I want to write more about my new Zen Vision W. Hehe. Wanted to give a review about this little gadget. First, its really has a great screen. 16:9 aspect ratio really helps in viewing movies. And it also have the ability to stretch the video to fill up the screen if necessary. Pretty cool feature. Battery last quite long, about 5 hours (a bit more as the box gave 4.5 hours)
Sound quality with my Shure E2G headphones are excellent. I watched part of Snakes on a Plane on a bus heading to my school and enjoyed every minute of it.
Plugging this baby into a computer is easy with Vista. As it is using MTP (M$ Transfer Protocol), I could easily transfer file by dragging and dropping in Explorer (only in Windows system). For my MACbook Pro, I used XNJB. A free software and I could make it mount easily on my MAC too!!! Yeah!!
The software provided by Creative is simple and easy to use. Files that needs conversion will actually be prompted and you could choose to re-code it to a playable format.
Most files actually play. There are some that don't, especially those that are AC3(5.1) encoded. Copying from VCD is also not a hassle as the player supports VCD's dat format. I copied my friend's Ultraman Mebius and Ultraman brothers and watched it without any issues.
So far so good, but here's the ugly part. First, the screen is a dust or finger print magnet. One touch and you get smudge so a screen protector is absolutely necessary. The silicon skin is also magnet to dust and so is the bloody pouch. Pouch is too small and its made of velvet. :( No no to dusty environment. Another major thing is VOB files from DVD does not work and it requires ripping and conversion. Which means all my current DVD library needs to be encoded.
I tried encoding with some third party software and most of them took ages to convert. And its not easy to encode in DivX or Xvid. So you would end up encoding it in mpeg or VCD. Which means quality suffers and file sizes bigger.
The player also has a CF card slot which allows you to back up the CF card. Buy now and creative is giving a free SD/MS/XD card converter for those using other media. VERY useful for me as a photographer. For those interested, beware! You can't play videos or pictures from the card directly, you need to import it into the Zen's hard drive before you can play.
All in all, a good player that met my expectations and actually performed even better than I expected. Not recommended if you are not sure of where to get videos. (IF you plan to rip DVD, forget about this device). If you have a good collection of VCDs or divx/Xvid. Yes, its definitely a good buy. My only complain now is why in the world I go buy the 30Gig version??!!! Should have add 100 more for the 60Gig.... 4/5 stars
*Updates. Forgot to mention you could hooked this up to your TV with the supplied AV cables. I re-watched Hot Fuzz with my Family that night and quality is as good as DVD. Too bad no AC3 audio but good enough for me already :)