Creative Labs Zen
- FM radio tuner, calendar and contact manager, excellent audio quality, long battery life, voice recorder
- Monochrome blue-on-blue screen
An elegant solution with excellent audio quality and a few unique but unobtrusive features.
Price$ 399.95 (AUD)
Ever since it introduced its first portable MP3 player, Creative has struggled to get the aesthetics right. It's still struggling. New Creative Zen 20G looks more like a voltage meter than the last word in high-fashion e-wear, although it's otherwise a very fine product.
Creative claims Zen can deliver 11 hours of MP3 music between recharges. It takes about four hours to recharge Zen using USB 2.0 power.
Much like Sony with its Walkman products, Creative has kept Zen simple, focusing on delivering quality audio and long battery life instead of weighing it down with an array of additional features. The extra features it does have are quite logical and unobtrusive, such as an in-built calendar, FM tuner, voice recorder and a mode called removable disk mode, which allows Zen to act as a high-capacity transport for files of any type. It weighs just 140.5g.
Controlling Zen is managed through five face buttons and a glide-pad-like scroller (which even makes a clicking noise when used to indicate that it is, indeed, scrolling). The scroller and the play controls work very well--it takes little time to adjust to them, and once you have, navigating through your songs is a breeze. It could have used a button for quick access to voice recording, but navigating through the menu to get to the voice recorder is relatively painless. Its audio output during our tests was very good, delivering excellent MP3 playback even at low bit-rates, although the audio could be a bit flat at times. It has an internal EQ with presets. It also tuned and played back FM radio well, and even had an auto-scanner for presets.
Zen has is an internal calendar and contacts manager that you can sync with Microsoft Outlook. It's quite a neat little personal information manager, not overly complicated or detailed, but enough to keep things running. Zen comes with some very slick software called Creative MediaSource, which takes an age to install but is well worth the wait. It's a media player, converter, playlist manager and transfer tool. It's well-designed and powerful. Also included is a much simpler tool, called the Zen Media Explorer, which is designed for one-button synching between your PC music library or data files, ripping CDs directly to Zen and downloading your Outlook schedule and contacts to Zen.
Zen does not present itself to the operating system as a removable hard disk, but goes one better. It has excellent Windows Explorer integration, appearing in the device list on the left hand side, with a logical (not actual) file system that allows you to drag and drop files into the Music or Data folders.
It's hard not to like Zen. It plays music well, has some excellent PC software, and FM radio tuner and even has a small PIM application built into the player.
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Apple TV will serve as hub for remotely controlling HomeKit devices
- Sony Smart B-Trainer headset gives runners vocal advice
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
- Apple shows off iPod touch, nano updates
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCBusiness Analyst / Advisor - Content & Collaboration - SharePointNSW
- FTManual Tester - Accounting & FinanceOther
- FTNetwork Engineer, Voice & DataOther
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java/ J2EE Developer (Brisbane)WA
- FTJuniper EngineerOther
- CCDatabase Systems SpecialistNSW
- FTSystem AnalystSA
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCIseries Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCMobile Applications DeveloperQLD
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- FTProject Manager - Office Re-locations APACOther
- FTJunior Infrastructure EngineerACT
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- TPSenior Change ManagerACT
- TPSAP ABAP DeveloperQLD
- TPSenior Network EngineerVIC
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSystems/Business AnalystACT
- CCEnterprise Architect ? Network & InfrastructureNSW
- TPMicrosoft Cloud Infrastructure Solution ArchitectQLD
- FTApplication Support Team Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW
- FTProject ManagerOther
- TPAppian DeveloperQLD
- CCMid - Level SAP Test AnalystQLD