creative zen x-fi 2 review

As Creative's brand-leading MP3 player, the X-Fi 2 was always going to be a decent player. Excellent sound quality is the trump card and in general the player is easy to use.

We liked

X-Fi enhancement makes MP3s sound brilliant, while the bundled earphones are fantastic. Apple should really be doing something similar with the iPod touch. The screen is also big and bright, with a menu that's easy to find your way around in.

We've also got a pretty agreeable price here - £129 for a 16GB touchscreen player with category-leading sound quality is pretty good in our books - and it's cheaper than the original X-Fi was on launch.

We disliked

The touchscreen doesn't quite work and we reckon it's a totally unnecessary addition. It's no easier to use than the previous X-Fi, and the clunky menu system needs to be smoothed out to make it worthwhile. It's so unresponsive that it actually detracts from the experience. It's an absolute deal-breaker.

The interface can also be pretty fiddly - it takes longer to navigate to your music on the X-Fi 2 than on the iPod nano, touch and even the original Zen X-Fi. This is not acceptible in an age of intuitive design.

Conclusion

All in all the Creative Zen X-Fi 2 is a decent MP3 player. However, with the Zii Egg on the horizon, it's hard to recommend buying this player.

We prefer the original Zen X-Fi, mainly because it too offers X-Fi audio, and yet the interface is more zippy - the touchscreen doesn't really offer anything more than gimmickry.

That said, if you're in the market for a new player and you're looking to spend around £100, you could do a lot worse than the X-Fi 2.