Thursday, October 6, 2011

Old Post: Zen Vision M

Here is another MP3 player review I wrote before.

Zen Vision:M Review


The Zen Vision:M is a MP3 and movie player made by Creative. Its available in both 30 and 60 gigabyte models. I will be reviewing the 30GB model in black. The player is available in 5 colors, black, white, blue, green, and pink. The player is thicker then an iPod but I believe its worth it for a much better player.

Whats in the box:

When you open the box, you will find the standard stuff like software and headphones. There is a USB 2.0 "mini B" cable, the standard on mos everything now, and a "Mini Dock". Do not lose this dock as without it, you can't charge or sync the player. The dock has the USB port, the charger port, and the AV out port. There is, however, no charger or AV cable in the box. You can buy them separately, as the player charges over USB.

Side Note: Lack of Charger

Since the player will charge over USB, there is only one problem. It must be connected to a computer. You can use a hub, as long as the hub is connected to the computer. Just a powered hub will not charge the player. You can avoid paying creative 30 dollars for the adapter though. It uses a 5V adapter that can be found on USB hubs or HP iPAQ PDA's. Charging will take 2.5 hours on an adapter but 6 hours over USB. That means that if you like to use the player while at the computer instead of the computer like I do, you can't.

The Case:

When you take the player out of the box, one thing you will notice is that there is already a screen protector on the player. Good job Creative! The players face contains the “High Resolution” screen. The screen is a 2.5” (thats inches in case you didn't know) QVGA screen. QVGA is the same resolution as the standard Windows Mobile PDA. Its 320 by 240 pixel wide screen. It is a TFT LCD with good color. The back is bare containing the name, size, and other information. The bottom has the dock connector and reset button. The reset button needs to be pressed with a paper clip. The right side contains a microphone and nothing more. The left side is empty. The top contains the headphone jack and power/lock slide switch.

The Design:

You will notice the plastic on the front, which is colored, is very easy to scratch. For me this is not a problem a long as the screen is fine. The player has a screen protector on it already and I suggest that you always use one. It is also prone to finger prints. The back is a pearl white painted shell. I read that is magnesium. This does not scratch as easy as the front.

The Buttons:

The Zen Vision:M looks like there are only 4 buttons at first, and a touch strip. The touch strip is used for scrolling and on the side are left and right buttons. These are the skip track buttons. The left side buttons are a shortcut key that you can assign, and a back key. The right side has the play/pause button and the context menu key. These buttons are pretty stiff to press so that will help prevent accidental pressing. The lock switch will lock the buttons and turn the screen off.

The Interface:

The interface of this player is the same as on most every player creative makes. Its a series of menus that I will not go into detail on. The Now Playing screen will tell you what track in number and name, album, and artist. The bottom bar is the progress bar. Clicking the touch strip once will bring up a rating system. You can assign the track zero to five stars by scrolling up or down. Click it again and it has the Now Playing track list. I will not go into the settings like some other reviews. I will say this though, there is a custom EQ option, various play modes, and the Creative DJ. DJ mode is for music you haven't listened to in a while and is a variation of shuffle mode.

The Screen:

The 320 by 240 pixel wide screen is capable of displaying 262,144 colors and is very crisp. It is a TFT display so it does suffer a little outside but you should have no problem if you shade the screen with your hand. The screen is very bright, and at half brightness should be good for about everyone.


The player sounds very good, better then my PDA's even. Pictures also look great on the screen. I have not tested video yet but I assume that it would be good too. The volume goes quite loud. It can be too loud for me even.

Battery Life:

Though I haven't timed the battery life, I can say that it will last about all day for me. Creative says that it gets up 18 hours audio, and up to 6 hours video.

Extra Features:

The player contains a FM radio that has 32 presets. The radio comes in pretty well too. There is also and organizer program that syncs to you computer. This means that you need the computer to add information to it. There is also a removable disk option that can be set from 512MB to 16GB on the 30GB model, 32GB on the 60GB model. There is also a handy clock and alarm feature.

Good Feelings:

+ Great battery life
+ Good quality player
+ Can be found cheaper then iPod of same size. I paid 200.
+ Lock switch will turn off the screen.
+ Great screen.

Bad Feelings:

- The Mini Dock is a pain...
- Replacement Mini Dock is 15 dollars. - Hard to find case in iPod dominated world.

Mixed Feelings:

= No power adapter included but easy to find one that works.
= Little on the chubby side makes finding a case even harder.
= Why the need for the Mini Dock?

More pictures can be found Here.

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