Creative Zen:m – sweetness

While on a recent shopping trip at Fry’s in Wilsonville – not Seattle – I decided to purchase a Creative Zen Vision:m.

Unlike the Seattle Fry’s, the Wilsonville store had _every_ media player device in working order.  It was great to actually use a product side by side – or at least near by to compare.  I was able to compare the Zen Vision:m, Zune, and iPod Video.

The screen clarity, resolution, and brightness of the Zen (or ZVM as it is also known) was far better than the iPod.  By the looks of the security devices that Fry’s uses, both the ZVM and iPod have been out on display for a while.  However, the ZVM showed the least wear and scratches on the screen/body.  The ZVM seems to have a more impact resistance because the body is a softer plastic.


The ZVM’s response time was a little slower than the iPod – you can feel the internal 2.5 in HD spinning up when switching between ‘Pictures’ and ‘Music.’  However, the controls are much better than the iPod’s circular touch pad.  Creative limits its touch pad to a simple up/down.  This is far easier to use in mobile situations.  With my iPod, I have to make a playlist before I leave a stationary position, because I can’t seem to use the iPod’s touch pad when I’m moving.

It’s interesting to note that the ZVM and the iPod use the same fine pitch 30 pin connector.  Ok, well not completely.  The signals and voltages are very different and there are two slots that are narrower on the ZVM connector versus the iPod connector.

ZVM on the left, iPod on the right 

It’s pretty easy to file down the slots to make them fit however.  The other option is to order the correct connector.

JAE makes the connector and Mouser seems to sell the PCB male and female versions.


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