Like its Zen Stone Plus sibling, the Creative Zen Stone 2GB With Built-In Speaker is treading on Apple's toes: specifically, it's gunning for the iPod shuffle. And we think it should fancy its chances.
The iPod shuffle's huge appeal is based on three things: size (tiny); price (low); and ease of use (strong). The Creative Zen Stone 2GB comes extremely close on the first and third categories, soundly beats the iPod shuffle on price and chucks in a couple of trump cards.
Trump card number one: this new version of the Creative Zen Stone 2GB comes with a built-in speaker (hence the long-winded name). Don't expect miracles from this small unit – the bass won't blow you away – but it's a nice addition.
Trump card number two: battery life is marvellous. At a claimed 20 hours, the Creative Zen Stone 2GB is a good eight hours ahead of the iPod shuffle.
In other respects honours are pretty much even. The Creative Zen Stone 2GB has a cute, rounded body and comes in a range of attractive colours.
The Creative Zen Stone 2GB is very small (if 2g heavier than the shuffle) and comes with a detachable clip that will appeal to the exercise-prone.
Navigation isn't the easiest because of the simplistic folder structure – as with the shuffle, with the Creative Zen Stone 2GB you're pretty much limited to playing songs in order, album by album or randomly.
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