With Apple’s stylish nano finally knocked off its perch this week by SanDisk’s fantastic new Sansa e200 series it seems like everyone wants a pop at the deposed King. Creative – as usual – appears to be twisting Jobs' nipples harder than most.
The company has announced two new players, the ZEN V and the ZEN V Plus, which offer significantly smaller footprints than the industry’s former benchmark (67.5 x 43.5mm to 90 x 40mm) but at the cost of more girth (15.9 verses 6.9). Weight is virtually identical at 43.5g for the newbies and 42g for Apple’s old boy.
Specs for the ZEN V are pretty similar to the nano too with 15 hours continuous audio battery life, a 1.5in colour screen, support for pictures (Jpeg) and popular music formats such as MP3 and WMA. The ZEN V Plus however takes things up a notch adding video support, line in recording and an FM radio with 32 presets to an otherwise identical exterior.
Capacities range from 1GB to 4GB (nano equalling, though not as high as the 6GB e270 which also sports a flash memory slot) and they come in a choice of three two tone colours schemes: Black with a Orange accent, Black with a Green accent and Black with a Blue accent. An August release date has been set though prices have yet to be revealed.
Traditionally Creative slightly undercuts Apple and it looks to have the nano beat, but it will seriously have to pull out all the stops to compete with SanDisk’s Sansa e260 which provides all the same features as the Zen V Plus (excluding radio and line input recording) but also features a 1.8in screen, 20 hours of battery life, 4GB of storage and a microSD expansion slot and can be found online for less than the price of a 2GB nano.
It’s tough at the top.