Once you've become accustomed to how the player works, using the Zen Stone couldn't be simpler. The Play/Pause button doubles up as a power button when held down, while the slider on the top edge allows you to select between Continuous and Random playback modes as well as skip folders. This means you can arrange your music into folders, creating a primitive playlist system.
On the front of the player is a small LED which blinks and changes colour according to what it's doing. It flashes green while playing, and there are a variety of different Red, Green and Orange indicators for battery levels and so on.
Battery performance varies; Creative quotes up to 10 hours battery life though I found it was possible to get a little more out of it depending on volume settings. This isn’t as impressive as the Zen V Plus, which managed in the region of 20 hours, but it is in line with the iPod Shuffle, which Apple quotes has up to 12 hours of battery life.
This rather backs up the feeling that the Zen Stone does everything to a satisfactory level, but at a very good price. The basic functionality is practically identical to the Shuffle, and the styling is impressive. Naturally, it isn't a feature rich device but it's not supposed to be and the price reflects this. Think Ronseal, you know the rest.
Smart design and a great price make the Zen Stone a good option for a second player. If you already have a large capacity player, but want something more portable for those quick trips out then it's certainly worth serious consideration.