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While you’re wondering around a show like CES you’ll find that there’s no shortage of cool new products to gawk at. But every so often you come across something that makes you stop and stare. Stepping onto the Creative stand I came across one such product, the Creative Zen Portable Media Center.

Microsoft is pushing Windows Media Center Edition very hard and it has to be said that it’s a good product. Media Center is definitely a step forward in the convergence race, and if there’s one thing that’s paramount to almost every exhibitor at this show it’s convergence.

But Media Center isn’t limited to a PC in your home. The Creative Zen Portable Media Center gives you access to much of the MCE functionality on the move. The prototype on Creative’s stand had a footprint of around 6in x 3in and was light enough not to weigh you down too much.

Want access to all your digital media on the move? Creative has the answer.
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Navigation is very similar to PC Media Center with a Media Center button bouncing you to the main menu whenever you want to select your chosen media. You can playback full motion video, music or use the device as an image viewer. You can transfer anything that’s compatible with the XP Media 9 family.

So, you can record TV on your Media Center PC then just transfer it to your Zen Portable Media Center via the USB 2.0 interface and watch it anywhere you want. The only thing really missing from the Zen Portable Media Center is a TV tuner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s something that Creative is working on.

There’s no built-in TV tuner, but hopefully future models could address this.
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There’s no pricing information or release date for the device, but Creative told me that it's hoping to get production models out mid to late 2004.

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