Creative has released its take on the iPod mini, the Creative Zen Micro. The Zen bests Apple’s player in a number of areas, with a longer standard battery life, the ability to swap batteries, an FM radio, 25 per cent more storage capacity and most importantly of all, the fact that it is available in more colours.
The 5Gb player, which Creative states can store up to 2,500 WMA tracks encoded at 64Kbps, measures just 84mm (H) x 51mm (W) x 19mm (D), and according to Creative can be navigated with just one hand.
The standard battery lasts for 12 hours playing MP3 or WMA files or 16 hours if you are just listening to the radio. And in a neat move, when you do run out of juice you can just swap the removable battery for a new one.
The radio features 32 presets while the vertical touchpad provides intuitive scrolling through artists, albums and genres with just stroke of a thumb. This does sound like it takes a nod from the iPod’s famous touch scroll wheel.
In another iPod influenced feature the Zen will sync with Outlook and provide access to an Address Book, Calendar, To-Do List, on the move.
The Zen Micro uses USB 2.0 for fast data transfer and can double up as an external hard disk, without any need for drivers or software on recent OSs such as Windows XP.
The Zen also comes with a belt clip that doubles as a stand, in-ear dynamic bass response headphones, a protective carrying case, a USB 2.0 cable and an AC adapter.
The Zen Micro will be available in early November for £179.99 in a total of ten different colours, which are (deap breath) silver, black, red, orange, green, pink, purple, white, light blue or dark blue.
But no Topaz, which is a shame.