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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
The Zen X-Fi 2 is the first touchscreen player from Creative


  • Excellent sound quality
  • X-Fi expand works!
  • The price is right
  • microSD expansion
  • Good earphones bundled


  • Touchscreen is horrible
  • No one-hand operation
  • Sluggish menu system
  • Plasticky design

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.

James has been working with TechRadar for over 12 years and is now the Global Editor-in-Chief of eCommerce at TR and its sister sites including PC Gamer and That means he looks after buying guides and deals pages as well as all of the nifty price comparison tools we use to help readers find the best deals on the coolest products.