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Its stablemate the Zen Vision:M may have hogged the spotlight recently, but we believe there is still a place for the original Vision.

Compared to rivals like Archos and Sony’s PSP, the Vision is fairly tightly focused in its feature-set, and it’s our belief that gadgets that try to do too many things at once never succeed in any of them.

The Vision’s advantage over devices such as the Apple iPod video and the PSP is that you don’t need to convert videos, it supports WMV and DiVX natively. Also, file transfer is easy as drag and drop – you don’t even need to load the Creative drivers. It just works. And there’s also 30GB of space to play with.

The device comes with a CompactFlash slot meaning you can use it to store photos while on holidays. A USB-host facility would have been better, but at least you can get adaptors if your camera uses a different memory type.

Navigation is intuitive thanks to a four-way rocker switch, and there are also dedicated volume buttons, and Creative’s very handy menu button.
Vision is well handled, even if the screen is a bit dark compared to rivals. Watching the odd bit of Lost on the go is always good, and as its not as large as the PSP it fits in the pocket much more easily.

Audio is every match of the iPod, too, and extra features such as a microphone and FM radio really sweeten the pot.

Creative says it’s concentrating on the Vision:M now, which means there could be some price reductions in the future. While it’s an excellent device, it’s still priced too highly. But if you’re looking for a device to hold your photos on which can play a tune and a video as well, the Vision is a great choice.

 

Zen Vision 30GB | $799 |

For: CompactFlash slot; large 3.5″ screen; good feature set; removeable battery

Against: Highly priced; screen can be too dark.

Verdict: An excellent media player now eclipsed by its own stablemate the Vision:M, look out for a price drop soon.

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