Yesterday I received a free Creative Zen Neeon 512MB in a goodie bag distributed to all my department staff at work. Although I have never really wanted an MP3 player* this is a pleasant surprise indeed.
512MB is not that big if you ask me, but the player actually comes in different models of 512MB, 1GB and 2GB. I charged it overnight via USB port, and this morning I did a test run with a few types of music. Having never used any hand-held MP3 player before, I’ve got to say that the sound quality is good. However I was a little disappointed to hear some noise from the right earpiece when playing the introduction MP3 preloaded with the device.
On the box, Creative mentioned 512MB – 256 songs, which is a bit ridiculous since you can’t really find many MP3 sizing only 2MB! But again they mentioned at the back of the box: Based on 4 minutes per song at 64kbps WMA.
Package contents as printed on the box:
- Zen Neeon
- High Quality Earphones
- USB 2.0 cable
- Line-in cable
- Neck Strap
- Installation CD
- Quick Start Guide
- Creative Stik-On (1 piece included)
It’s sexy. Thicker than the average iPod, the body looks solid with a brushed metal back cover. Weighing only 55g, it’s actually sized ideally for my hands. I’ve held an iPod before and frankly I am quite worried it might slip out of my hands.
The earphones looks very pleasing, but as I mentioned earlier there was some trickling sound when I played the introduction MP3. When I played music, however there were no such noise.
The USB cable is the average USB cable you can find in the market. Nothing so special about it. This is used to transfer files and to charge the device.
A line-in cable is included – this is what I like about the device. It can take input for recording, record speech via a built-in microphone, and recording audio from a radio station you’re tuned in. I am not sure maybe this is a standard in all of the MP3 devices nowadays but as I mentioned earlier this is my first MP3 device.
The Stik-On stickers looks nice too. But from the mini catalog there are a lot nicer designs that we can buy other than the free ones they included inside the box. Ones? Yes, there are actually 4 stickers inside the package even though they said only 1 included.
The strap – it was really hard to put the strap on to the device. It take us about 20 minutes to put the thing.
Navigation around the system is a breeze. With a “scroll” wheel which can be nudged up or down (and be pressed pretty much like your mouse wheel) you can seek the audio or browse through the menu.
Truth to be told, I’d prefer the display of an iPod. Nevertheless, the OLED (Organic LED) display is pretty much interesting especially in the dark.
Files can be transferred via normal windows explorer or mounted as a volume (Linux speak), as it is actually recognized as a Mass Storage device. The software are pretty much not needed unless you are using Win98 – which is printed in bold inside the documentation that you must install the software before plugging in the device. I will not be reviewing anything regarding the software for now as I have not tried them all yet.
I am not sure how much this device costs. Anyone have any idea?
*This is a lie or something I have never admitted. I’ve been drooling over iPods since they came into the market but considering the price I have so many other more important things to spend my money with.
Too bad these devices can only play MP3. I want a device that can play FLAC. But then again one album encoded in FLAC might end up 700MB+ 😉