Creative Labs Zen X-Fi 2 16 GB MP3 and Video Player with Touchscreen and Built-In Speaker (Black)
- Incredible 16 GB storage capacity with microSD card slot for expansion
- Touchscreen interface and support for iTunes and lossless music
- Built-in speaker for superior listening experience
- 3-inch viewing screen for superior movie and picture viewing
- Slim and sleek design
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Engage the subliminal sense of touch with the first-ever touchscreen digital media player from Creative the ZEN X-Fi2. This 16 GB player offers plenty of space for your music and movies. There are no fussy buttons involved , simply let your fingers work their magic across the 3-inch TFT LCD screen and gain access to all player features instantly.
From the Manufacturer
Engage the subliminal sense of touch with the first-ever touchscreen digital media player from Creative--the ZEN X-Fi2. This 16 GB player offers plenty of space for your music and movies. There are no fussy buttons involved; simply let your fingers work their magic across the 3-inch TFT LCD screen and gain access to all player features instantly.
The Creative Labs' ZEN X-Fi gave you the sound of perfection. With the ZEN X-Fi2, perfection just got better.
Pristine Audio Across Multiple Formats
The latest player from Creative is a step up from its predecessor, the popular ZEN X-Fi. Besides a bigger screen size, the ZEN X-Fi2 supports multiple audio formats, including the much desired Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), which delivers audio without compromising on its original quality as well as iTunes Plus (unprotected AAC format), which compresses audio data much more efficiently than older formats. Indulge in true pristine audio where you hear your music played the way it was meant to be heard.
To satisfy your download needs, the ZEN X-Fi2 is compatible with DRM-free services, including Amazon's MP3 downloads, eMusic, Napster downloads, and iTunes Plus. [NOTE: The ZEN X-Fi2 is not compatible with DRM9 or DRM10 services such as Napster-to-Go and Rhapsody].
Video-Out Feature for Big Screen TV Display
In addition to this 16 GB version, there are also 8 GB and 32 GB versions available. And if you need even more memory, simply add a microSD memory card into the built-in slot. Enjoy that much more music, photos, and videos at a mere touch! The ZEN X-Fi2 also supports RSS feeds offline and video out where you can share your videos and photos on a big screen TV.
Premium Noise-Blocking Earphones
Take in rich detail from nifty guitar strumming and crisp cymbal clashes, and complete the whole experience with the bundled EP-630 in-ear earphones. These premium earphones are designed to block out external noise and even come with three different sizes of ear tips to offer you optimum comfort.
|Touch and go |
Your digital world is now at your fingertips. The intuitive 3-inch TFT LCD touchscreen allows you to navigate with ease and responds to your every touch.
|Pump it up with X-Fi technology |
ZEN X-Fi2 now brings the power of X-Fi to bear on more types of entertainment! Building on the ZEN X-Fi, ZEN X-Fi2 now allows you to experience the sound of perfection even with your stored movies and FM radio--with X-Fi technology that restores audio to even higher levels of clarity than before.
|Supports multiple audio formats |
You can now enjoy your music even in Free Lossless Audio Codec formats (FLAC files). In addition, the player also supports iTunes Plus (unprotected AAC format) besides the other various formats such as MP3, WMA, and Audible 4. [NOTE: The ZEN X-Fi2 is not compatible with DRM9 or DRM10 services such as Napster-to-Go and Rhapsody].
|Video out in X-Fi |
Enjoy movies or share images with your family and friends on a large screen, when you connect the ZEN X-Fi2 to a TV (A/V cable available separately) and enjoy your movies in X-Fi!
|Expandable memory to provide more media content |
Get more songs, videos, and pictures through the built-in microSD card slot. Transfer files easily to enjoy more media content in your player!
|RSS feeds download supported |
RSS feeds are downloaded in their entirety--including photos--and not just article headlines with a few lines of text. Just sync via the USB connection and download RSS feeds from your computer, then read them later on your ZEN X-Fi2 when you're on the go.
|Share your music out loud |
With the built-in speaker, share rock ballads or soothing overtures with your friends anytime you want.
|High-quality earphones |
Customized to block out external noise, the EP-630 in-ear earphones come with the player and offer the listener optimum fit for long periods of audio use. They come with three different ear tip sizes as well.
|A lightweight masterpiece |
With its sleek curves and polished finishing, the ZEN X-Fi2 weighs a mere 70 g and fits snugly in your pocket or bag. Bring it with you easily on the go, and let it be your choice for first-class digital entertainment.
|Never miss the latest hits |
Be on top of the music scene and get the latest news with the integrated FM radio. Take your pick from the 32 preset stations in the player.
|Record it now |
Never miss out on meetings and lectures. Capture important speeches, or whatever you fancy, with the integrated voice recorder.
|Keep your life organized |
With the built-in alarm, calendar, tasks, and contacts, you'll never have trouble waking up or getting to an appointment on time again!
What's in the Box
ZEN X-Fi2 player, quick start leaflet, EP-630 in-ear earphones, and USB cable.
Intuitive touch controls make the X-Fi2 a breeze to use.
Top customer reviews
Display: Very pretty, 400 X 240. Good quality video and images look sharp and bright.
Audio Quality: I did A/B comparisons between the Zen and the X-Fi2, and the X-Fi2 wins. The top end is smoother, and the bass is tighter and deeper, and the overall sound is more open. They're similar in max volume, but the X-Fi2 sounds better.
X-Fi: I don't use it.
Creative Centrale: Install it, then forget it.
Audio Storage: Album art is a problem. The art has to be "embedded" in the ID3 tag for it to appear, it's possible Windows Media Player automatically does this. This can also be done with an app like "Mp3tag". Which meant going back and doing that to all 350 albums I had on the old Zen. Note that I don't use any services like Rhapsody, or files with DRM, so for me playback itself was fine.
Viewing Photos: Some jpgs don't show up except as "?" marks. Not sure why.
Videos: Nightmare. With the avi or wmv that worked fine on the Zen, the audio would break up or the vids wouldn't be recognized. Creative Central was unreliable and slow, and coverts vids to wmv.
I tried about 6 other converters, and either audio or video was messed up, or just not recognized (XVid, Divx, or wmv). Finally tested Handbrake, and the X-Fi2 was happy playing those XVid files, with very specific settings, about 90% of the time. And when it works, it looks great.
Video Out: Works surprisingly well, but no one will think it's a DVD.
RSS: Run a sync program from the X-Fi2 when it's connected to your PC. Kind of a pain, but it works.
Battery: Seems like the charging time and life are on par with the Zen.
Interface: Not easy. A quick light touch mostly doesn't work. Pressing down a larger area takes longer to process, so sometimes the fingernail trick is best. And sometimes it just takes a long to to respond in general. It also misinterprets gestures frequently. But with practice, it's usable.
The volume control is not immediately accessible (3 steps) on most levels, and not at all from the main menu. So trying to quickly turn it down on a sunny day (hard to see the display) is almost impossible.
Trying to do things one-handed is difficult (e.g. walking to the train, X-Fi2 in one hand, coffee in other).
Summary: It feels that the X-Fi2 was launched before development was complete. The touch interface is quirky, the video support is very finicky, and the menu design needs refinement. I'm hoping further firmware updates improve things. ITMT, the average user will NOT be happy.
SPOILER ALERT: The X-Fi2 is not an MP4 player, seems sort of sad for a product of mid 2009. The device will play .avi files, but if you wrap an ffmpeg in an m4v container, it will not work.
1. The hardware is good, not great. The outer casing is slick metal, and can slip out of your fingers very easily. I ordered the leather case as a bumper bra, and at the time of my purchase, there were no 'skin' accessories to enhance the gripping of the X-Fi2. This is a two-handed device, one to grip, one to operate.
2. The Creative Centrale software sucks. There is no other word for it. Don't expect it to do anything useful (XP SP3). Fortuneatly, it is a mass-storage device, and you can drag-n-drop your files onto the X-Fi2 to avoid it.
3. Don't use Creative Centrale to encode video. It will not play reliably. The X-Fi2 has a limited compatibility with video files, so a third-party, one-trick pony application is needed to produce compatible video. Download a program, like HandBrake (free), and you will be able to watch great video on the 3" screen. The key to successfull video, scale the source video down to the X-Fi2's size (400 x 240). Observe perspective, get as close to those values as your source video will scale, but don't force them. keep your quality setting at 80& or higher, and the video will look very close to the source quality. 100% quality gives a great picture on the 3" screen, with all 16 million colors present, and no blocky pixels.
UPDATE: About Handbrake. The ZEN is now long in the tooth, but once in a while I need to dump a new movie on it for a friend. The version that works best for me is Handbrake Version 0.9.3 ( Anything newer than 0.9.3 drops the '.avi' function, and all you have left is m4v or mkv.) If you want to scale a DV video down to Zen screen, but find your "Que" never starts, you might have a full log table. Go to your Library preferences, open Handbrake folder, and delete the log/txt files that are there. I found that my logs folder had record of every conversion ever performed, even mixed between different versions of Handbrake. Cleaning them out brought back the program.
4. Touchscreen. Could be better. Even after issuing a firmware update just for the touchscreen, it still doesn't track well, and can be frustrating for diabetics who's finger tips may not get good circulation. You will do alot of swiping.
5. Music. Sound quality is superb, but the adjustments are not. Users must navigate several sub-menus for EQ, detail, and x-fi enhancements.
6. The supplied in-ear phones are comfortable and sound great. They come with a set of 3 different-size inserts.
7. Tuner. Great sound, poor management. Although there are 20+ presets for storing your favorite radio stations, they are not represented by any shortcut keys. You must access them sequentially, scroll through till you find the one you want. SPOILER ALERT: EQ cannot be applied to the tuner without leaving the tuner function, thereby killing the music. This sucks if you like to change genres of music in the same sitting. In order to select your listening preferences you leave the tuner section to access the EQ submenu, then have to go back and re-enter Tuner. Very bad, because it creates a negative exerience for radio listening.
8. Pictures. I haven't done many pictures, but the few which have been dropped in, need a few seconds to be loaded, then they are 'instantly' accessable :P
9. Battery. So far, I've gotten about 7 hours maximum, while watching video at 3/4 screen brightness. I haven't tried to stay with just music to see how much longer it could last.
10. Voice. The sample recording was of good fidelity, and I could hear background objects faintly (but cleanly) from about 10 ft. Closer is obviously better.
11. Expansion. The expansion slot is a nice addition, but is not without its quirks. Sometimes your files are not listed on the microSDHC card. You can not swap between internal, and expansion slot without forcing the X-Fi2 back to the Main Menu and refresh access. That should bring them up, but it is a step easily forgotten. Not sure why the Zen doesn't keep the microSDHC slot active, and this requirement is not printed anywhere in the documentation.
Micro SDHC slot, recognizes up to 16GB.
Drag-n-Drop, no iTunes requirement(like an iPod would have)
3" Screen is high resolution, can have great video IF YOU SCALE.
VERY BAD SOFTWARE: Creative Central application is hands-down worst interface I've ever tried to use. The irony is, I have Creative mp3 players (Nomad IIc / Nomad Jukebox) from 2003 that have better software, and everything works. This year's Creative Centrale interface is pure crap.
Clunky operation: touch screen tracking is finicky, plus submenus are needed to access basic music adjustments. There is certainly enough empty real estate on the screen to program a shortcut or two, but there are none.
Tuner: can't listen to radio station and select EQ at the same time.
When this player has the proper support, it is a fantastic machine. Unfortuneatly, the need to go out for 3rd party support reduces the smarmy feelings I could have, and I seriously hope that future upgrades will eventually make this the ultimate media player that Creative advertizes it to be.