Creative is about to launch its latest addition to its Zen-series of portable media players with the introduction of the Zen X-Fi. This player differs somewhat from the Zen, as not only does it feature Creative's X-Fi technology, but it will also have WiFi and support from instant messaging.
It won't be using touch-screen technology, which is a major flaw on what will be Creative's new flagship player. Instead, it has a set of nine round little buttons which will be used much like a phone keypad for the IM functionality.
The inclusion of WiFi will allow you to stream music to the player when connected via a wireless network and Creative will offer a paid-for "music rental" service, although you can also stream music from your home PC.
Other features include an SD card slot (carried over from the Zen and it appears to have the same poor integration), a built-in speaker, up to 36h battery life for music and 5h battery life for video, support for MP3, WMA, unprotected AAC, WAV and Audible files, support for WMV, MPEG4-SP, DivX 4/5, XviD and MJPEG video files, an FM tuner and a mic for voice recording.
The Zen X-Fi also comes with Creative's new Centrale software, which was up for download earlier on Creative's site, but the download has since then been removed. A new pair of headphones will also be supplied and they're known as the Creative EP-830 and are available separately.
You can find out more about the Zen X-Fi here and here.
Image courtesy of epiZENter.net