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Creative Zen Micro - What Makes It Different?

Aug 17, 2007
When an excellent product comes out, like the iPod, there will always be the ones who follow with more advanced technology, improving upon the original product. That is how technology moves up the rings of the ladder, with the development of additional superior products, stepping on the backbones of previous ones. With this in mind, the one presently at the top of the ladder of success is Creative Labs' Zen Micro player, the latest alternative technology in regard to digital music players.

Creative's Zen Micro has been designed with ergonomics in mind, fitting into the palm of the hand while placing the touch-sensitive control pad in direct line with just one finger. The purpose of the digital player is to play music - not just look pretty. And the Zen plays music, considered a work horse in comparison to the iPod. It stores 2,500/3,000 songs in WMA or 1,250/1,500 in MP3 for the 5GB/6GB hard disk. Also the Zen Micro can be used for on-line music services and Window PCs, being able to download up to one song per second via the USB 2.0 port.

Customers who have a choice between the iPod nano and the Zen Micro, seem to choose the Zen more often, but a lot depends on the customer. The Zen Micro has a more availability for a larger music library, a micro-drive player, its memory is 2.5 times larger at the same price than the iPod nano with less. The Zen Micro is bulkier than the iPod nano, but a lot depends on what a person wants. The Zen design is totally different than the iPod nano, with the younger crowed preferring the nano for its slim stylish looks, while the older customers tend to place emphasis on sound fidelity and quality, which slides over to the Zen Micro.

Many customers say the iPod nano is impressive when first taken from its box: initial impressions are excellent, flash based, decent sound, familiar set-up from the iPod mini, functional, and portable - and so on. But the Zen Micro has a large variety of colors, has a background perimeter and touch pad blue glow which is good at night or in subdued lighting. Even though they are not as small and thin as the nano, they are still small and thin enough to carry around your neck. Most reviews say its sound quality is superb, depending on the quality of ear buds, but customers who know Creative Labs recognize that they are considered leaders in the industry for sound cards and digital sound devices (so why wouldn't the sound good?). A previous problem of the Zen Micro was its issue with jack plugs breaking on the headset - which supposedly was taken care of about a year ago. The problem was not Creative Labs but the customers, such as the stores, did not replace the defective merchandise on the shelves, keeping them and running them out.

The nano has a lot less features than the Zen Micro, such as having an FM radio which has the capability to store 32 FM stations and record them on your demand, in addition to having a built-in voice recorder. Plus the nano gets scratched up more on the surface as compared to the Zen Micro. Another top advantage of the Zen Micro is their battery, as the largest complaint about the iPod has always been its battery life and the fact it was not removable. Once you bought it - you had it! The new Zen Micro has a removable rechargeable 12-hour playtime with MP3/WMA or 16 hours with the FM radio. Zen's battery, which right from the start, has grabbed dissatisfied iPod customers who have been having massive problems with the iPod's battery.

Overall, most customers who have purchased both digital players prefer the Zen Micro over the iPod. The price is a large factor, in addition to its capability to hold a whole lot more music. Also, it doesn't scratch as much as the iPod does, which is a drawback. After awhile - it just doesn't look "cool" anymore. The sound quality is excellent, with no complaints about it. The thing that is noticed quite a bit, it a lot of iPod buyers switched over to Zen Micro, but people who purchased Zen Micro first - never switched to iPod. Says a lot, doesn't it?
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