Creative Zen Vision:M (30GB) - Review

Vince

Regular
[OP]
Regulars
May 23, 2005
317
0
Hello people!

Finally managed to lay my hands on the Creative Zen Vison:M..
This is my first ever review, so pleeeeease bear with me..

A good friend bought it for me from the US of A for $320 (approx Rs.14600).

Sorry, i dont have a digi-cam with me right now, so i'll be posting to links for pix from other sites..

Thats what you get from the box... great packaging i might add..

Supplied are
The Vision:M
2 cds (one installation and another Yahoo! Music thingy which i havnt figured out what to use for)
A dock for charging, transfer, A/V output.
A pouch (nice and smooth, but white, so it'll get dirty if my Vision doesnt)
A pair of Creative Headphones. (great sound quality.. i'd say equal to the iPods headphones..)
USB Cable (for data transfer and charging via USB)
AC Adaptor and an 'American' plug..

FEATURES (Pros)

Controls:
Vertical touchpad. 4 buttons-> Shortcut, Play/pause, Back, Options
By brushing up and down on the touch pad, it allows you to scroll through tracks and menu items. By tapping on the center of the touch pad, it selects the current item.
The buttons have audible clicks, so you know when you've pressed it.
Hold/on/off slide on top.
Easy navigation .. (i got used to it in less than an hour..)
Shortcut key helps you out.

The small buttons on either side of the touchpad are VERY helpful in fast-forwarding, and moving along the playlist,etc..

Screen:
Excellent. more than 240K colours.. compare that to the 65K colours iPod.
Though i hear this does not make much of a difference on a 2.5" screen.
Though a comparison of vid/pics on an iPod and Vision, the Vision looks much better..


The Zen Vision:M supports lots of formats.
Audio: MP3, WMA, WAV (and ogg too i think..havnt chked that out yet..)

Video: AVI, DivX, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Motion-JPEG, WMV, XviD
30 frames per second.
The video playback and quality(contrast) is stunning.

Now you can just dump movies downloaded off torrents or p2p networks into your player and watch 'em..

If any video needs to be converted (because of the crappy codecs they were intially encoded in..) Zen Vision Media takes care of that for you for which 3 converting options are provided.

Pictures:
Supports Jpeg... other formats will be automatically converted then stores.
Slideshow is good.
But manually browsing thro the pictures is a bit slower compared to the iPod.

Sound:
Great. EQ, Bass Boost, Smart Volume.

Playback:
Setting a playlist will take sometime for you to et used to, but its cool..
There also a "DJ" option, where you can play best rated songs (you can rate them out of 5 stars), or least heard songs,etc.
Bookmark feature may be useful for long audiobooks.

Battery:
The rated battery time for the Zen Vision:M is 14 hours of audio or 4 hours of video playback.
(iPod video playback is for 2 hours only.)
The AC adapter takes 2.5 hours to charge it completely, where as the USB adapter plugged into your computer will take 6.5 hours to charge completely.

Removable Drive feature. You can create a separate drive-> 512mb, 1,1.5,4,8,16gig for transfer of data like a USB drive.

FM tuner and FM recorder.
With auto-preset feature, i.e, it'll search and store all available stations.

Voice recording: only in the IMA ADPCM 16kHz mono WAV format

Customizable wallpapers.
Themes.
Albumart display is cool.

Sync Outlook Contacts.
Calender, alarm, date/time, organizer.

ZENCast (never used it tho..)

Password protection: You can protect pix and vids with Passwords... (quite useful eh ;) )

PROS: All the above ^^

CONS:
Now i havnt used the iPod a lot (which is the standard for all comparisons i believe), but here are some comparisons:


The Creative loses out on size and weight..
Its bulkier and heavier than the iPod and almost twice its thickness (and weight)
These are the downsides i could find on the outside.

A major down fall of the Zen Vision:M is that it is not UMS (Universal Mass Storage) compliant. You cannot simply plug and play then drag and drop files to the player on any operating system without additional installation of drivers.
Once can transfer data to it by means of the "Removable Drive" option, but data thus transferred cannot be used directly by the player, for eg, if you transfer mp3s from a friend's pc (which obviously will not have Media Explorer) as data, you wont be able to listen to it on your player until its transferred by/via Media Explorer.
I'm praying for future firmware which will make it UMS if possible..

The buttons are located slightly along the outer edge.
Some may not like the buttons (for their nature/sound)
Carrying the dongle around.
Non-removable battery.
No games... (but if i wanted games i'd rather buy a PSP)

If Creative manages to reduce the thickness and weight a bit, they'd definitely kill the iPod.

Go for The Creative Zen Vision:M if you dont mind it being a bit thick, but need to use various video formats and stuff.

Go for the ipod if you want something sleek.
 

viralbug

tR0ll bUg
Regulars
Jan 6, 2006
2,816
31
i always liked the creative music players and never liked the ipod. :)this one is a good one.
 
Jun 3, 2006
1
0
dudue i have used both but u all have forgot the main thing is the sound qualityy yarr the ipod nanao sound quality is great much much and much better than creativee what wehave to do with feature if u dont get the sound quality can naone tell me whrer can i get ipod year phoe i live in andheri mumbai
 


Vince

Regular
[OP]
Regulars
May 23, 2005
317
0
I've not forgotten the sound quality in my review. I've said the sound is "Great".i've used both the ipod and ZVM too, and the sound quality on both the players is the same..Theres nothing about the ipod's sound that is, as you put it, "much much and much better" than the ZVM..
 

blr_p

Regulars
Regulars
May 26, 2005
3,935
12
Now you can just dump movies downloaded off torrents or p2p networks into your player and watch 'em.. [/b]

..and who's gonna do that ?

its interesting for the novelty but useless for anything longer than a music video.

..let us know when it comes with a s-video out so i can hookup it up to my tv and relax in my lounger ;)
 

hitman

Regulars
May 10, 2005
2,678
71
New Delhi
Seems to be a nice one. I have ipod 30gb video and its very very cool. The biggest asset for ipod is its the size. Its very small and thin. Moreover podcasting had made it more rocking. I don't know from where did u get tht comparison picture quality for both but it seemed to be tempered. Ipod vdo quality is the best u can have on any player. Only thing i missed on my ipod is password protection ;)
 


Vince

Regular
[OP]
Regulars
May 23, 2005
317
0
QUOTE(blr_p @ Jun 4 2006, 10:05 AM) [snapback]53216[/snapback]
..and who's gonna do that ?

its interesting for the novelty but useless for anything longer than a music video.

..let us know when it comes with a s-video out so i can hookup it up to my tv and relax in my lounger ;)
[/b]

er... guess i didnt mention it, but the "dock" has a video output to tv! :D
only the wire is $16 i think and you can order it online.. or you could make your own (as i've read somewhere)

@Hitman: ipod=65K colours, ZVM:265K colours.. i know that may not affect a lot on a 2,5" screen, but i've seen videos on both the players, and theres a difference..
 

java_rulz

Newbie
May 31, 2005
12
0
QUOTE(akhilesh_mehta2002 @ Jun 3 2006, 09:23 PM) [snapback]53158[/snapback]
dudue i have used both but u all have forgot the main thing is the sound qualityy yarr the ipod nanao sound quality is great much much and much better than creativee what wehave to do with feature if u dont get the sound quality can naone tell me whrer can i get ipod year phoe i live in andheri mumbai
[/b]

This is the most weird thing I've read on a comparison between the audio quality of Zen:M and iPod!
Dude, for how many nanoseconds did you listen to the former? I am not an audiophile but can easily vouch for the superior sound quality of Zen:M. I have been using it with a Panasonic headset as I don't like earphones and trust me, even at max volume, there is no noise!

QUOTE(Vince @ Jun 7 2006, 12:51 PM) [snapback]53514[/snapback]
er... guess i didnt mention it, but the "dock" has a video output to tv! :D
only the wire is $16 i think and you can order it online.. or you could make your own (as i've read somewhere)

@Hitman: ipod=65K colours, ZVM:265K colours.. i know that may not affect a lot on a 2,5" screen, but i've seen videos on both the players, and theres a difference..
[/b]

...helluva difference...Zen:M picture quality is absulotely amazing!
 

vebk

Mr. Advocate
Regulars
Jan 8, 2005
2,239
37
New Delhi
I have read several reviews of both, and across the board there are two comments that are unanimous:
[*]Zen players have better sound quality.
[*]The Zen Vision:M has much better picture quality.
[/list]Not to mention that DivX compatibility is IMHO key for a portable video device... since the standard battery life pretty much means that these devices are for viewing things like TV episodes.

I think in general the only reason (albeit a very valid reason for many) to go ipod over creative and others is the style and compactness factor. I have a Zen Xtra and I would have loved to be able to put my player in my pocket straight up, but it's too fat. I bought it over the ipod basically because the price difference (at least a few years back) was tremendous.

Anyway, now I am waiting for them to add (GSM) phone functionality, as well as bluetooth to the ZVM and well as for them to reduce the size to 1/4th the current size, and I'll get myself a new player ;)
 

snakes1snakes

Newbie
Feb 8, 2008
1
0
I personally feel the zen m vision is far more better than the i pod in both quality sound and picture. Well for those who are only figure concious then i pod is better otherwise hats off for zen