Creative Zen X-Fi 2 review

£170
Price when reviewed

Creative’s Zen players are popular alternatives to the iPod, and with its 3in touchscreen the X-Fi 2 is an obvious challenger to the iPod Touch. It supports a wider range of music and video files than Apple’s player (there’s support for WMA and FLAC audio, as well as DivX and WMV9 movies), and it boasts a built in FM radio. And, as it’s a standard MTP device, you’re not tied to any particular library software.

Sound quality is excellent. On standard settings our test tracks sounded loud and punchy, and Creative’s X-Fi enhancements can add sonic sizzle and widen the stereo soundstage to place you right in the middle of the music.

The X-Fi 2’s weakness is its interface. The touchscreen inevitably slows you down when you want to change volume or skip tracks. But, worse than that, the X-Fi 2 uses resistive technology (rather than capacitive like the iPod Touch), so you need to apply a certain downward pressure for your touch to register. This makes scrolling through a long list of tracks a tiresome business.

Still, videos look crisp and bright on the 240 x 400 display, and the price is appealing for all these features. If you spend a lot of time hand-picking tracks from your collection it may not be ideal, but for those who just want to hit play and go, the X-Fi 2 is a versatile and fantastic-sounding little player.

NB: This review refers to the 32GB model. Also available are 8GB (£87 exc VAT/£100 inc VAT) and 16GB (£113 exc VAT/£130 inc VAT) models.

Basic specifications

Media player storage type Flash memory
Capacity 32GB
Screen size 3.0in

Battery life

Audio battery life 25hrs
Video battery life 5hrs

Other features

USB charging? yes
Data connector type Mini USB
Screen size 3.0in
Resolution 400 x 240
Wired remote? no

Dimensions

Dimensions 102 x 13 x 56mm (WDH)
Weight 73g

Audio codec support

MP3 support yes
WMA support yes
AAC support yes
OGG support no
FLAC support yes
ATRAC support no
WAV support yes
ASF support no
AIFF support no

Video codec support

DivX support yes
XviD support yes
H.264 support yes
WMV-HD support no
WMV support yes
AVI support yes
MP4 support yes

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