By Richard Menta 12/11/05
Creative was one of the first five companies to release an MP3 player, starting in 1999, yet somehow this company has been saddled with also-ran status. It is understandable, the iPod has up to three-fourths of the market now, but the Nomad Jukebox was the top selling portable the year the iPod first appeared in 2001. Their products are always of high quality and if you are thinking of ditching the iPod becasue of its popularity Creative's player line is a good place to turn to.
The first thing one notices when they look at the new Creative Zen Vision:M, their latest PMP unit, is how much it resembles the new iPod. Creative's CEO claims it is only a coincidence and you have to somewhat believe him, because his product was designed months before the video enabled iPod hit stores. Of course the gleaming white case is purely iPod influenced so the benefit of the doubt only goes so far.
This is especially true when one looks at the specs of both units, which are nearly identicle. The exception comes in the thickness of the unit, which is twice that of the iPod. The Zen Vision:M offers a 2.5" screen and a 30GB hard drive. Both players handle video, but the Zen Vision:M also offers an FM tuner and voice record features.
Creative Zen Vision:M
The Zen Vision:M also offers greater flexibitly with regards to the video formats the unit can read. Along with MPeg-4 the Zen Vision:M reads MPEG-2, MJPEG (Motion JPEG), WMV9 and compatible DivX 4, 5 and Xvid.. The player also supports TiVo To Go. The Zen Vision:M sells for $330
Other MP3 stories:
iPod Killers for Christmas 2005 Part I
iPod Killers for Christmas 2005 Part Deux
iPod Killers for Christmas 2005 Part III