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iPods & MP3 players Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Creative Zen V

£100 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Creative

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

At last: someone has come up with a navigation system for an MP3 player that doesn't involve a control wheel or four-way directional buttons.

This review appears in the October 06 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.

At last: someone has come up with a navigation system for an MP3 player that doesn't involve a control wheel or four-way directional buttons. Granted, the Zen V looks very similar to a nano, but it's actually more innovative than its rivals in this increasingly crowded market.

V's petite joystick frees up space on the front of the attractive – albeit somewhat 1990s-styled – audio player. The result is a small, neat device dominated by its 1.5in Oled screen, and a user experience that is not marred by the usual fiddliness of miniature players. This friendliness is continued in the wise use of the V's sides for dedicated volume buttons – a policy we at PC Advisor have long championed.

Peering beneath the Zen's pleasing exterior and helpful control layout, however, we discovered some slight concerns. Synchronising the player with a PC proved a surprisingly tricky procedure. The device crashed one PC and sent another into a state of paralysed confusion when docked for an initial charge. On other occasions it took repeated efforts to establish a connection.

Another potential headache lies in the Zen's counterintuitive method of creating playlists, which had us baffled for a while – we recommend the manual. The device is also occasionally sluggish at obeying commands, and it's a fingerprint magnet.

But on the up side, the file-transfer system is quite impressive, particularly for its inclusion of the option to rip music files from CD to the device, rather than via the PC. And the V boasts the ability to record directly from a standalone music player via a supplied cable: a thoughtful and handy feature.

Creative Zen V Expert Verdict »

Creative Zen V 1GB Scores 8.5 out of 10 based on 24 reviews
2GB digital audio player
supports MP3, WMA and Audible Audio audio formats and Jpeg image format
1.5in Oled screen
can record direct to WMA without a PC
built-in microphone for live voice capture
USB 2.0
quoted battery life 15 hours of playback
actual battery life 17-18 hours of playback
44x68x16mm, 43.5g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

That bold black-and-lime-green colour scheme may put a few people off, but we think most will appreciate the Creative Zen V's simple, clean look – not to mention its convenient controls, attractive price tag and decent battery life. It can be a bit flaky when hooking up with a PC, however, so be warned.

  • Creative Zen V Plus media player

    Creative Zen V Plus media player

    The Creative Zen V Plus is an iPod-nano killer with a difference: it might actually be better than Apple's media player. Read PC Advisor's review of the the Creative Zen V Plus to find out why.

  • Creative Zen Vision W portable media player

    Creative Zen Vision W portable media player

    Creative's Zen Vision W succeeds its Vision portable media player, gaining a W denoting its widescreen aspect. The epic 4.3in screen is fantastic, displaying both photos and video beautifully and in vivid detail.

  • Creative Zen 8GB review

    Creative Zen 8GB

    Creative's superslim Zen has an attractive 2.5in colour display, an FM tuner, a built-in microphone, robust video- and photo-viewing capabilities and the ability to import contact management information. And the Creative Zen 8GB even plays music.

  • Creative ZEN MX review

    Creative ZEN MX

    The Creative ZEN MX is a good media player with generous features, and its software doesn't attempt to stage a coup against other media applications on your PC.

  • Creative Zen Mozaic review

    Creative Zen Mozaic

    With its checkered, multihued design, Creative Zen's Mozaic is a flash-based media player that looks pretty slick.


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