outer buttons have hard to read icons, perhaps backlighting of these buttons may help because it can be a little hard to use at night.
My player recently wouldn't go past the opening screen which has now rendered it useless after one year of operation. This is my 3rd Creative mp3 player to bite the dust early, I'm over it now and have moved on to a more reputable brand.
Pros The interface is great.
The screen is beautiful.
Sounds better than any iPod
Cons Low end distorts early
Sound quality really isn't that great... but it's on the higher side of average
No dedicated volume button is a huge miss!
Summary Seems like a great value for the money, but can be a bit disapointing if your really picky about your audio quality. The interface is great until you realize that there is no dedicated volume buttons. You can setup a programable button to bring up the volume 'menu' but thats still one more button press than should be required... a big downfall with the operation.
USB operation is slow compared to my Ipod's or Samsung P2. Not just slow...abysmally slow. It took over 3 hours for 200 songs to be loaded on via USB2.0 while my P2 was loaded completey with 7GB worth of tunes in less than an hour!
But my biggest complaint was the sound quality test. I used four different players for this test: Ipod Video, Ipod Touch gen1, Samsung P2, and of course the X-fi 8GB being reviewed here.
The speakers consisted of Sennheiser earbuds, Sennheiser studio headphones, Boss Companion III system, and my LG Home Theater system.
All EQ's are flat, and volumes running around 50%
The Xfi finished second to the P2.
Tool - Prison Sex:
Very simliar tone in all scenarios with all devices. This song is just mixed well and hides any artifacts from mixing well. The Ipods lost quite a bit of high end, and the low end was pretty lose as well. The Xfi had clear highs and lows, but the mid range seemed hollow and barren. The P2 had the most balanced sound, and even with MP3's sounded as close to the retail record as possible
Mad Caddies - Backyard:
This song seemed to bring out the best/worst in all the players. The Ipods and the Xfi have all delivered distortion in the low end. Especially durring the opening 'shots' of the song. The only speakers that did not reveal this were the LG HTIB system. The P2 was crystal clear with no distortion and clean, tight, punchy bass on all speaker systems
Jason Mraz - Song for a Friend:
A nice simple song with a lot of textures and volume changes. Not to mention needing a player with very clear mid-high end response. The Xfi responded quite nicely here, but there was distortion on all systems when the band kicks in, with or without the Xfi crystlizer active, and much more distortion with the 3D sound active! This song really showed off it's weak points. The Ipods didn't fair much better with a little hair on the mid-highs during the choral outro. The P2 did the best by providing instruments that are so far in the background you usually only hear them on the retail CD... none of the other players could you hear the squeak of the strings.
Overall an above average player, but still not worth my $150 Canadian dollars.
"Fantastic Overall"on by idiotGT
Pros Stunning 2.5" screen, very crisp, detailed audio quality, nice firmware, easy to use software.
Cons The cheap feel that a lot of people are talking about is primarily true, but, I have not found it a real issue. It is very lightweight, but, my previous Mp3 player was huge. X-Fi features make sound worse (but they are optional).
Summary The audio quality is the best I've heard at mid-high volumes. It truly is a great listening experience. Video and photo playback looks beautiful on this, and I think it is the best player out there. Creative is known for quality, especially audio quality, because they are the world's largest distributor of sound cards for computers. The screen is done really well also. The packaged headphones are also pretty nice, and block out plenty of ambient noise. The only reason I did not give it 4.5 or 5 stars is because of the slightly cheap feeling construction, but don't worry this is not a big issue. If you are considering this player, I highly recommend it.
Pros Small, durable, I strap it in 90+ degree heat to my motorcycle, and it has never skipped a beat, X-fi is a marginal improvement, although increasing the mp3 bit rate of the music improved it consideerably
Cons Chrystalize is a waste,
It doesn't appear to recharge unless it's plugged into a computer.
Found out that this isn't true. It will recharge with a aftermarket charger as long as the unit is on
additional memory does not merge with main memory
Summary Even though you have to get it set right htis unit is s good deal
tuff as nails (but get a case) reliable, good battery life deet sound. If your an anti-ipod like me, then you wont go wrong with this