What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 22 Feb 2010, 3:00pm

Creative Zen X-Fi2 (32GB)

Tested at £0
60100
3

The X-Fi2 2 represents decent value, but nothing more. There’s definitely room for improvement, even at this price

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For

  • Price
  • large colourful menu system
  • long battery life

Against

  • Sluggish touchscreen
  • music lacks clarity and detail
  • cramped screen when watching video

With Apple around, it can be difficult for other brands to get noticed, but compared to its rivals, the Creative's apparent value seems obvious.

That said, while the X-Fi2 is relatively cheap, it feels it too: its 3in touchscreen is somewhat small, and very frustrating to operate.

Your finger has to work overtime to scroll through menus, and it takes a very firm prod to select the icon you're after.

On the plus side, the 32GB of storage is expandable via a microSD card, and the Zen will support MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV and FLAC music, plus WMV9, MPEG-4, DivX and JPEG video files.

Other features include an integrated FM radio with 32 presets plus a built-in voice recorder.

Struggles with audio and video
However, while the supplied headphones deliver decent weight and force, the cloudy presentation subdues any sonic sparkle, even after upgrading to a better set of in-ears.

The X-Fi2 struggles with video too, due to the cramped confines of the small screen. Colours appear reasonably judged, but overall the image suffers from a lack of clarity.

Yes, Creative should be afforded a little leeway given its price, but its performance and operational flaws still add up to a mediocre player.

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