As a result of a glitch in the magazine production process (namely a reviews editor losing it on his desk), this dinky player was beaten to the pages of PC Advisor by its iPod namesake. Don't be fooled, though: Creative was the first to use the Nano moniker.

Name aside, the Creative has more in common with Apple's shuffle, except it has a screen. Of course.

The Nano Plus follows in a long line of Creative USB memory stick MP3 players dating back to the Muvo in 2002. In fact, it would be fair to say Creative invented this particular form factor, so the Nano Plus has an impressive pedigree to live up to – something it does a pretty good job of.

First up, the good. Capacity is 1GB, enough for a good selection of music. The Nano Plus is petite and portable, and since it's powered by a single AAA battery, packing plenty of spares won't be a problem.

Sound quality is as expected, and since the Creative appears as a removable drive in Windows Explorer, loading tracks is simply a matter of dragging and dropping – no proprietary software to install, and no fight to regain control of your file extensions. It includes an FM radio and you can even record directly from an analogue source to MP3.

So what about the bad? Well, the main issue is that the USB connector is no longer built into the unit; instead it requires an external lead to hook up to your PC. While this uses a standard mini-USB connector, you'll still need to carry it with you for impromptu computer connections. It's a small point, but a shame nonetheless.

Creative Zen Nano Plus: Specs

  • Portable USB MP3 player
  • 1GB RAM
  • USB 2.0
  • 1x AAA battery
  • microphone
  • external encoding
  • FM radio
  • 33x65x12mm
  • 34g
  • Portable USB MP3 player
  • 1GB RAM
  • USB 2.0
  • 1x AAA battery
  • microphone
  • external encoding
  • FM radio
  • 33x65x12mm
  • 34g

OUR VERDICT

Creative shows, once again, it owns the space it created – the Nano Plus is a worthy successor to the firm's tradition in this form factor. The lack of a built-in USB plug is a slight niggle, but everything else is above par. Creative probably won't get the credit it deserves, but this player is worthy of the Nano name.

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