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Creative ZEN review | Functions

Published on: Tuesday, March 18th 2008                   Written by: Ralf Jurrien - Photography by: Mark Peters

Creative ZEN Navigation

T he card slot for expanding the onboard memory through a Secure Digital (up to 2GB) or an SDHC (from 4GB) is positioned on the top side, next to the built-in microphone. The right side of the ZEN multimedia player carries the connection for earplugs, the on / off button, that can also be slid up to put the multimedia player on 'hold' and a mini-USB connection to connect the ZEN to a pc. The front of the ZEN is dominated by the 2.5 inch LCD colour monitor with to the right of it some solid-feeling navigation buttons and other buttons for quick playback or recording of desired files.

Creative ZEN review

 

Software CD

Software CD

Creative ZEN Software

It's easy to install the included software CD on the PC and it is extremely easy to use it. Installing of the software took less than fifteen minutes. The Creative ZEN software is very user-friendly. Transferring 1GB of music, pictures and videos took less than ten minutes through a USB 2.0 port. And if a video is not supported by one of the ZEN formats, it can be converted by pressing the button only once which is very convenient.

Music & Video formats

Music & Video formats

Creative ZEN Supported formats

The Creative ZEN music player supports AAC (.M4A), MP3, WAVE and Audible formats for audio playback. Video playback of the ZEN supports WMV en DivX / XviD in a resolution of 320x240 pixels. Other video formats can easily be converted through the included software to a format that is supported. A colour pallet containing 16.7 million colours takes care of the excellent picture reproduction of the Creative ZEN.

Earplugs

Earplugs

Creative ZEN Sound quality

After uploading more than 1GB of music, pictures and videos, we can get started with the Creative ZEN multimedia player. The included earplugs are of average quality. The sound the Creative ZEN produces in combination with the included earplugs is nice and clear. The volume range is wide; be careful not to damage your hearing, because the ZEN music player's volume can be turned up really high.

 

2.5 inch LCD color screen

2.5 inch LCD color screen

Creative ZEN LCD colour monitor

The digital multimedia player Creative ZEN has been equipped with a 2.5 inch LCD color screen that is ultra-large compared to the player since the player has the size of a credit card. The video quality is superb; a clear image with warm colours. I am very pleased with the reproduction quality of the monitor. Something that doesn't please me at all is the monitor's scratch-prone surface. I have never before come across an LCD colour screen that is so easily scratched.

Creative ZEN protective cases

Creative ZEN protective cases

Creative ZEN scratch-prone surface

These scratches not only appear on the LCD screen but they spread all over the front of the ZEN too. This is a real pity because once you've dropped your Creative ZEN, it will be noticeable forever. The test model we received came with a pack of protective cases and pouches but the consumer purchasing a ZEN will have to buy pouches separately for some fifteen to twenty Euros per piece. I do have to advise you to buy one of those otherwise your shiny monitor will be full of scratches in no-time.

 
 
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