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Creative Zen Vision W 30 GB Widescreen Multimedia Player

1 rating: 3.0
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The Creative Zen Vision W Multimedia Player lets you take all your movies, music and photos in a light, pocket-sized device that is loaded with 30 or 60 GB of memory. At this capacity you can carry tens of thousands of photos, 240 hours of movies (500 … see full wiki

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1 review about Creative Zen Vision W 30 GB Widescreen Multimedia...

Great Device but not perfect

  • Oct 5, 2006
  • by
The first thing you'll probably notice about this player is it's gorgeous widescreen. How big is it? Well, technically speaking it's 480 x 272 resolution, 4.3 inches wide diagionally, and capable of displaying about 262,000 colors(same as Zen M). For those of you who now own a Zen M, to illustrate how big the screen is on the Zen W: You can lay an entire Zen M on the Zen W, and the entire area of the Zen M is about the size of the screen of the Zen W. For you Psp owners out there, the Zen W screen is exactly the same resolution and size as the screen on the PSP. Although, the PSP screen is actually more advanced and can display over 16 million colors. Though both of these screens are much better than the screen on the video Ipods(which is only 320 x 240, and only display 65,000 colors). The screen on the Zen W does the job very well, and you can adjust the brightness levels. Even at %50 brightness, it's adequate. Though it outshines the Zen M in screen size, I noticed that it's not quite as sharp and the colors are not as vivid as on the Zen M. Also, I noticed that while playing Divx video, the Zen W doesn't play the video as smoothly as on a computer. The video frame-rate seems to look more jerky and less smooth. Although the pre-installed videos looked fine in Xvid, so this may only apply to Divx videos. Some other great features about the player are it's built in FM radio, voice recorder, custom sound equalizer, built in speaker, and Compact Flash slot. The built-in speaker can get surprisingly loud and is adequate for watching videos... But if you're an Audiophile, it's not good for listening to your music. It's sounds quite tinny and is only a single speaker. One huge improvement over the Zen M is that you no longer need to carry a stupid adapter to charge or upload songs or media. The mini-usb power, and A/V out ports are already built in to this player. Also the magnesium casing seems much sturdier than the Zen M's plastic casing... and probably not as prone to scratches. The thing looks and feels very solidly built. The interface is also simple and easy to figure out and very similar to the Zen M interface.

The only big difference is that the Zen W uses buttons instead of the touch thumb-pad on the Zen M. I think they should have tried to integrate the thumb-pad somehow because it worked so well on the Zen M. In this respect, the Zen W buttons seem like a step backward in progress. However, I do like the fact that they made all the buttons on the right side so you can effectively use the player with only your right hand. (sorry lefties).

The built in Compact Flash slot is also a very cool idea. You can backup your compact flash or microdrive photos onto the player with the slot. The only thing is that you can't use the compact flash as a secondary hard-drive... meaning you can't just slip a compact flash card with video on it and watch it straight from the card. You must import it onto the player first before you can play the media. You can't play mp3s or browse photos straight from the CF card either. All the files must be imported onto the hard-drive of the Zen W first. This seems pretty lame to me because you're not using the slot to it's full potiental. Hopefully there will be firmware upgrades that will let you do this in the future. Another thing about the player that needs to be improved is it's thickness. The second thing you'll notice (after the lovely huge screen) is how thick this thing is. I mean, it's barely pocketable. So it's not quite as portable as the Zen M. How think is it? Well, it's nearly an inche thick... a little less thick than a PSP. If they could cut the thickness in half, it would make this player much more portable.(not to mention sleek and sexy). Here's a quick run-down on Pros and Cons.


-Gorgeous 4.3 inche (480x272 resolution) screen that displays up to 262,000 colors. Movies look so much better than on a 320x240 (Ipod)screen. And if you like to watch Anime, you'll have no more problems reading subtitles.

-Built in mini-usb port, power, and Audio/Video out port(for tv output).
-Sturdy magnesium casing and solid feel.
-Lots of extras like FM radio, organizer, calendar, voice recorder -Audio/Video cable included, plays Xvid and Divx files.
-Built in compact flash/microdrive slot for photo backup.
-Removable battery (yes, finally!)
-Optional wireless Remote control available (built in IR reciever)
-ZenCast organizer (allows you to download/organize Podcasts to Zen W)

- Pretty thick at almost an inche thick. (barely pocketable)
- Divx playback (Frame-rate) a bit jerky. Screen not as sharp-looking and colors not as vibrant as Zen M. (I'm nit-picking, you may not even notice the difference...especially if you don't have a Zen M)
- No video line-in for video recording. It would be great if they had this built in and you could record from any video source... don't know why they don't.
- When viewing files on Compact Flash using CF slot, you must first import/upload files over to the Zen W drive first to view.

In conclusion, this player packs alot of punch for the money. And almost everything it does, it does very well. If you love movies and music like I do, you will definately enjoy this device. It's very impressive and looks and feels sturdy. The biggest flaw/turn-offs to me is it's thickness. A device made for portability should be ... well, more portable. In a world where other mp3 competitors are sizing down their players, creative seems to be sizing their's up. If they could somehow cut the thickness of this player to half while not sacrificing any of it's other features, it would be perfect. Still with it's minor imperfections, this player is still worth every penny and outshines it's competitors. If you value portability over video capability, I'd go for the Zen M. The Zen M still plays video...but on a smaller screen.(And it's cheaper too)

One last thing, the viewing angle on this player is great, unlike the first model zen vision media player that came out a few years ago. And since the screen resolution and dimensions are the same as the PSP, so you can buy a screen protector for the Psp and use it on this baby :) Cool huh?

Update: For those of you interested in a case for the Zen Vision W 30GB version, the Nintendo DS lite is about exactly the same size as the 30GB Zen Vision W so many of the cases for the DS lite work pretty well for 30GB Zen W as well. However the 60GB Zen W is a bit thicker and the cases probably won't work as well for it.

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