Summary: The Creative Zen X-Fi's plastic design leaves a little to be desired, but that doesn't detract from the fact that the player is an incredible value overall: for an extremely competitive price you get a boatload of features and great sound quality.
Pros: The Creative Zen X-Fi is an incredible value given its low price and laundry list of features, which include photo, video, Audible, and subscription music support; an FM radio and voice recorder; an SD card expansion slot; WiFi capability; multiple EQ settings; X-Fi sound enhancement technology; and upgraded EP-830 earphones. Sound quality is top-notch, the screen is lovely, and the rated battery life for audio is impressive.
Cons: The Creative Zen X-Fi plastic construction does not feel high-quality, and the SD card content does not get integrated into the general libraries. Videos often need to be transcoded through the included software, and the button pad can be confusing at first. Audio battery life is dismal.
Conclusion: A tiny music player, with tons of storage, impressive sound quality and lots of added extras. Just don’t expect its Wi-Fi functions to rock your world.
Pros: Small enough to sit comfortably in the palm, the Zen X-Fi is proof great things really do come in the tiniest packages. This swanky MP3 player squeezes in up to 32GB of storage, as well as an SD card slot for more room if you need it. There’s a decent FM radio too, and a built-in microphone for recording memos. It also boasts an advanced EQ, using Creative’s X-Fi (Xtreme Fidelity) technology to expand sounds and make them much beefier. The player comes with a pair of ...
Cons: The Zen X-Fi packs in Wi-Fi, but it’s a flawed execution. Where the iPod touch lets you download new songs, surf the web and install applications, the Zen simply lets you stream content from a networked PC. There’s also a built-in chat application, which taps into Yahoo or MSN messenger, but the keypad is fiddly, and we quickly tired of it.
Conclusion: Armed with wireless streaming features, but hindered by an irksome user interface, the affordable ZEN X-Fi is a solid player, but lacks the graceful navigation of devices from Apple or Samsung.
Pros: Streams and downloads music wirelessly. FM Radio and voice recorder. Quality earphones are included.
Cons: User interface needs work. Most videos need to be converted with the included software. Loaded with buttons.
Creative ZEN X-Fi Portable Media Player with Wireless LAN Review
18 October 2008
Conclusion: In a world of portable media player leaders and followers, kudos to Creative for going their own way. The design and feature set are uniquely theirs, with improvements over the first generation and an attractive value for those looking to go beyond the ordinary. Where to Buy: Manufacturer's Specifications What's in the Box?
Pros: Head-turningly compact but, Proprietary audio tweaks make it sound BIG, Works great with established content providers and Digital Copy, Highly customizable
Cons: Video streaming requires resizing of our existing video files, No video output, Comes with the shortest USB cable I've ever seen!
Summary: The Creative Zen X-Fi provides excellent sound quality (with the X-Fi Expand turned off) and support for multiple audio and video formats at a very reasonable price. It offers a larger screen and capacity than the similarly priced Sony Walkman NWZ-S718F , but we prefer its rival's Mac compatibility and noise-cancellation technology. The Zen X-Fi is an intriguing, but flawed, portable media player.
Conclusion: The Zen X-Fi doesn’t pose much of a threat to the far more versatile and user-friendly iPod Touch, but folks considering a Flash Zune might opt for the X-Fi’s larger maximum capacity (32GB vs. Zune’s 16GB) plus expandable storage. And Creative has been pricing its products more aggressively in recent years: $279 for the 32GB version is a steal compared with $399 for the 32GB iPod Touch.
Pros: Very good sound quality; included ear buds are excellent; attractive interface
Cons: Buttons are small and are not backlit; lacks wireless sync and web browsing
Summary: It's an outstanding digital music player that rises to the top with ease. The masses may continue to think iPod first when they need a new MP3 player - but it will be a shame if they do. The Creative Zen X-Fi is arguably the most innovative, feature-packed player on the market, and it's an absolute steal for the price.
Excerpt: Creative’s previous Zen had the potential to be a great PMP, considering its slim design, large clear display and the button placement for navigation, but it fared quite averagely. Their next-level Zen called the Zen X-Fi comes equipped with Creative’s famous X-Fi engine that should make the audio experience something to look forward to. To cut to the chase, here’s what I think of this upgrade… Form Factor The design of the X-Fi is not altogether different from the Zen.
Summary: Creative is marketing its new Zen X-Fi digital media player as "the sound of perfection," which unfortunately is a bit of an overstatement. It is the company's best-sounding player to date and it does sound undeniably great, but really only when X-Fi, its most lauded feature, is disabled. Most of the other features unique to the Zen X-Fi are gimmicky at best, and the new controls do nothing but clutter an otherwise attractive player.