Creative Zen Vision – Let’s take a look at an award winner

Creative Zen Vision – Let’s take a look at an award winner

Creative Zen Vision is Creative Labs’ latest addition to their successful line of portable media players. 30GB video player that plays songs, displays photos, along with video collections. Creative Labs is the well-known CES award-winning family that in May 2006 won the “Red Dot Design Award” for Zen Vision’s superior design quality, light pocket size and innovation from Essen Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany. Additionally, in November 2005, it was the winner of the “100 Best Gadgets of 2005.” for the personal video player by Gadget Magazine, Indonesia.

Zen Vision wins awards for many reasons, the main one being its ability to enjoy 120 hours of movie screenings based on 500Kbps MPEG4-SP formats. It comes in a 30GB model that allows its users over 15,000 songs and thousands of photos. The recorder allows the user to record their favorite songs live with the FM radio or their favorite talk show, plus the ability to record personal notes, lectures or discussions.

Vision has the ability to support many video formats. Some of them are AVI, DivXTM 4 & 53, XviD4, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG4-SP, WMV9 and Motion-JPEG. With this many choices available to the user, its unmatched video performance and superb picture quality. Many reviews find it the best-designed product in the PMP category—one available color, in addition to black magnesium, is a white magnesium case with a soft pearl finish, with blue backlit controls. The downside seems to be the fact that it’s not made for group viewing and also the screen as it’s highly reflective, which is more of an issue when viewing photos instead of videos as photos are brighter than videos.

Something we haven’t touched on yet is the screen size of MP3 players. When I was choosing between Creative Zen Vision and iPod Video, the iPod didn’t resize the screen – why? The iPod is known as a leader in music, not videos. Even though the iPod’s screen is smaller, it seems to be more viewable from different angles, while the Creative Zen Vision is better straight on. It generally depends on the overall purpose of why you are buying the MP3 player.

Battery life and power are a real issue with most MP3 players, and the Zen Vision seems to be at the cutting edge of increased battery development. It features an extended-life lithium-ion battery for double the playback time, which is removable, rechargeable and very lightweight. Users can enjoy up to 26 hours of music instead of eight or 13, or up to nine hours of video. We can’t watch MP3 video without comparing it to the iPod versions. That’s why we’ll state that the iPod offers 20 hours of battery life for listening to music, while the Zen Vision only offers 13 hours. And when a company has something “better to offer”, there’s always the other side of the X-brand coin – so Creative Labs makes up for that 7-hour shortfall by offering the extended battery pack. Apple? The ball is now in your court!

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