Creative Zen Vision:M
A great compact multipurpose wonder for the open road.
In the past years when someone mentions the words MP3 Player
the usually the first thing people associate this with is the IPOD.
Rightfully so as Apple did a good job out of the gate in design,
functionality and most of all ease of use. Where they fell short was support
for other music and video formats as well as locking the user in to purchase
from I-Tunes only. I have to say it was a novel idea when your the one
receiving all the money and have complete control. If you thinks about it
they really can charge what they want within reason. In the last few years
the underdogs have made great strides. Some of which have managed to trump
the IPOD in not only feature, design, functionality, ease of use but some
have surpassed Apple on quality.
Enter the Zen Vision:M. Comparable in size
and functionality. Close in looks. But what's this? The IPOD video has a
61,000 color screen compared to the Zen Vision:M with 262,000 colors. This
is not a small difference. I have watched them side by side and the
difference is night and day. Battery life is always a key topic when
evaluating these devices. One of the reviews I read that compared the two
stated they used the movie King Kong to compare the two. The IPOD's batter
gave out before the end of the movie. The 2005 release of King Kong is
only 3.13 hours long. Given these data points coupled with the fact it only
supports the Apple video format I find it is a mediocre video player to say
the least. The Zen Vision:M on the other hand supports AVI, DIV/X, XVID,
MPEG1/2/4 and WMV. I personally own the 30 GB version and have over 100 full
albums and 20 full length movies loaded. These little babies are
amazing! I have watched a couple movies consecutively during long flights
with no eye strain what so ever. The 2.5" screen is bright and vibrant and
very easy to view. Weather your a photographer or just want to carry family
photo's this player does it all. Organize photo's by folders and watch your
favorite photo's as a slide show while you listen to your favorite play list
As a music player, I believe this player to be one of the best
sounding portables I have come across. This is an area I have some
experience in as I tend to consider myself a Audiophile. I have 2 tube amps
(X-Canv3 and a Little Dot2) as well as a Headroom portable amp. I use all
three with the creative and a set of
HD-650 Cans (Headphones). The
sound is amazing. In fact, run the Zen Vision:M through one of the tube amps
as a pre-amp and into my NAD C-372 Amplifier powering 2 Klipsch Forte's and
2 Klipsch Quartets. The end result is pure bliss. For a lossy player the
sound is truly amazing. I went as far as purchasing Sennhieser MX-100
portable headphones and harvested the drivers to place in my helmet. The
result is the most amazing sound you will find in any helmet speaker setup.
The Zen Vision:M has a several preset Equalizer settings. The usual, jazz,
Rock, Hip Hop, Classical etc. It also has a custom setting that allows you
to control all five bands. I have played with some of the equalizers out
there that come with portable players and have not been impressed until now.
The sound quality is great.
The battery life on this unit is great. I have
watched 2 full length movies and listened to an hour or two of music and
still had 40% battery life left. I have started my player on a huge play
list at 9 AM and it was still playing at 7 PM when I returned home from my
ride. I never powered the unit off during the day trip. I ripped all my
music as 320 Kbps MP3's and sync them with Windows Media Player 10 and 11.
This device also can be used as a removable hard drive. It doesn't stop
there! Creative did a wonderful job by adding a FM radio tuner. It uses your
headphone wire as an antenna and the reception is crystal clear. When
listening to radio the battery life gets even better. There is also a voice
recorder for taking notes. The mic has exceptional pick up and the sound
quality of the recording is great. Here is another bonus, I'm not joined at
the hip with Apples I-Tunes. I have purchased music on BuyMusic.com and
others for between 79 and 99 cents a track. I can go on and on but my
last statement will be as follows... The ZenVision:M is an IPOD Killer!
|How can this device help
you out on the road? Here are a few examples.
- If your staying in a campground or hotel without TV the built
in screen is large enough to comfortably enjoy watching up to
several hours of movies. I have watched 2 movies in serial without
eye strain. Although the screen is small in size it's extremely
vibrant and easy to view.
- Listen to music as you ride the open roads. Create play lists
that play the entire day. You will never be without music as will
happen with satellite radio when you lose line of site of the
- Enjoy watching your ride photo's as slide shows while
simultaneously listening to your favorite music tracks.
- Take ride notes when needed via the built in voice recorder. I
have used this feature and it's quite nice.
Technical Specs - Also See the Official
Creative Web Site.
HxWxD: 4.1" x 2.4" x 0.7" (30GB)
4.1" x 2.4" x 0.87" (60GB)
Weight: 5.7 oz (30GB)
6.9 oz (60GB)
Display: 2.5" High Resolution Color Screen (320 x 240 pixels)
Storage Capacity: 30GB (7,500 songs)
60GB (15,000 songs)
Battery Life: Up to 17 hours of continuous audio playback
Up to 5 hours of continuous video playback
Battery Charge Time: USB 6.5 hours
Power Adapter 2.5 hours
Audio Playback Format: MP3, WMA, WAV and Audible
Photo Format: JPEG (GIF, TIFF, PNG and BMP)3
Video Playback Format: MPEG1/2/4-SP, WMV9, Motion-JPEG,
compatible DivX® 4 and 5, XviD and AVI
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: Up to 97db
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
A/V Output: 3.5 mm mini-jack composite TV-out (NTSC and PAL)
with stereo audio
Organizer: Syncs with and views Microsoft Outlook® Contacts,
Calendar & Tasks
USB Host Feature5
Contacts, calendar and tasks
Repeat, resume, and random play
Sleep and wake timers
Customizable main menu
Functions as an external hard drive
8 EQ settings (Acoustic, classical, custom, disco, jazz, new
age, pop, rock and vocal)
11GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Available capacity will be less.
Reported capacity will vary. 30GB holds 7,500 songs, song claim
based on 4 minute song encoded at 128 kbps. MP3 encoding. 60GB holds
15,000 songs, song claim based on 4 minute song encoded at 128kbps
MP3 encoding. Video claim based on video encoded at 500 kbps
2Actual battery life will vary with use. Higher bit rate movies will
3Files transcoded with bundle software
4DivX and XviD encoded files are playable if they are encoded as
standard MPEG-4 Simple (SP) or advanced Simple Profile (ASP) without
GMC support. This product is not certified by DivX Inc. May not play
all DivX 4 and 5 files.
5Only available on ZEN Vision:M 60GB. USB Host feature tested with
SanDisk MobileMate™ SD™ Plus 5-in-1 Reader, SanDisk ImageMate® SD
12-in-1 Reader/Writer, Dazzle ComplactFlash Reader (DM-8000), Belkin
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 8-in-1 Media Reader(F5U248), Poertable Multi-Card
Reader(TS-RD13) and Canon Powershot A430, Fuji FinePix E900 Zoom and
Nikon Coolpix P3. For other types of media, refer to manufacturer's
website for compatibility. Check your Camera or Card Reader's
Package Contents for Standard USB Cable availability (not supplied
Mini-B Cable) for connectivity with ZEN Vision: M USB Host Adapter.