Zen X-Fi 2: Creative’s first Touch screen media player announced ~ Creative Labs Zen MP3 Players Sound Blaster Card
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Zen X-Fi 2: Creative’s first Touch screen media player announced



Touch the Sound of Perfection, ZEN X-Fi 2


Creative’s first touchscreen based mp3 player has just been announced. It’s intelligently called the Zen X-Fi 2. Some of the features would please many users out there. Can this media player be finally what we’ve been waiting for? Lets find out.

image

The Zen X-Fi 2 sports a 3” TFT LCD touchscreen (we believe its resistive), with X-Fi audio technology enhancement built in. What is also pumps more in then audio department is that the Zen X-Fi 2 supports Lossless Audio format FLAC. It also supports Apple’s iTunes Plus audio file AAC (unprotected). Another great feature, totally missed after the Zen Vision M is the A/V out capability. It has gotten rid of the SD card slot and replaced it with a Micro-SD slot (supporting 32GB max). No word on integration and I assume none. The Zen X-Fi 2 can be available in 8, 16, 32 GBs. The Zen X-Fi 2 does NOT have WiFi.

 

LCD TouchScreen:

The Zen X-Fi2 has a 3.0” TFT with a resolution of 400x240. This is the same pixel density per given length as that of the Zen-X-Fi or the Zen. However the screen being 3 inches large is a good delight. Also, we think that the screen is a resistive touchscreen, as it isn’t mentioned anywhere. Its a 262k colour screen instead of 16.7 million colour one which isn’t really a good screen.

X-Fi Audio Enhancement:

This is probably just like that on the Zen X-Fi (1?). Featuring adjustable X-Fi Crystalizer and Expand.

TV-Out:

I’m actually delighted to see Creative is bringing back this feature. It was last seen in the Zen Vision:M and was much adored by people all around. It is both PAL/NTSC and it’s via the A/V cable sold separately. The headphone jack doubles as an A/V out jack. I don’t have any word on the resolution of TV-Out, but I think its 640x480 as it was in the ZVM. Again, this is not mentioned.

No WiFi:

Yup, there is NO WiFi in the ZEN X-Fi2. This can be a good thing or bad. Creative weren’t really attractive to customers out there when they featured Wi-Fi in the ZEN X-Fi. If you cannot excel in a particular field to match the competition, better not do it at all. The world probably doesn’t need another touchscreen media device with WiFi that cannot be matched as well as the competition. However the ZX2 does have an offline RSS reader where you sync that with your PC.

Battery Life:

Battery life is rated up to 25 hrs in audio and up to 5hrs in video. Not really impressive.

Audio formats:

The Zen X-Fi2 supports MP3s, WMA, WAV, Audible4, AAC(unprotected) with a great addition to FLAC (up to 1.1Mbps bit-rate). The addition of FLAC in a Creative player would please a lot of people out there, especially since the Zen X-Fi originally had a good sound quality rating.

Video Formats:

The Zen X-Fi2 supports WMV9, MPEG4-SP, DivX 4/5 and XviD. All of those formats limited to a 640x480 resolution. (which is another reason to believe TV-Out will be at that resolution).  This is quite a nice improvement over the ZEN X-Fi in terms of allowed resolutions. However, nothing so extreme as HD playback.

Dimensions:

The Zen X-Fi2 sizes up with others as shown below at 102mm x 57mm x 11.6mm.

Zii EGG vs ZEN X-Fi 2 vs ZEN X-Fi //sizeasy.com

Weight: 75g

 

Price and Availability:

US: The Zen X-Fi2 is set to be released at the end of September in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB models for $129.99, $179.99 and $229.99 respectively.

UK: The Zen X-Fi2 ships as follows: 32GB for £199.99 within 16 days, 16GB £149.99 within 9 days, and 8GB for £99.99 which ships within 23 days. So it is available as of now.

Europe:  32GB version ships in 16 days for 229,99€.
16GB version ships in 9 days for 179,99€.
8GB version ships in 23 days for 123,99€.

"In August of last year, we launched the ZEN X-Fi player, designed to be the best-sounding portable digital music player ever, achieved by implementing our ground-breaking X-Fi audio technology. The response from our users was overwhelmingly positive - they really loved how phenomenal their MP3 and iTunes music sounded with X-Fi," said Joseph Liow, Vice President, Personal Digital Entertainment Products of Creative Technology Ltd and General Manager of Creative Labs Asia.

Now, in an interesting thought, why not get the Zii EGG you may ask. Well, you have every reason to if you're a developer. If not, then Creative wise, the Zen X-Fi2 is the most high-end media player by Creative so far. It lacks  a lot of the HD and platform capabilities and this is going to be a bit harder to beat the competition. Were not aware of pricing of the ZEN X-Fi elsewhere, but Creative is oh so generous as always in their product pricings. The Zen X-Fi is to be featured at IFA Berlin which Creative always plays a good exhibit. Last year they showcased the Zen X-Fi. This time its the Zen X-Fi 2. IFA Berlin kicks off today, so expect a few updates from us.

[Press Release, Product Page]


8 comments:

Gery said...

Shipping dates for Germany are the same as for the UK, while the prices are the same in the US but in Euros unfortunately. That means:
32GB version ships in 16 days for 229,99€.
16GB version ships in 9 days for 179,99€.
8GB version ships in 23 days for 123,99€.

http://de.store.creative.com/zenxfi2/

Varuna Singh said...

Thanks Gery, updated.

Anonymous said...

Some people will be interested in getting this. For Zii Egg Consumer Edition, once most of the OS update and applications are available and there's a sizeable developer community, the release will be imminent, so stay tuned...

Jimmyboy88 said...

i am really excited! creative 1st touch screen mp3 player!
it look so much like zii egg!
of course the real creative zii egg for consumers will be more exciting yoohoo!

s0nlxaftrsh0ck said...

I look forward mostly to both and we'll soooo be keeping a close eye on both.

Jimmyboy88 said...

oh yes :)

Shira said...

I recently receieved a brand new replacement Zen x-Fi for my old Zen X-fi that broke within th 1 year warranty. The brand new mp3 player (did i mention that it's brand new?) does not play music out of the left ear of any pair of earphones I try with the device. I should note that I tested out all these earphones with other devices, such as my sister's iPod, my laptop, and an old CD player. I have tried reloading firmware from the Creative website (as instructed to do so by the Creative Customer Service), but it did nothing, not even wipe my device clean of its data. Any suggestions?

Jimmyboy88 said...

could be same loose wire at the earphone jack or did you fully insert the earphone jack?

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