In the first of what is sure to be a wave of Apple nano-esque player conversions Creative has swapped the hard disks in its Zen Neeons for flash memory.
The result is a fractionally slimmer (79.9 x 46.9 x 15.9mm), lighter (55g) player with double the battery life (32 hours) but a reduced capacity (512MB, 1GB or 2GB as opposed to 5GB). The new players are certainly more elegant than their predecessors, but they still don’t have colour screens, or a 4GB version to compete with Apple’s stylish baby.
Despite the integrated FM radio, voice recorder and ability to rip tracks directly from CD/DVD players, turntables and cassette tape decks this is probably only enough for Apple haters to justify a purchase. Driverless installation and drag and drop file functionality is also pretty standard fare.
Surprisingly, the flash conversion doesn’t apply to the entire line and hard drive stalwarts will be chuffed to see a 6GB version of the original Neeon introduced. It tips the scales at 75g but doesn’t improve on the 16 hours of continuous playback managed by the first generation. All existing ‘Stik-On’ skins will fit the updated players since they retain the same size facias and at least designs are now slightly less stomach churning.
UK pricing has yet to be announced, but the Yankie masses will shell out $119, $159 and $219 for the incrementally larger flash models, $229 for the 6GBer and $14.90 for skins. Given that a 2GB nano costs just $199 and a 4GB is $249 looks like it’s back to the drawing board guys…