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Creative Zen X-Fi

Updated on June 10, 2009

The Creative Zen X-Fi is a mini powerhouse packed with the intricacies of audio and video playback. It comes loaded with a host of features that include MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA (subscription included) and Audible audio; MPEG4, AVI and WMV video and JPEG photos. It also features a built-in microphone for voice recording and a preset 32-channel FM Radio apart from which Creative has added standard PIM functions by which you can sync contacts, tasks and the calendar from Outlook.

Creative Zen X-Fi

The shuffle and repeat playback modes, useful correlated menus, scanning through for the artists or songs or even rating them and setting up to ten bookmarks are the common functions as of the previous Zen. A nine preset EQs, a five-band, user-definable mode and a bass-boost function are an added bonus. You will also find a built-in speaker for music sharing.

The package of surprises doe snot end here because the Creative Zen X-Fi has more features to its credit. It incorporates an SD card slot for adding more memory to your media player. Sadly, the content on the SD card is not included into the main library, instead it has to be opened through a different menu. The compact multi-media player has a speaker at the bottom, a regular USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the right. A pair of EP 830 earphones that are a definite modification as opposed to the regular earphones, are also added to the kit.

Loading content onto your X-Fi is the easiest of tasks and if you already have the Windows Media Player or Rhapsody, you do not even need to load any software. You can straightaway sync content onto the player or use the drag-and-drop option. In case you are interested in storing a lot of video on the player, the Creative Centrale software would be a good bet because the player can be fussy about format, size and frame rate.

It includes several themes for customised Interface, thereby allowing you to select an image of your choice as a backdrop. The menus are extremely user-friendly making it easy to choose your desired option.

What is distinctive about this Creative media player is the addition of the X-Fi technology, especially the Crystallizer which reinstates sound elements lost during file compression and the Expand feature that widens sound quality. Besides it integrates 802.11b/g wireless functions which enable streaming of music from a WiFi. It also permits chats between users and includes an application to add an avatar on the tool.

The screen is crystal clear and photos and videos look imposing with brilliant lively colours and perfect detailing. Music playback is also clearly exceptional. The battery life is 36 hours for audio playback, while video playback lasts for 5 hours.

An extremely thrilling fact about the X-Fi is that it is compatible with the download of the BBC iPlayer’s online TV and Radio service. Since it supports the playback of DRM-protected Windows Media content, you can easily download your favourite TV programmes from the BBC iPlayer’s site and drop it into your X-Fi to view in leisure.

The multimedia player is available in 16GB and 32GB capacities with the 16GB model made available at a reasonable £130 and considering its various functions it is surely a good buy.

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