Cutting a very different path.
We’ve long known Creative has been working on an iPod touch rival (to be fair, who isn’t?) but even more details have now surfaced…
Called the ‘ZEN X-Fi’ it offers a radically different take to the button-less touchscreen copycat approach adopted by so many and instead combines a tasteful chrome and plastic finish with buttons galore!
Specs aren’t actually out but what we now know is the eye catching nine buttons on the right act like a nine-point directional pad (making gaming a possibility?) which also double up for typing (Yahoo! and Microsoft IMs are said to be supported). The built in WiFi will also share and stream media between it and networked computers.
In addition, coming with what we presume will be the usual audio and video codec support will be a useful SD memory card expansion slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a mic for voice recording and customisable soft keys.
Likely to be either an enormous hit or shunned freak depending on the UI, the X-Fi should break cover in official form very soon. Pricing will be crucial and I’m sure Microsoft and SanDisk – if perhaps not Apple – are waiting with bated breath…