So what does the Creative Zen Vision have that all the others are missing? Well to start, it sports a 3.7-inch SharpPix high-resolution 640×480 colour screen; this will give you what may be the sharpest and most vivid photo viewing and digital video playback to ever fit in your hand. Also the magnesium enclosure should make it sold, there’s no hollow plastic feeling going around here.
Creative was pretty close when they released their 20GB Zen Portable Media Center, but something didn’t feel right about it. To me it felt like a giant upgraded Nintendo Gameboy, don’t get me wrong, it had some great features, but it sure doesn’t compare to what we have now.
Lets get down to the specs. With 30GB of data storage, you can hold plenty of your digital media collection. Audio playback supports MP3 (Up to 320 kbps), WMA (Up to 320 kbps), WMA with Digital Rights Management (DRM) 9 or later and Linear PCM WAV. Video playback supports AVI, MPEG-1/2/4-SP, Windows Media Video (WMV) 9, Motion-JPEG, DivX2 4 and 5 and XviD3.
I would have liked to see more juice in this, but Creative didn’t do so bad. Audio playback will get you in at around 15 hours of battery life, while video is about 4.5 hours. Surely long enough for a feature-film presentation and then some. The battery is a removable Lithium-Ion so you can always purchase a backup.
You can transfer, exchange, copy or what ever you want to call it from Compact Flash Card Type I & II cards. Image playback is only supported with JPEG, but you can still backup your RAW files. So if you are like me and shoot RAW+JPG mode, then you will find the Zen Vision would work as a digital photography data sidearm.
Composite video out will allow you to watch your flicks on a large screen, the lack of video recording functions makes me believe there will be another PVR version soon. They did throw in an FM tuner with recording features, which in my opinion is quite rare for these devices. You can even sync with Outlook and view your emails or contacts while abroad.
The Creative Zen Vision 30GB will be available in white or black for US $399. The shipping date is not known, but Creative is taking pre-orders right now.