Product Type: Creative MP3 players
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If I can use this, anyone can!
Creative Zen Micro 4 GB
Member Name: Holland1
Creative Zen Micro 4 GB
Advantages: Small but sturdy, easy to use, holds lots of songs, some good features
Disadvantages: Touch pad is quite sensitive, might be too heavy for some
=What does it come with?==
The box containing my Creative Zen contained the mp3 player, headphones, a belt clip and a charger. The accessories are all white in colour so they match the back of the Zen. The clip is useful for when you're at the gym or jogging, as they hold the Zen in place without it falling off. You can also get protective covers for the Zen to stop it getting scratched but I can't remember if this was included or my parents might have bought it separately. It's worth shopping round to see what's included in the price if you're considering buying one, because unlike a lot of gadgets you'll actually use all the accessories supplied in this pack. You also get a disc containing the software that allows you to transfer music onto the Zen.
==How much does it cost?==
As mentioned, this was a gift, and there are newer versions around now with more sophisticated features, but you can get your hands on one of these earlier versions for around £80 these days.
==Size and appearance==
The first thing I noticed about this little gadget was that it's very stylish looking. Mine is silver with a white plastic back with the Creative Zen logo on it. It's a nice size and weight, as it fits easily in your hand (and therefore your handbag/pocket), but it's not so slim that you might lose it easily. To put it in everyday terms, it's short and fat rather than long and thin! I quite like my gadgets and phones to be on the "chunky" side to be honest, because I feel they're less likely to get damaged or lost than their thinner, smaller counterparts.
I've just researched the exact sizes online and the Zen is 3.3 inches high, 2 inches wide and 0.7 inches deep. It weighs 3.8 ounces which is worth considering if you're going to be using this mainly for exercising as it's a little extra weight to carry compared to some of the mp3 players out there. I mainly use mine when travelling so it's not too much of an issue, but if you are a big jogger you might want to consider something lighter.
The screen is a good size and takes up about a third of the front of the Zen. It operates via a touch screen pad rather than conventional buttons, but these are a good size for you to manage. I find sometimes I get impatient with the buttons because they are quite sensitive so even though they're large it can be difficult to pinpoint the option you want.
==Functions and Features==
Without stating the obvious, the Creative Zen allows you to play music you have transferred from your laptop or disc. The Zen comes with a disc which has the software you need to be able to do this. I'll be honest, I didn't actually perform this bit myself when I first got it (too technologically scared!) but as it turns out, I could probably have done it myself as it was a case of sticking the disc in and it pretty much loaded itself. At first I was a bit scared to try all this and would leave it to my dad (or boyfriend when he came along!), but now I am confident using it as it's very easy. You simply copy your music files across (literally copy and paste the files), and then they're ready to upload to the Zen using the USB wire provided. This transfers the music onto your Zen, and then you're ready to go.
The Zen has some nice features, for example you can set up playlists which is a nice idea for creating a "holiday album" containing songs you might want to play on a certain holiday. You have to do this on the PC or laptop before you upload to the Zen though.
You can alter the play mode so it picks songs randomly (shuffle mode), or you can line up albums in the order you'd like them to play. The music is also split into 'genres' so you can choose depending on your mood, but to be honest the easiest way to find the music you want is to go to All Tracks where it lists all artists and albums. Once you've started playing a song, the name of the title and artist appear on the screen, along with a bar telling you how long the song lasts and how long is left to play. Whilst you're listening you can then line up which songs you want to listen to next. Although this is a time consuming way of creating your own playlist, it's very useful for passing time on a flight if you're not sure what mood you're going to be in and just want to choose song by song.
The Zen has a radio but I've never used this as I prefer to listen to my own music. It also has a microphone for voice recording, but again this is not something I use it for.
The instructions that come with the Zen claim that it has continuous battery life of 12 hours, however I can't confirm or deny this as I've never had the need to use it for this long. The longest I've used it is for a 5 hour flight, and the battery lasted for the whole of this time and went down to one bar. Even though I know it lasts a while longer even after it gets to one bar, I didn't want to chance it running out on the way back so I charged it when we got to the hotel room. I would say it has a very good battery life and certainly lasts for as long as most people need it for (long haul flights being the possible exception!)
The Zen has a memory of 4GB, which in useful language means it can hold up to 2000 songs, but I've only used about a quarter of its capacity as I tend to listen to the same stuff over and over. I'm a bit boring like that.
My fiancé is quite a technical person and he's not overly keen on my Zen. However, for someone like myself who's a novice when it comes to technology, I have found it to be very user friendly and not unnecessarily complicated. I find it really stylish and love the size (as mentioned previously, it weighs a bit more than most other brands but this suits me as I'm less likely to lose it!). Apparently it's deliberately curved so it sits in your hand nicely. I have never had any issues with its performance, and the battery life lasts well. It holds far more songs than I am ever likely to need on a portable device, and I can listen to this through headphones or speakers so it's great to take on holiday and sit into a docking station with speakers (although this isn't usually allowed as my taste differs a little from my partner lol!). Although this is the only mp3 player I've owned, so I don't know any different, I would not hesitate to recommend it and have no plans to replace it anytime soon.
|Ease of use:|
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