The Creative Zen Vision is Creative Labs’ newest addition to their successful line of portable media players. A 30GB video player it plays songs, displays photos, along with video collections. Creative Labs is the well-known C.E.S. award-wining family who, in May of 2006, won the “Red Dot Design Award” for Zen Vision’s superior design quality, lightweight pocket-size, and innovation from Essen Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, in Germany. Also, in November of 2005, it was the winner of the “100 Best Gadgets of 2005” for the personal video player from Gadget Magazine, Indonesia.
The Zen Vision has won awards for many reasons, with the main one its ability to enjoy 120 hours of movie screenings, based on 500Kbps MPEG4-SP formats. It is available in a 30GB model which allows its users over 15,000 songs and thousands of photos. The recorder allows the user to tape their favorite songs live with the FM radio or their favorite talk show, plus being able to tape personal memos, lectures, or discussions.
The Vision has the ability to support many video formats. Some are the AVI, DivXTM 4 & 53, XviD4, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG4-SP, WMV9 and Motion-JPEG. With this many choices available for the consumer, its unsurpassed video performance and superb photo. Many reviews find it the best-designed product in the PMP category – one available color, in addition to magnesium black, is the white magnesium case with a soft pearlescent finish, with a blue backlit controls. The low point seems to be the fact it is not made for group viewing, and also the screen as it is highly reflective, which is more of a problem when viewing photographs instead of videos as photos are brighter than video.
Something we haven’t touched on yet was the screen size of the MP3 players. When deciding between a Creative Zen Vision and the iPod Video, the iPod didn’t change screen size – reason? The iPod is known as the leader in music, not in videos. While the iPod screen is smaller, it seems to be more visible in multiple angles, while Creative Zen Vision is better straight on. All in all, it depends on the overall purpose of why you are buying the MP3 player.
The battery and power life has been a real problem with most of the MP3 players, and the Zen Vision seems to be at the peak of increased battery evolution. It includes the extended life Li-ion battery pack, for double playback time, which is removable, rechargeable, and very lightweight. The users can enjoy up to 26 hours of music, instead of eight or 13, or up to nine hours of video. We cannot look at any MP3 video without comparing it to the iPod versions. So therefore, we shall state the iPod offers 20 hours of battery life to listen to music, and the Zen Vision only offers 13 hours. And whenever one company has something “better to offer” there is always the other side of the coin for the brand X – so Creative Labs has made up for this lack of 7 hours by offering the extended battery pack. Apple? The ball is in your field now!