I’m more than a casual user of Creative portable media players. I use a 60gb Zen Vision W, my wife uses a 4gb Zen, and my kids each have a 16gb Zen. At the time the purchases made sense because they offered more features at a lower price than either Apple, Microsoft, or any other manufacturer. For example, they have built-in FM radios, which my wife loves as she’s an NPR junkie. You can also add storage to them via SD cards, which is great for long trips. And they natively accept a lot more formats than either the iPod or the Zune.

However, Apple completely changed the portable media player market with the introduction of the iPod Touch. The Touch is essentially a micro-tablet-PC/portable gaming system/internet accessible/media player. It’s literally like having a computer in your shirt pocket. Microsoft answered Apple’s challenge with the Zune HD. I had to wonder what Creative would come up with. That wonder is over.

Creative is set to release its touch screen ZEN X-Fi2 to compete with the iPod Touch and the Zen HD. I’m amazed at how pathetic it is. The 32gb version is only about 50 bucks cheaper than either the iPod Touch or the Zune HD, but has none of the compelling features.

One alleged feature the ZEN X-Fi2 has going for it is native support for more video formats, but since most videos will have to be converted to smaller resolutions anyway, it’s not really much of an advantage.

The new Zen also boasts the ability to use flash cards for additional storage, but it uses microSD, so it’s not like its anything to brag about. The 16gb card I found at newegg is about 50 bucks. Suddenly it’s the exact same price as the Touch.

Hilariously, or should I say pathetically, it also offers an RSS reader and a calendaring system, but it has to be connected to your computer with a cable to sync them. Not with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but with a god fricken cable! What year does Creative think this is?!

As I said, the Touch is essentially a micro-tablet-PC/portable gaming system/internet accessible/media player. While the new ZEN X-Fi2 is essentially an overpriced media player with a touch screen. I can’t imagine who would buy one. “Ignorant” wouldn’t sufficiently describe such a person. “Palin for President supporter” might come close.

  1. SDW says:

    well most people know how to spell people
    and most people buy a protective skin.
    and most people do this, even if they own
    and ipod, itouch,cellphnoe, or zen.


    i don’t know where he bought his itouch from
    the 32gb is 300 dollars.

    the x-fi2 is 179 at amazon. that’s 120 difference.

    plus your stuck with apple everything.

    my only need for my mp3 player is for playing
    the music.and if i’m going to buy one for music
    i want it to sound as good as possible.

    nobody beats creative for sound quality.

  2. Pet says:

    ZEN X-Fi2 looks very nice and sound quality is excellent. Few features I found with very clumsy implementation. I found no way to edit playlist if I have a wrong spelling. I need to connect it to PC fix it. Playlist feature is not friendly at all! Can’t listen to FM without headphone connected! Contacts, Calender, notes are not convenient at all. You must connect to PC to do that job from PC rather than on unit. Creative should provide soft keyboard to make it more friendly to users. User manual has nothing. Over all I am very disappointed with this product.
    Creative should hire new engineers to come up with better products.


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