Finally, let me mention the file transfer performance, since the Zen Micro is a USB 2.0 device, I expected it to be fairly fast and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. Using it as a removable hard drive it took one minute and 17 seconds to copy the same 205MB of mixed files that we use when we test USB memory keys and a mere 26 seconds to read it back to the PC. Syncing files was harder to measure, but it’s sufficient to say that unless you’re moving your entire music collection at once, the Zen Micro is fast enough.
Before I forget, I better mention what you get in the box – there’s a set of unusually decent in-ear headphones, although they’ve definitely taken a design cue from the iPod headphones, a charger, a USB 2.0 cable, a carry pouch, a belt clip and a software CD. As the sample we got from Creative was a pre-production unit we didn’t get the carry pouch or the belt clip, so I can’t really comment on their quality.
So, what haven’t I mentioned, ah yes, audio quality. Let me put it this way, if you haven’t listened to the iRiver iFP-799 I reviewed a little while ago, you won’t be disappointed, as the Zen Micro sounds very good. It is however not as loud nor does it have as much bass as the iFP-799, but I guess the type of music you listen to will also determine what audio characteristics you want from a device.
Overall the Zen Micro has impressed me and it really grew on me as I used it. Quite simply, this is the best MP3 player Creative has ever made. If you’re considering getting an iPod mini, then take a close look at the Zen Micro first – it’s cheaper, offers more storage capacity, has more features and even comes in even more colours. Early stock is limited to the black, blue, light blue, silver, orange and pink, but Creative should have all the colour options available shortly.
I said it was cheaper than an iPod mini, but how cheap, well it’s not sub £150 yet, but you can find it for £163.99 online, which I think is a pretty good price for a 5GB player. The Zen Micro isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn close.
Forget the iPod Mini, the Zen Micro is the new “must have” MP3 player. It beats the Apple in terms of features and functionality and even saves you a bit of cash. Here at the TrustedReviews offices, a few of us will definitely be writing to Santa and hoping we find a Zen Micro in our stocking at Christmas.