Review: Good, inexpensive Video and MP3 player
Zen is a very popular MP3 player and probably the only real alternative to the overhyped Ipod Nano, and we have to say that this small MP3 player does the job really well. It has its drawbacks, but the first thing you notice about this device is that it is incredibly small and that it has a beautiful display. That is not a surprising part, as this is one of the first devices to feature OLED display. We just hope that the screen will eventually get larger.
The player comes in a small mini casing and it looks much smaller than on the pictures. It will easily fit into even the smallest pockets. The retail box includes a set of rather large earphones that won't really fit in everyone's ears, a neck strap, drawstring pouch, USB cable, line in cable, a quick installation guide and an installation CD.
It is 43.5 grams light and it measures a miniscule 43.5 x 67.5 x 15.9 mm. The Zen V plus player was first introduced in the 1GB, 2GB and 4GB variations last year and later Creative labs followed with the introduction of the 8GB version. The V plus indicates that the player can play both Video and MP3 320K / WMA up to 320K files and WMA with Digital rights management is also supported, as well as the big bad uncompressed WAV.
The 8GB version is almost identical to the 4GB version but, as the name implies, it has twice as much memory. Just as is the case with the 4GB version, the buttons and the navigation joystick are blue. The display is 128 x 128 pixel OLED display (262K colours) and JPEG pictures or Supports transcoded video format look great on it. It is small but it’s cool to show someone a clip or two on it.
One of the main advantages of this player over the iPod is the crystal clear OLED display. It will offer a great picture with great contrast, beautiful colours and you will be able to read it even during the bright daylight. The display simply looks beautiful, but for the battery's sake it’s better to keep the contrast setting down to 60 percent rather than at 100 percent. At 60 percent the display still looks bright.
You can browse and transfer pictures and this small display will load them fast. The pictures and videos will look great on this small display, but the display is not really good for long movies and Creative knows that.
This MP3 player can handle video files and photo just fine and you will be able to play FM radio on it, as well. It can also record audio and this can go on for hours. The small integrated microphone can really pick up audio, even at a conference.
We adore the fact that we can use the USB mini connector. Even if you are at your friend’s computer, you will be able to plug your device in with a simple USB cable and record music or files on your MP3 player. There is no need for iTunes or any other special software but Creative has its media software that will let you organize your files a bit better. You can also synchronize music with Windows Media Player or Winamp, but this is clearly up to you.