Creative ZEN Style M300 Review ~ Creative Labs Zen MP3 Players Sound Blaster Card
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Creative ZEN Style M300 Review







What is the Creative ZEN Style M300 ?
Recently, I am fortunate to get my hands on one of Creative’s latest ZEN mp3 player, this time, its the Creative ZEN Style M300 mp3 player. Its a 1.45 inch screen tiny, pocket friendly mp3 player.

The ZEN Style M300 also connects easily via bluetooth with other audio products such as Creative's wireless speakers like ZiiSound D5 and the wireless Creative WP-300 headphones. Together they form the pure wireless entertainment ecosystem.

I will be showing you lots of photos and videos of the ZEN Style M300.

Quick Look
Lets take a quick peek at its technical specifications:


Feature

Description

Capacity1:

4GB
/ 8GB / 16GB++

LCD:

1.45"
TFT (128x128, 262K colours)

Bluetooth:

Bluetooth 2.1 Wireless Technology (supports A2DP & AVRCP)

Battery Life2:

Up
to 20 hours (based on 128kpbs, 4mins/song, MP3 file)

Power Charging:

Yes
(via USB)

Memory Expansion:

microSD,
up to 32GB

Video Playback Formats3:

Transcoded Video
(SMV). Click
here to download converter

Audio Playback Formats:

MP3,
WMA (DRM9), WAV (IMA-ADPCM), Audible Format 4, Audible AAX

Photo Format Supported:

JPEG

Voice Recording:

Yes

FM Radio:

32
preset stations

Colors:

Black,
White, Red and Yellow++

Connectivity:

USB
2.0
1. 1GB=1,000,000,000 bytes. Available capacity will be less. Reported capacity will vary.
Maximum no. of songs accessible by player = 4,000 (based on 16GB of internal memory)
2. Actual battery life and audio and video playtime will vary with use and settings. Battery has limited recharge cycles.
3. Requires respective codec pre-installed on PC

Requirements
* Microsoft® Windows® XP (Service Pack 2)/XP 64-bit, Windows Vista®, Windows 7®
* USB port

Content Package
* Creative ZEN Style M300 Player
* Quick Start Leaflet
* Earphones
* USB Cable

Accessories
There's not many accessories at the moment, but you can get some of them from Creative. I saw a case with a keychain on the website but its not for sale yet.

Design / Build Quality
It is made of plastic and does look quite thick, about 0.4 inch thick. Its pretty small and sit nicely on my palm.

Screen
The screen is small 1.45 inch wide (diagonal) TFT screen. It has touch-responsive navigation which means that you navigate the features of the player easily with intuitive touch keys located around the display screen.

User Interface
The Creative ZEN Style M300 uses the ZEN patented interface and it is very easy to use. If you have a older ZEN, you will not have problem using this mp3 player too

Controls
This stylish MP3 player features responsive touch keys around its display border for easy navigation of functions like play, pause, skip and album/track selections. I find these handy as I can quickly navigate around very easily.

Transferring Media
Transferring media is easy via USB cable and no Creative Centrale or any conversion software is required. As long as they are the supported formats as stated in the technical specifications.

Creative actually recommend Winamp to manage your songs, but for the video conversion, you will need a video converter utility, SMV Transcoder to convert videos from the WMV format to the SMV format which can be played back on the ZEN Style M300 and ZEN Style M100 players.

The Creative ZEN Style M300 is plug and play ready. When connected to your PC or laptop, you will be prompt to 'mount' your ZEN Style M300 just like a removable thumb drive, select this option and your windows will pop out a message to let you view the files in the ZEN Touch 2. Choose the folder you want and start transferring your media by dragging and dropping them.

Micro SD Memory
The Creative ZEN Style M300 has a Micro SD card slot where you can upload your content. Thus allowing you the flexibility of accessing more music and movies directly from your microSD card. And allows you to expand your space capacity.

You can play your songs directly from your Micro SD card but its not integrated with your music library.

Wireless (bluebooth)
There is bluetooth support which allows you to connect to any of Creative wireless speakers so that you can play your music audio on those speakers.

Battery Life
The battery takes 4 to 5 hrs to be fully charge. And it can last up to 20 hrs of playtime. Pretty good huh?

Sound Quality
The Creative ZEN Style M300 is built to be small and economical, so it do not any built-in fancy audio technology such as X-Fi. But the audio quality is still pretty good.

Radio
The Creative ZEN Style M300 version also comes with FM radio and you can tune in to your favourite radio station if you are ever tired of listening to your own songs.

Speaker
There's no external speaker on this ZEN, maybe because its already too small to squeeze it in.

What is the differences between ZEN Style M100 and ZEN Style M300 mp3 player?
Take a look at the comparison chart below:


Features

Zen Style M300

Zen Style M100

Media Class

Mass Storage Class

Mass Storage Class

Color

Black, White, Red and Yellow

Black and White

Navigation

Touch Buttons

Touch Buttons

Display

1.45" TFT (128 x 128, 262K colors)

1.45" TFT (128 x 128, 262K colors)

Capacity

4GB, 8GB, 16GB

4GB, 8GB

MicroSD Card Slot

Add up to 32GB of Music

Add up to 32GB of Music

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 2.1 Wireless Technology (supports A2DP)

No

Bluetooth Streaming Technology

SBC (Sub band Coding)

No

FM

Radio Function with 32 Preset Stations

No

Battery Life

Up to 20 hours with Bluetooth OFF (based on 128kpbs,
4mins/song, MP3 file), typical 5 hours with Bluetooth ON

Up to 20 hours (based on 128kpbs, 4mins/song, MP3 file)

Supported Audio Formats

MP3, WMA (DRM9), WAV (IMA-ADPCM), Audible Format 4,
Audible AAX

MP3, WMA (DRM9), WAV (IMA-ADPCM), Audible Format 4,
Audible AAX

Support Album Art

Yes

Yes

Supported Picture Formats

JPEG (Support up to 8MP)

JPEG (Support up to 8MP)

Supported Video Formats

Proprietary SMV (Sigmatel Motion Video) format (converted
from WMV format)

Proprietary SMV (Sigmatel Motion Video) format (converted
from WMV format)

Microphone

Built-in microphone for voice Recording

Built-in Microphone for Voice Recording

Other Feature

Clock Display

Clock Display

Conclusion
Creative ZEN Style M300 is unique and we like the responsive touch keys, its cool.

The small screen 1.45-inch LCD is certainly clear and colourful but its too small to do justice to video and photo content, and to enjoy feature-length clips on the move. I would be using those ZENs with larger screens to watch my videos, such as the ZEN X-Fi2 and ZEN Touch 2.

File support is also very good here and the ZEN Style M300 is able to handle a range of audio formats such as MP3, WMA, Audible Format 4 and AAX are supported. So no conversion is required.

The ZEN Style M300 reminds me of my first and most favorite ZEN, the ZEN V Plus!

The bottom line is the ZEN Style M300 is unique and has better audio quality. I like it, especially the audio and touch keys, I can still recommend the ZEN Style M300, it’s really pocket friendly and wallet friendly too!

Rating: 9/10

You can get the lowest priced Creative ZEN Style M300 direct from Creative Labs and it comes with FREE shipping!

ZEN Style M300

Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

SanDisk Sansa Clip+ Rules

MP3, secure WMA, WAV, FLAC, OGG, and Audible support.
MTP&MSC dual mode.
Great audio. Offers signal-to-noise ratio of 92dB.
Integrated SDHC card.
Folder View .
Gapless Playback.
Instant refresh- No rebuilding library for hours .
User Manual (http://www.sandisk.com/media/327475/CLIP+_UM_0809_ENG+090309.pdf) <<learn Creative learn.

Jimmyboy88 said...

well, its difficult to please everyone. some requested to have a clip on the back of the zen style m300 just like sansa clip. others are looking for micro sd card integration

Anonymous said...

Sansa clip has all that..
What's so difficult about integration of sd card anyway??

Almost all mp3 players with sd cards can do that.
If not what's the point of adding microSD or sd card??

At this rate, CREATIVE is going to go bust within the couple of years.

Jimmyboy88 said...

maybe they will take note of these points for the next zen mp3 player

Anonymous said...

Creative MP3 player navigation still evolve around hardware and buttons. Apple and the rest have already moved towards software and multi touch functions to make the hardware more friendly and powerful. Gone are the days of buttons. In addition, Creative do not need to make any more MP3 players anymore as it does not have the quality and it's too flooded with many US, Chinese, Taiwan and Korea players. Just concentrate on making high quality audio and decent Zii player and we all would willing to buy. History has shown in audio players, quality will win, Media will win. Internet powered devices are going to be the next battle ground as it makes use of cloud services to make the devices even more powerful such as processing millions of information. The world will come together to provide these information. No longer just USA. Join big Internet players and ISP. If not, forget what i say. FYI. Most of the time, i am 99.5% right in guessing! :)

Jimmyboy88 said...

i think creative is winding down on its mp3 player market and concentrating on other products maybe the android tablets. but this market is also high competitive will apple ipad leading tha pack and many strong pc makers are also coming in as tablets are eating into their laptops and notebook market. things are quite tough ahead...

Anonymous said...

Too tough for creative cause they aren't creative anymore.

But on a side note, I've gotten their Zen Style M100, it looks good and is simple to use.

Wait till everything is too complicated, people will want simplicity.

Jimmyboy88 said...

cannot please everyone

it reminds me of the zen v plus :)

Anonymous said...

But one of good things about Creative is they're tried to enhance the "Pure Wireless Ent" which for me is interesting.

Jimmy Loh said...

they are trying to be the first to introduce wireless music using bluetooth. next time, there will be no wired headset or earphone

Anonymous said...

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I DONT HAV BUDGET TO BUY APLLE IPOD THEN IS IT PREFERABLE TO BUY CREATIVE ZEN STYLE M 300 MP3 PLAYER...I MEAN DO THIS PLAYER RESPOND OR IT HANGS MOST OF THE TIME

Jimmy Loh said...

it has bluetooth, radio, its tiny and cheaper than ipod. can't get any mp3 player better than this

AGPX said...

Damn it! I have the latest firmware and Creative Zen Style M300 freezes at startup randomly. I have to reset it and restart many many times and then it starts and works for hours without a freeze. I'm totally disappointed!

AGPX said...

Damn it! I have the latest firmware and Creative Zen Style M300 freezes at startup randomly. I have to reset it and restart many many times and then it starts and works for hours without a freeze. I'm totally disappointed!

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