Creative Labs Zen Portable Media Center

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Creative Labs Zen Portable Media Center
  • Creative Labs Zen Portable Media Center
  • Creative Labs Zen Portable Media Center
  • Creative Labs Zen Portable Media Center

Pros

  • Excellent playback quality, simple, elegant interface

Cons

  • Battery life suffers a little for video, relies on Windows Media Player 10

Bottom Line

If you want to take your movies with you and watch them on a 3.8' widescreen, this player with its clear picture and brilliant sound, could be just what you're after.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 22 stores)

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Creative Zen Portable Media Center is designed to allow you to take videos, music and images with you on the road.

The small device fits the hand well and is intuitively laid out. A navigation pad sits on the left-hand side, with play controls on the right. The entire unit weighs at 340g and measures 14.4 x 3 x 8cm, making it small and light enough to carry around all day. The 3.8" backlit screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio and runs at a native resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. By default, Zen Portable Media Center includes 20GB of storage space, which can be filled with digital music, images and video files.

The battery is designed to keep up, and in our testing it managed to kick on for 18 hours of audio playback and six hours of video. A cable is bundled so you can output the video to a television.

The device features support for just about every image and movie file type commonly used (including WMA, MP3, JPEG, ASF, DVR-MS, AVI, MPEG, MPEG2 and WAV formats) and is managed via Windows Media 10. It's possible to convert unsupported media formats into ones that will work with the player.

The Windows Media Player 10 desktop software acts as a central repository for all your media. It's straightforward and would be familiar to anybody who uses Windows XP.

Zen Portable Media Center features a glossy black cover that is prone to scratching and easily picks up fingerprints, but this is no problem if you are going to carry the device in the supplied carry case.

The device boasts excellent sound quality via the supplied earphones, which reproduce both music and video accurately.

The widescreen, clear display, and stellar sound make Zen Portable Media Center fantastic for watching movies anywhere, any time. It's a truly portable media player, but if you just wanted a music player, you could find something smaller and cheaper.

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