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Creative Zen X-Fi 2 review

Creative's first touchscreen MP3 player - but does it measure up?

creative zen x fi 2 review

The big difference with the Zen X-Fi 2 is that it does away with the fiddly buttons of previous Zen models in favour of a resistive touchscreen interface.

The screen itself has thus increased in size to three-inches with a fairly average resolution of 400 x 240 and the only button on the front of the device is an Apple-like 'home' button that takes you back to the home screen.

creative zen x fi 2 review

Battery life has also been improved due to the inclusion of a bigger cell - over 24 hours of music playback is now possible, with 5 hours of video. And the on/off/hold button has changed as well. It's now flush to the chassis like on the iPod touch, and to unlock it you have to drag a bubble off the touchscreen - also touch-esque.

creative zen x fi 2 review

The X-Fi sound processing is also retained and improved. X-Fi basically up-mixes audio to try and replace the fidelity lost in compression. MP3 compression, for example, tends to push most music into the midrange, muddying cymbal crashes and blunting deep bass.

creative zen x fi 2 review

X-Fi seeks to restore the peaks at the high end while deepening and smoothing out the bass. It's worked brilliantly in X-Fi soundcards for years, but in the original X-Fi MP3 player the results were a bit hit and miss.

We'll see how well X-Fi is working in this model on the next page.

The X-Fi 2 is available in 8, 16 and 32GB flavours and it also has the ability to playback video through a TV or monitor - you'll need an additional AV cable for that though.

creative zen x fi 2 review

CHANGES: The Zen X-Fi 2 is slimmer, but also longer than the original Zen X-Fi

And the file format compatibility is what you'd expect, with support for all the usual formats including DivX and Xvid, as well as lossless FLAC music which will please the audiophiles out there.

creative zen x fi 2 review

Other misc features such as organiser, calendar, FM radio and clock are all present and accounted for.

Features that have disappeared from the original Zen X-Fi include the Wireless networking that allowed you to stream audio over a network from PCs and other Zens. Did anyone actually use that feature anyway?

Tech Specs

Product TypeFlash Portable Media Player
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
TouchscreenYes
Battery Built-inYes
Product FunctionsAudio Player, Video Player, Photo Viewer, FM Tuner, Voice Recorder
Maximum Audio Battery Time1 Day
Product FamilyZen X-Fi2
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD Card
Brand NameCreative
Image FormatsJPEG, BMP
Audio FormatsMP3, WMA, WAV, Audible, AAC, FLAC
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsWMV, MPEG-4, DivX, XviD
Display Resolution96000 Pixel
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
USBYes
Height57 mm
Width102 mm
Depth11.6 mm
ManufacturerCreative Technology, Ltd
Product Model70PF2492091F5
Product NameZen X-Fi2 16GB Flash Portable Media Player
Product LineZen X-Fi2
Manufacturer Part Number70PF2492091F5
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.europe.creative.com
Marketing Information

Introducing the best audio player from Creative yet and our first ever touchscreen player the Zen X-Fi2. No fussy buttons involved, simply let your fingers work their magic across the 3" TFT LCD screen and gain access to all player features instantly.

Package Contents
  • Zen X-Fi2 16GB Flash Portable Media Player
  • 1 x Quick Start Leaflet
  • 1 x Creative Earphones (In-ear)
  • 1 x USB Cable
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)75 g