Exclusive: The ZEN X-Fi revealed!

June 29, 2008

Since we opened in 2006, we’ve been the first place to leak just about every player that Creative has released. We first told you about the ZEN X-Fi a few months back, and now I might have an actual photo of it. So without further delay, I present to you the Creative ZEN X-Fi:

The ZEN X-Fi has the same control layout as the original, but adds 4 buttons along the edges of the D-pad. The SD-card slot is also located on the bottom this time (actually it’s not! read below). I don’t have any other specifications for this player, but I hope to get that information soon. As usual, everything posted here is a rumor, and will remain so until Creative confirms it. I want to know what everyone thinks about this device. I personally think it looks classy.

One interesting tidbit was found when checking out the Wi-Fi section of the user guide. At the top it states: “This section applies to ZEN X-Fi players with wireless LAN features.”. That seems to imply that there are some models that will not have WiFi built-in. Considering Creative is known for making multiple versions of the same player (e.g. Zen V and V Plus), this wouldn’t be a surprise. In fact, that’s likely the reason the player is named the ZEN X-Fi and not the Share, nor the WiFi.

I’m so happy to see all this information confirmed so quickly. That’s a good sign that this player is ready to be shipped. I have a good feeling Creative will officially announce the player within the next month or so.

The ZEN X-Fi appears to be quite feature-packed, but I’m not sure it’s the features that people actually want. Chatting is nice, but this player isn’t the most practical for it. Cell phones are perfectly fine for that. I am glad to finally have X-Fi on the go. It’s been years since we were promised an X-Fi player, and now that time has come.

[via epizenter]

 

Creative Zen X-Fi Confirmed With User Manual

June 29, 2008

It has been quite a while since Creative has released anything substantial since the Zen, but here it is and what looks like their new flag ship. Details of the player have been confirmed via software found on the net (via). What is cool is included in the software is a user manual showing off all the new features and this Zen is pretty feature packed.

On the wireless side the X-Fi will be Wi-Fi 802.11 B/G allowing you to stream media from your computer and chat with friends over Gtalk, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger. From reading the manual it doesn’t look like there is any wireless sync.

The interface appears to be very similar to the Zen, but to better utilize the chatting capabilities Creative has added a 9 button keypad for text input. Hopefully there will be T9 or some sort of predicted text input. All of the previous features of the Zen also appear to be included such as an organizer, “DJ” playback, Microphone, bookmarking, deleting, ect.

While there are not specs on the video codec or screen quality I would assume it to be at least as good as the Zen 320×240 16 million color display with similar codecs. Hopefully this time they will include native DivX support for large 640×480 resolutions like the all mighty Zen Vision:M. For viewing video without headphones the Zen X-Fi does have an external speaker appearing at the bottom of the player and an SD card slot.

[Via anythingbutipod]

ZEN 32GB: Jasmine France’s (Cnet’s Senior Associate Editor) favourite player

June 26, 2008

The 32GB Creative Zen scores high in most categories. It’s a high-capacity device with a slim, compact design, a large screen, and a customizable interface; it sounds fantastic; and it’s a breeze to operate. It also packs in features that I really use, such as an onboard calendar and a contact list (that can by synced from Outlook), FM radio, and support for subscription music.

[LINK]

Creative announce SoundBlaster Play!

June 26, 2008

The Sound Blaster Play! is Creative’s new thumb-drive size audio solution for laptops. It is roughly the size of an AA battery and has a headphone and mic jack. This plug and play device features both the CMSS (Creative Multi-Speaker Surround) and EAX Advanced HD but not X-Fi. It will retail for USD$25 and should hit our shore in afew month’s time.

[LINK]

Creative.com: Top 10 online hardware shopping destination

June 25, 2008

 According to data provided by Nielsen Online, Creative is the 8th top online hardware manufacturer shopping destinations in May 2008. Users spent an average of 10 minutes and 22 seconds on the website.

Below is the list of the top 10:

  • Apple Inc., 66:02
  • Zune, 35:26
  • Dell Inc., 20:06
  • International Business Machines Corp., 18:58
  • Nintendo, 14:13
  • Xbox, 13:22
  • Palm Inc., 13:13
  • Creative, 10:22
  • Gateway Inc., 9:53
  • Hewlett-Packard Development Corp. L.P., 9:00
  • [LINK]

    Popular Mechanics reviews the Vado

    June 7, 2008

    “I’ve been playing with the Vado for the last week, and I can honestly say that I love it. It’s got a pleasing shape, is incredibly easy to use, and, come on, this thing’s a steal. Plus, the video quality is at least as good as most of what’s on YouTube these days.” Popular Mechanics

    LINK

    Cnet reviews the Vado

    June 7, 2008

    The good: Ultraslim design; removable, rechargeable battery; easy to use; relatively inexpensive; one-touch video uploading to YouTube and Photobucket.

    The bad: Included desktop software is almost featureless; no SD/MMC expansion slot; Mac users have to manually copy video files to their computers.

    The bottom line: While its video quality doesn’t quite measure up to some of its competitors, there are enough pluses to make the Creative Vado Pocket Cam a worthy contender in the mini camcorder market.

    LINK

    Flip goes head-on with Vado

    June 5, 2008

    It has been less than a month since Creative announced its entry into the pocket video cam market with the Creative Vado and now, Pure Digital Tecnologies (the company which produce Vado’s closest competitor, Flip Ultra) have released a new and updated player – the Flip Mino.

    The timing of its release can only be seen’s as Flip’s head-on fight with the Vado. The Flip – although unheard of in Asia – is pretty popular in the US. What’s more incredible is that the Flip stole a whooping 13% market share of the Camcorder market directly under the nose of Sony and JVC.

    Could the Creative Vado offset Flip’s position in the pocket video cam arena?

    Physically, the Vado is  a little smaller and lighter than the Flip Mino. It also has a larger screen (2″ compared to Flip’s 1.5″) and cost about half the price of Flip. Performance wise, the Vado is able to squeeze 120 minutes of high quality recordings into its 2GB inbuilt memory while the Flip can only manage 60. What might sway consumers onto Vado’s camp is its removable, rechargeable battery.

    Creative’s Vado is obviously targetted at the trigger-happy-blogging generation. It is cheap, handy and provides a really convinient and easy way for people to express themselves. The Vado might very well be Creative’s next hit product after its soundcard and Portable Media Player instead of the Company’s inPerson.

    The Creative Vado will debut at the PC SHOW 2008 in Singapore on the 12th of June 2008. It comes in hot pink and silver and cost SGD$169.

     

    Coffee with Sim Wong Hoo, the creative runner

    June 1, 2008

    SIM WONG HOO, 53, Chief Executive of Creative Technology
    HE SHIED away from the limelight some three years ago — about the same time his Creative Technology empire weathered turbulence in the face of a bloody MP3-player battle with United States tech giant Apple and tumbling stocks.

    Creative chief Sim Wong Hoo now breaks his silence, saying he’s a new man — thanks to his new-found passion for running.

    The trim, sporty 53-year-old will take on another challenge on Saturday night, joining some 300 runners — many of them elite athletes — in the inaugural, 84km Adidas Sundown Marathon, which will also see about 6,000 others going half the distance.

    In his first media interview in three years, he tells ANSLEY NG (ansley@mediacorp.com.sg) about his preparations for the race and how to get creative.

    You ran your first marathon in December last year, clocking just under seven hours. A month later, you signed up for the 84km ultra marathon. Why?
    I knew I wanted to take part in it when I read about the event in the papers. I was in no condition to do the ultra marathon. But I always do things when I am not prepared. That’s the way I have achieved things all my life. You don’t prepare and plan, plan and plan, then decide if you can do the task. I don’t do things that way.

    You actually set a goal, then you go. Then you set bigger and bigger goals.

    When I set my mind to do the ultra marathon, it was done. There was never a single doubt in my mind that I couldn’t do it. I signed up, and worked towards it.

    Have you always been running?
    I was never a runner, never an athlete. I had an embarrassing experience when I was young, when I attempted a half-marathon (21km) with some friends during my National Service. This was 30 years ago. It was one of the first few times Singapore had organised such a race, so there was not much support. We didn’t prepare for anything. We just ran until we couldn’t any more and started walking. Halfway through, my friend and I decided to have breakfast, after which my friend gave up and went home. I continued and walked to the finish. When I got to the end, there was nobody there. There was nothing left, even the street was cleaned up.

    I don’t know how long I took, but it felt very long. I persisted to the end, but there was nobody there.

    Is there a reason you are looking for such physical challenges?
    I want to be a new person. I want to be young again. When you are young again, you have a second life. Now, I am more energetic than some guys in their 20s. I have been driving the company crazy.
    (laughs)

    What’s the longest distance you’ve run so far?
    Fifty kilometres, which took about seven hours and 26 minutes in training. Also in training, I’ve done about 170km — the equivalent of four marathons — in 10 days.

    How many times a week do you train?
    Four times, and I prefer to run at night, since my next race is also at night. When
    I run, I am working. I am most productive when running. I am the least productive when I’m here in the office. But when I am running, I am solving all the problems and setting all the big strategies. Every time I go out for a run, I come back with some new ideas that need to be implemented. But when I’m in the office I get distracted, emails and people disturbing you.

    A lot of people cannot understand the joy derived from running. Why do you do it?
    Running changes your life. When I run, I am synchronised with the universe, so you can become more creative when you run. A lot of great ideas over the past year were crystalised and solved while I was running. Also, my brain is much sharper now. I used to go to meetings and take notes. Now I don’t, because I can remember everything. During my runs, I think about a lot of things and as such, it’s
    not boring at all.

    Once, I had a problem with an invention, an IT type of product relating to imaging. I had been thinking about it for more than 10 years, and I didn’t have a solution. But in 20 minutes — while running — I found a solution. When I came back, I got my lawyer to file a patent. My lawyer is now stressed. He has 20 to 30 patents behind him, ideas that came up while I was running.

    What do you think about when you are running?
    The long distance can be boring.
    I am either counting my footsteps, or I start thinking about everything else — work, the world, the rising cost of food prices, the environmental problems we are facing, everything.

    You are in sync with the universe when you do that. Some people meditate (to achieve that), but I run.

    Do you follow a particular diet now?
    No. In fact, I am more prone to eating rubbish now. After a run at East Coast, I go to McDonald’s and reward myself with McWings. Normally I don’t take food like that, but now I can afford to.

    (Article thanks to http://www.todayonline.com)

    Creative Announces Q4 FY08 Financial Update

    May 24, 2008

    SINGAPORE – May 24, 2008– Creative Technology Ltd, a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, today announced that as part of its efforts to reduce operating expenses, as previously announced the Company will incur restructuring charges in its current fourth fiscal quarter. The restructuring charges are expected to be about US$15 million.

    Creative also announced today that it expects the Company’s revenues for the current fourth fiscal quarter to come in at approximately US$130 million.