Creative have finally brought their new PMP, the Zen X-Fi, blinking into the sunlight. The WiFi enabled media player had already been spotted surfing the FCC, but Creative's Singapore division has officially announced the new Zen. Among its talents are wireless streaming and content sync from a PC, together with instant messaging via the onboard Yahoo! and MSN clients.
Creative's latest PMP has been spotted by multiple sources, including a detail-scant FCC test report [pdf link] and a few leaked photos. The upcoming media player, called the ZEN X-Fi, is said to include WiFi, instant messaging, a built-in FM radio and speaker, and Creative's sound-fettling X-Fi technology. Storage is either 8, 16 or 32GB, plus there's an SD card slot to augment it.
If Creative thought they could smack down budget camcorder rival Flip with their recent Vado and get away with it, it's time for a reality check. An eagle-eyed browser has spotted Flip's latest model, the Mino, in B&H's print catalog, and it's likely to be the company's retort to the Vado's "dramatically thinner and lighter" claim. So far, little is known about the camcorder, aside from its $179.99 price-tag, choice of white or black casing and June 4th release date.
Presumably it's a smaller, lighter version of the existing Flip Video. The pop-out USB port looks to have moved; it was previously on the side, and now, although it's hard to make out, it appears to have shifted to the top of the camcorder.
It's no XACTI botherer, but Creative's new Vado video camera will likely cause the Flip Video some headaches. Intended to storm the budget camcorder market, especially targeting those users who aren't interested in manual settings and high-definition, the Vado comes with 2GB of onboard storage (good for 2hrs of footage), a 2hr battery and 640 x 480 VGA resolution. A two-inch color screen does duty for viewing and reviewing what you've shot, while a flip-out USB plug means you needn't even bring a cable.
Creative has taken time out from licking its class-action wounds to stuff a few more gigabytes into their Shuffle-rival, the MuVo T200. The PMP, which previously had only been available with 2GB, will now come in a 4GB version. Unlike Apple's entry-level MP3 player, the T200 has a compact 128 x 32 pixels 65k color display.
Creative have lost the class-action suit brought against them regarding the quoted capacity of their PMPs. As such, the company will be forced to offer discounts on future hardware purchases to those who bought a hard-drive based MP3 player before Creative made clear in their documentation exactly what storage was available. On offer to claimants is a half-price ZEN Stone or 20-percent off any single item at the Creative US online store.
It's hard to imagine that there could still be people out there who believe hard-drives will have as much space on them as manufacturers' spec-sheets boast, but that very issue looks to have turned around and bit Creative on the behind. A class-action suit was filed against the company regarding the quoted capacity of their hard-drive based media players, and it could result in a huge settlement for anybody who bought such a device between May 5th 2001 and April 30th 2008. Of course, Creative themselves aren't admitting culpability, but seem to be making the gesture as more of a goodwill attempt than because they secretly feel guilty and have been unable to sleep at night.
Creative have quietly revealed new color options for their ZEN iPod-rival. Set to be released in eye-catching pink and red versions, the PMP is otherwise identical to existing ZEN models. That means you get the same 2.5-inch, 320 x 240, 16m color TFT display, choice of 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or 32GB flash storage and SD/SDHC expansion slot.