updated 01:05 pm EDT, Tue May 22, 2007
Creative Zen Wav Official
Creative today removed the covers from the Zen Wav, a new media jukebox for those who would prefer listening to or watching their content without headphones. Confirmed in a store leak, the metallic player resembles the iPod nano but places two speakers on the front without adding significantly to the bulk of the player. The Wav also ships with a custom-tailored Acoustic Stand that Creative claims will not only cradle the player but also passively enhances the speakers' sound compared to open-air use. The dock is perfect for barbecues and using the player as an alarm clock on vacations, Creative says.
The new Zen also delivers a number of rare audio features in the class, including a pair of additions new to any of Creative's players. A volume limiter setting lets owners artificially limit the maximum output to prevent hearing loss for children or accidental settings changes; it also includes an eBook reader for browsing large tests even while music playe in the background. Beyond standard MP3/WAV/WMA music, JPEG photos, and transcoded AVI videos, users can also tune into FM radio. Recording is possible through a line-in jack, bypassing the need for importing some CDs, as well as voice recording through an integrated microphone. Battery life is long at either 30 hours for playback through the standard headphone port or 20 hours when using speakers.
Creative expects a single, silver model to ship with 2GB of flash storage on May 25th in Singapore, when it will sell for the equivalent of $117. A US version of the player is possible, but hasn't been included as part of today's official debut.