We can't say that we've been blown away by Creative's recent additions when it comes to media player, but the just announced Zen X-Fi3 is an interesting device that might not appeal to everyone with its tiny 2-inch screen and touch sensitive controls, but it seems like a step in the right direction compared to some of its past products. In fact, the Zen X-Fi3 seems to be the bigger brother of the Zen Style which launched back in May.

We can't say that we've been blown away by Creative's recent additions when it comes to media player, but the just announced Zen X-Fi3 is an interesting device that might not appeal to everyone with its tiny 2-inch screen and touch sensitive controls, but it seems like a step in the right direction compared to some of its past products. In fact, the Zen X-Fi3 seems to be the bigger brother of the Zen Style which launched back in May.

What we're looking at is a tiny 65×45.5×12.5mm portable media player that weighs in at a mere 45g, although Creative has somehow managed to pack in a 262k colour screen albeit at a mere 2-inches large with an unspecified resolution, but this is just the start. Around the screen you'll find a set of capacitive touch buttons that gives you access to the menu and handles navigation and playback. There are a pair of volume controls on the right hand side, with a micro SD card on the left side, a headphone jack and a microphone at the top and finally an A/V jack, a mono speaker and somewhat strangely enough a mini USB connector at the bottom, were we really would've expected a micro USB connector by now.

The Zen X-Fi3 also packs Bluetooth 2.1 with AVRCP and A2DP support, but maybe more importantly the apt-X audio codec which is meant to vastly improve audio quality when combined with an apt-X compatible Bluetooth headset. As the name suggests Creative has of course added support for its X-Fi technology and the Zen X-Fi3 packs X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi Expand. An 8GB and a 16GB model will be on offer, although if that's not enough, up to 32GB micro SD cards are supported. Let's not forget the built in FM radio as well as the ability to output video to a TV via the A/V jack in the bottom, although you'll have to splash out extra on the composite video cable.

As for media support, the Zen X-Fi3 will play back most digital audio formats such as FLAC, DRM free AAC, MP3, WMA, WAV and Audible files, although we're missing support for OGG. If you want to go blind, you can also watch movies on the tiny 2-inch screen, as the Zen X-Fi3 will play WMV9, MPEG4 Simple Profile and AVI files in either DivX4/5 or XviD format, although the top resolution for video is 640×480. Creative claims a battery life of up to 20h for audio and 5h for video.

Price wise you're looking at S$149 for the 8GB version and S$189 for the 16GB version, both of which will be available from the end of October.

Source: Creative