Date: October 11th, 2005
Article by: Zhenya Semikhodski
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
<--SHOP FOR A ZEN VISION 30GB PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER IN NORTH AMERICA <--SHOP FOR A ZEN VISION 30GB PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER IN EUROPE
PRODUCT HARDWARE WALKTHROUGH & PICTORIAL
This beautiful piece of design marvel is available either in black…
… or in white.
Personally I prefer the black, which is why I've bought the black version featured in this review, but some of you ex-iPodders who are feeling rather nostalgic may wish to choose the white version instead. Just kidding…
This is my Zen Vision in all its glory that will be reviewed and scrutinized here today. The casing is made out of lightweight magnesium and let me tell you for such a device picking a quality metal case over some kind of painted plastic really makes this device stand out and really feel above the rest. Just by using metal rather than plastic gives this player that exceptionally expensive look (even though this player is actually expensive, but you know what I mean). You pick up the player and instantly the ‘wow' factor combined with the large LCD screen smacks you right square in the face. Thinking back to the days when I got my Jukebox 3, when it cost me just as much then to buy it as it does now to buy the Zen Vision, I cannot help but remember the disappointment I, and many others, were having with the quality of the case. After a while the paint starts to rub off on the edges and in the corners revealing the horrid looking cheap white plastic underneath. The case on the Zen Vision feels cool to the touch when you first pick it up since the metal has cooled down, the paint job is exceptional, the surface is smooth and by all means you think you can hit someone over the head with this and it might just incapacitate them. I'd try that on myself if only it weren't for the impact sensitive hard disk inside and the fact that my head may hurt afterwards. Then there's the fact that I don't like hurting myself. Period.
Initially when you have taken the player out of the box, unwrapped it and had a good look at it you'll realize there's a piece of plastic hanging off from the side of the player. This is the plastic flap that prevents the connection between the battery connectors and the Zen Vision itself. This makes sure that the Zen Vision is not getting any power from the battery and insures no battery drainage while not being used thus protecting the battery and extending its life. To remove this flap you can't simply pull it, but as per instructions on the flap itself you must eject the battery pull out the flap and re-insert the battery.
Before we go into the details of the player's functions and so on I think it would be a good idea to take a tour, with the help of photos, around the outside of the player to see what it offers.
This is the bottom of the player where you can see a standard USB 2.0 connector and next to that a proprietary dock connector.
Creative will release a docking station for the Zen Vision that will be available separately for purchase and it is connected using this dock connector found on the bottom of the Zen Vision. You would simply slot the Zen Vision into the docking station which would in turn connect to your power source, PC and A/V out meaning that once you've dropped your beloved Zen Vision into the dock it will automatically connect itself to the power source and charge, to the PC for synchronization and to the A/V out for watching videos onscreen. The docking station does have an adjustable stand for various viewing angles.
The right side of the player has the obvious headphone jack, which is a standard 3.5” stereo minijack. However, this is no ordinary jack since it also accepts the Zen Micro Wired Remote (available separately). Creative have done a good job of cutting costs by designing a Wired Remote that is suitable for three players at once, namely the Zen Micro, Zen Vision and Zen Neeon. They have done this before with the FM Wired Remote that was a single remote suitable for a large number of players. This means that if you already own a Zen Micro and a Zen Micro Wired Remote and you were to purchase a Zen Vision player, you can use the same wired remote for those two players.
When I was purchasing the Zen Vision I wasn't actually aware the Zen Vision accepted a wired remote. Their websites didn't mention this and their staff didn't know either. However, as time neared release I discovered that they updated their website to include pictures of the Zen Vision with the Zen Micro Wired Remote attached then they added it to the list of accessories before eventually modifying the Zen Micro Wired Remote's compatibility list to include the Zen Vision. Unfortunately this has only been done on the US site. Even today the European doesn't mention anything about the compatibility between the Zen Micro Wired Remote and the Zen Vision player and to top this off the sales team doesn't know this either. I rang them twice and on both occasions I had to walk the sales representative through the US website to show them that the two products were compatible.
This may not seem like a problem at first, but I think a wired remote is a big plus for any player and when I first ordered I didn't think that the Zen Vision had a wired remote and I noted this as being one big minus for the Zen Vision, however, as time progressed it became evident that the Zen Vision player in fact did have a wired remote. This isn't a big problem because this product is very new and as time progresses Creative will, I'm sure, update all their sites to make sure potential buyers know that the Zen Vision has a wired remote which is the same one used with the Zen Micro Wired Remote. Incidentally, the Zen Vision does also have a wireless IR remote (again, available separately for purchase).
To the left of the headphone jack is a rubber flap.