AV Peripherals and Systems Guide

The Creative Zen X-Fi Launch

The Creative Zen X-Fi Launch

Creative Zen X-Fi Launch: The Sound of Perfection

The Sound of Perfection

The portable media player (PMP) market just got a little more crowded, because today Creative finally unveiled their latest PMP - the Creative Zen X-Fi. Named after Creative's X-Fi audio technology and boasting features such as X-Fi quality audio, Wi-Fi, an integrated messaging client and built-in media streaming, the X-Fi is sure to give its competitors a run for its money.

Held at The Studio along Ann Siang road, the launch was packed with journalists eager to find out more about Creative's latest offering: the Zen X-FI.

Targeted at audiophiles, the key feature of the X-Fi is the inclusion of the X-Fi audio settings "Crystalizer" and "Expand". According to Creative, activating the Crystalizer setting will restore audio details that were lost during compression, thus making the track sound richer, clearer and closer to its original quality (which is exactly the same function of the Crystalizer feature in the X-Fi sound cards. On the other hand, "Expand" gives audio a natural and realistic feel by shifting the sound away from your ears and then repositioning it in front of you, so that you feel as if you were listening to a live performance.

Creative also talked a little bit about the Zen X-Fi's integrated messaging client. It said that it will support both Windows Live and Yahoo! Messenger networks and input will be via the nine buttons by the side, using what, we suspect, will be a phone-like schema. Additionally, Creative also mentioned that this new Zen will come with built-in microphone as well as speakers. To sweeten the deal, they are also bundling in a pair of premium noise-canceling earphones. Audiophiles rejoice!

In terms of its physical dimensions, fans will be delighted to know that the X-Fi is no bigger than the standard Zen (i.e., the size of a credit card). As for capacity, the X-Fi will come in 32GB, 16GB and 8GB models. However, do note that the 8GB model doesn't come with Wi-Fi capability, but retails at a much cheaper price of S$229 as compared to the S$399 and S$329 of the 32GB/16GB models respectively.

On that note, eager beavers will be glad to know that both 32GB and 16GB models of the Zen X-Fi are available as of now, while those stuck with a lower budget will have to wait till the end of the month for the more affordable 8GB model. There's also a special limited edition Red Cliff version during this period for the premium collectors out there.


Creative Zen X-Fi Specifications
Model/ Features Zen X-Fi Zen X-Fi with Wireless LAN
Capacities 8GB 16GB, 32GB
X-Fi Technology Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Capabilities - Yes
Wireless Content Streaming/Downloading - Yes
Emotive Instant Messaging - Yes
Podcast Listening - Yes
SD Card Slot Yes Yes
Screen Size 2.5 inches 2.5 inches
Screen Color 16.7 million colors 16.7 million colors
Screen Resolution 320 x 240 pixels 320 x 240 pixels
FM Radio Yes Yes
Voice Recorder Yes Yes
Number of Songs Storable [MP3] 2000 8000 for 32GB, 4000 for 16GB
Music playback format supported MP3, WMA, unprotected AAC (.m4a), WAV (ADPCM), Audible 2, 3, 4
Video playback format supported WMV9, MJPEG, MPEG4-SP, DivX 4/5, Xvid
Still image display format supported JPEG (BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF)
Battery life Up to 36 hours of continuous audio playback, and up to 5 hours of continuous video playback (on a single full charge)