Creative’s new music and video player gets touchy
The X-Fi2 improves upon its predecessor by ditching the rather cumbersome tactile controls in favour of operation using a touch-sensitive screen. This allows it to make use of a large 3in display - it is also slimmer than the original model Zen X-Fi and feels more solid.
Creative offers a typically impressive range of support for various media formats, a decent battery life of up to 25 hours audio playback (five hours for video) and a range of extra features that include an FM radio, clock, alarm, calendar and task and contacts list, which can be synchronised with a PC.
The new touchscreen interface is the main item of interest but unfortunately it’s the main thing that lets the player down. It’s not nearly as responsive as we expected and while things improved over time, it pales in comparison to, say, Apple’s iPod Touch (see below).
The lack of dedicated controls on the exterior doesn't help either. A physical volume control in particular would have improved things considerably and consequently users may find it frustrating trying to adjust settings on the move.
It does offer a memory card (Micro SD) slot for expanding the internal storage, and it’s worth noting that the supplied earphones are far better than most models that come with similar devices – they are certainly better than Apple’s terrible iPod earphones.
After testing the sound quality of the Zen X-Fi2 it became clear that Creative has concentrated its effort here. The range of settings available to customise and enhance audio resulted in superb sound, among the best we have heard from current players.
This was backed up by a colourful and clear display that did justice to videos and photos. The price is reasonable at between £100 for the 8GB model, £130 for the 16GB version and £170 for the more 32GB edition.
Aside from the touchscreen problems the Creative Zen X-Fi2 has plenty to offer, especially if sound quality is important.
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The touchscreen is a hassle but the X-Fi2 has a large screen and superb audio quality Good points Superb audio quality; good features; clear, colourful display; decent headphones supplied Bad points Touchscreen takes some getting used to; no external volume control
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