Print 25 comment(s) - last by Oregonian2.. on Feb 12 at 2:41 PM

Creative gets down and dirty with 32GB Zen pricing

Just a few days ago, Apple bumped the maximum capacity of its popular iPod touch portable media player (PMP) from 16GB to 32GB. The increase in capacity also resulted in a price increase from $399 to $499.

Creative may not have the same name recognition as Apple when it comes to PMPs, but the company is looking to attract customers on a different front: pricing. The company's 32GB Zen already undercut the 16GB iPod touch by $70, but Creative is taken even further steps to lower the price of its player.

Creative now lists the 32GB Zen at a low price of $299 representing a $30 price cut. That puts the 32GB Zen at the same price as an 8GB iPod touch.

On a feature-for-feature basis, however, the Zen would most likely be best compared with the iPod nano. Apple's popular iPod nano is priced at $149 for the 4GB model and $199 for the 8GB model. An additional $100 gets you four times the capacity with the Zen plus the addition of an FM tuner.

While we are unlikely to see any price cuts coming from Apple any time soon, it nice to see that other manufacturers are looking to pass the savings gathered from more streamlined NAND flash production onto the consumer.

Rival SanDisk is also looking to drive NAND flash pricing downwards with new 43nm NAND production and three-bit-per-cell technology.

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By Pezman37 on 2/8/2008 12:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
Feature for Feature? The nano plays video on a wide screen, has a Radio, and a microphone, right? Did I miss the definition of feature or something?

" Apple's popular iPod nano is priced at $149 for the 4GB model and $199 for the 8GB model."

I'm baffled.

RE: Feature
By McFatty on 2/8/2008 12:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
I believe creative has an SD card expansion slot, which the Nano does not, and as the article said, significantly more storage space.

And for people like me, who hate iTunes, the software isn't a bad change either. For example, iTunes gives mp3's encoded names, Creative does not.

RE: Feature
By Pezman37 on 2/8/2008 12:54:12 PM , Rating: 1
That still doesn't make it feature for feature, as stated it makes it closer to the ipod classic.

RE: Feature
By Brandon Hill on 2/8/2008 1:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
The iPod classic is a HDD-based player. The Zen is a NAND flash-based player.

The iPod classic and iPod nano DO NOT have a microphone or FM tuner.

An iPod classic would compare to a Zune 80.

RE: Feature
By pauldovi on 2/8/2008 1:09:48 PM , Rating: 1
Thats the point. How are you comparing it to something that it doesn't share features with. This product is much more feature rich than the nano.

RE: Feature
By Brandon Hill on 2/8/2008 1:29:12 PM , Rating: 5
I'm not sure I follow...

Based on size, weight and type of storage used, the Zen and nano indeed are competitors.

Zen: 3.26" x 2.16" x 0.44", 2.1 ounces
Nano: 2.75" x 2.06" x 0.60", 1.74 ounces

They have roughly the same dimensions, they both feature 320x240 resolutions (the Zen's is slightly larger at 2.5 vs 2.0").

It's not Creative's fault that Apple skimps out on the features compared to the competition. Nearly every one of Apple's competitors has an FM tuner.

This product is much more feature rich than the nano.

And it's also cheaper by far per GB. So you're saying that I can't compare the two b/c the nano is overpriced and under-featured?

What exactly WOULD you compare the nano to?

RE: Feature
By Pezman37 on 2/8/2008 1:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
I guess storage space and price DO NOT count as features.

RE: Feature
By therealnickdanger on 2/8/2008 1:35:22 PM , Rating: 5
Now you're thinking different.™

RE: Feature
By mmntech on 2/8/2008 3:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
That and the Nano does not have widescreen. It's 4:3. Only the Touch and iPhone have widescreen at a 3:2 aspect ratio.
For $299 for 32gb, it's not bad. The 32gb Touch is $200 more (at $499), which despite it's internet/PDA features seems a little steep to me. The Zen features more common video codecs such as DivX. Also, the expandable storage is a really nice touch. It's something multimedia players have badly needed for a long time. With the 32gb CF cards selling for under $150 now, it will be pretty easy to double your storage space on the Zen for less than the price of the Touch.

RE: Feature
By solgae1784 on 2/8/2008 12:45:25 PM , Rating: 2
This creative model looks more like it's a direct competitor to the iPod classic. But iPod classic has 80GBs for $249, though Creative does include some features not found on iPod classic itself, such as the FM tuner.

RE: Feature
By Brandon Hill on 2/8/2008 12:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Zen uses flash memory, so it would be comparable to an iPod touch or iPod nano.

RE: Feature
By BruceLeet on 2/8/2008 1:11:36 PM , Rating: 3
As others have made clear the Zen has an FM Tuner and Microphone which I like cause I actually use them, the local radio station is pimp haha...and the SD expansion is where I store my videos. The Zen Media Explorer is just so simple you don't have to convert your MP3's or whatever iTunes does, you do have to convert your videos to WMV though.

Overall I'd choose the Zen over anything else. Go ahead Apple boys, make me red haha.

RE: Feature
By aftlizard01 on 2/8/2008 1:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have the Zen or iPod(I Have a Zune 2.0) however the big selling point to me was the FM tuner. Yes it is first and foremost a mp3 player but the fact I can tune into my local radio and catch sports or talk radio or even just listen to the morning show guys was important to me, plus it gave me something to listen to while I took my sweet time populating the player with songs($15 a month unlimited songs from Zune rocks).

RE: Feature
By jconan on 2/8/2008 9:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
The FM tuner is okay for the Creative Zen. It wasn't long before SE would eventually have AM and FM. Available in SE R306.

RE: Feature
By Oregonian2 on 2/12/2008 2:41:36 PM , Rating: 2
Feature-wise, it can't be Apple to do it. What has my attention is the Archos 605 wifi unit. Massively more features and features that do more than Apple's -- as well as a much larger and much higher resolution (touch) screen.

RE: Feature
By daftrok on 2/8/2008 2:59:13 PM , Rating: 3
The Nano does NOT have a wide screen. Its a 2" 320x240, it does NOT have a radio NOR a microphone. I think you are confusing products.

This is a Nano:

This is a Touch:

This is a Zen:

And This is Jessica Alba, sexiest woman alive:

I'M baffled.

RE: Feature
By Brandon Hill on 2/8/2008 3:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
Alba is preggos, so I'll have to submit Scarlett Johansson instead :D

RE: Feature
By daftrok on 2/8/2008 3:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
Post preggo = Got MILF?

RE: Feature
By 1prophet on 2/8/2008 4:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
You want to make Jessica Alba look average, put her next to Lee Hyori.

Oh and Creative's player is nice.

Awesome Player
By Screwuhippie on 2/8/2008 1:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
Ok I hate iTunes so ... I have not had the motivation to get a mp3 player. I've "test driven" a few Sansa's and they are cool but ... I just didn't use em.

I got one of these after reading the article and ... I really love it. You can use their software, you can drag and drop ... you can us WMP ... its really up to you. And ... you can encode your own videos and just drag and drop them ... and they look great!

The menus are seriously the best i've ever used ... the cases are cheaper ... the screen is beautiful ... the audio is great ...

This beats the crap outta the iPod ... if apple called this bought Creative tomorrow and re-monikered this the iZen it would beat the iPod hands down.

Very cool toy

And the expansion slot rocks ... I can add files to it external to my player and it picks them up. Heck if you wanna get really geeky I can put it in my LG cell phone, take a few pictures and then display them on my Zen. Highly interoperable!

RE: Awesome Player
By Azzr34l on 2/8/2008 3:21:57 PM , Rating: 2
I just got my wife the 8GB Zen. It is a great PMP - good menus, features, sound quality and the screen is beautiful. The only shortcoming IMO is video has to be WMV, there's no native DivX or H.264 or MPEG2. Creative does bundle a simple converter that converts all those files, including DVR-MS files, to WMV very easily, albeit not very speedily. :)

RE: Awesome Player
By armagedon on 2/8/2008 3:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
Right on, the Zen is a superb player with tons of features that Nano has no idea. Change the included bud for a better one and the sound is even more fantastic. I owned a 4GB version and i love the little thing. However i got a deal on the touch screen Samsung P2 which i used now. While i love the P2, i still miss a bit the cool Zen.

One note, i believe Apple refuse to put a tuner in their Ipod simply to force you to buy songs if you want something new.

Btw make sure you get all the Zen firmware update, because they are adding stuff and clearing a few bugs.

Great aternative
By 5c8wc4 on 2/8/2008 1:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
Its a great alternative to the apple. Where i live you can get the 16gb model for just 40$ more then the 8gb nano.

The software is also less talk more do in comparison to itunes, you can get the program up and running in 5 seconds and start ripping cd's and transfer files with no trouble.

The SD expansion bay is also one major advantage, you dont have to buy a new player or delete files, just add more space.

we're forgetting....
By troublesome08 on 2/8/2008 2:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
...that the Zen also features DivX support, the apples do not...though you DO have to convert the files to 320x240 resolution, but is a simple and automated (albeit a little slow) process.

I love my 4gb Zen, it's great, though it could borrow a few tricks from the iPods such as the ability to create on-the-fly playlists and such. But overall, Zen>Nano.

yay creative
By shraz on 2/8/2008 3:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
I have the 8GB Zen and I like it. Very easy to upload files on the device, easy menu, pretty small in size, can choose your own background, good sound, good battery life, and has a SD expansion slot.

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