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Creative Labs has released its new flavour of Zen player that will offer plethora of additional capabilities compared to Apple’s latest iPod player, the most important of which is video playback, something, that is rumoured to be available from Apple’s iPod sometime towards 2006.

“The Zen Vision is our most versatile and coolest-looking digital entertainment player ever,” said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative.

Creative Zen Vision player measures 4.9” x 2.9” x 0.79” (W x H x D) and weighs 8.4 ounces (about 240 grams), which is slightly larger compared to Apple’s latest iPod Photo 60GB. The device is equipped with 3.7” display that sports up to 640x480 resolution with 262 144 colors, 30GB hard disk drive, a Compact Flash card-reader, FM radio tuner that has 32 presets, USB 2.0 connector as well as Li-On battery.

Creative Zen Vision

The Zen Vision media player can playback video files in multiple formats, including MPEG-1/2/4-SP, WMV 9, Motion-JPEG, DivX 4 and 53 as well as Xvid-SP3. Audio playback is limited to MP3, WMA and WMA with DRM formats. The Zen Vision also supports TiVoToGo, for viewing of TV content recorded on a TiVo personal video recorder, and digitized home movies transferred from the PC.

Creative’s Zen Vision also supports downloads from various Internet music stores, including Napster, MSN Music and Music Now. The Zen Vision also supports music subscription services such as Yahoo! Music Unlimited and Napster to Go.

In order to make the player more attractive to customers, Creative has implemented a number of additional capabilities, such as built-in microphone; organizer that provides calendar, tasks and contact lists, and syncs with Microsoft Outlook; as well as alarm clock

The removable rechargeable battery provides up to 4.5 hours of video playback or up to 13 hours of continuous audio playtime, Creative indicated. By contrast, Apple’s iPod Photo 60GB can playback audio for up to 15 hours, according to the manufacturer.

Creative Zen Vision is available in either pearl white or black for recommended price of $399. The player comes with a rechargeable, removable Li-ion battery, an AC adapter, USB 2.0 cable, high-quality earphones, an AV cable, and a protective pouch. Optional accessories, including a docking station, Compact Flash Adapter, screen protector, spare extended-life battery, wired remote, and IR remote, will all be available for purchase separately via the company’s online store.


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