It's no secret that Creative is in a spot of bother.

Dwindling fortunes have caused the Singaporean company to scale back its operations in order to concentrate on its core businesses - making PC soundcards and MP3 players.

The problem for us is that Creative used to make the best MP3 players of them all. Back in 2005, the Creative Zen Vision:M was totally kick-ass and put the iPod equivalent at the time to shame.

However, since then we have seen two things happen. Firstly, the Apple iPod improved massively, with millions of dollars of R&D resulting in the release of the world-beating, brilliantly-constructed iPod touch.

And secondly, Creative's fortunes dwindled, and while the original Zen X-Fi had brilliant sound quality, it was not in the same league as the iPod nano or touch in terms of either design or interface.

zen x-fi 2

Creative's next big thing is the Zii Egg, a Google Android-powered touchscreen X-Fi device that has more in common with the latest mobile phones than previous Creative MP3 players. It looks seriously impressive.

But while we're waiting for that one, here we have the latest in the long-running Zen series, the Creative Zen X-Fi 2.