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Creative Zen Vision:M gives the iPod a run for its money

Creative Zen Vision:M gives the iPod a run for its money

When I saw first the Creative Zen Vision:M (30GB) online in December, I thought it was a pretty sweet-looking piece of equipment. It's even better in person. Sure, it's quite a bit heftier than the Apple iPod--0.7 inch is thick compared with the iPod's scant 0.4-inch waist--but this extra girth actually makes the Zen Vision:M feel solid and comfortable in the hand. And the 2.5-inch screen is absolutely gorgeous, brightly displaying 262,144 colors; the iPod is capable of displaying about 65,000. Plus, if you're looking for extra features such as a voice recorder, subscription music, video support, and an FM tuner and recorder, the Vision:M delivers. This media powerhouse also supports album art and simultaneous photo viewing and music playback--something we yearned for in the Creative Zen Micro Photo--as well as WMV 9, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and Motion-JPEG videos. We wish the rated battery life for video were more than four hours, but at least that's better than two (ahem, iPod). Like most Creative players, the Vision:M syncs with Microsoft Outlook contacts, calendar, and tasks. For more info, check out our First Take.