updated 01:15 pm EST, Mon December 3, 2007
Creative 32GB ZEN Official
(Updated with US launch info) Creative today became the first mainstream firm to launch a 32GB media player using flash memory instead of a rotating hard disk, outperforming Apple and similar firms that remain at 16GB. Ending a series of leaks, the company's ZEN 32GB reaches its capacity while weighing just 2.3 ounces and sharing the same surface area as a credit card, Creative says. Its battery life is also long at 30 hours of music and five hours of video; the extra space allows it to hold as many as 8,000 standard-quality tracks or 120 hours of video clips. An SDHC slot allows dropping 8GB or more of storage into the player when it runs low on free space.
Core features such as AAC/MP3/WMA song playback, podcast support, and playback of less mainstream video formats such as DivX and XviD are the same as for the stock player. The ZEN is still capable of playing back iTunes Plus files, the firm stresses.
The Singapore-based company is making an aggressive move and already sells the 32GB version just months after the debut of the 16GB model, selling it at a premium $549 in local currency when it arrives in the country in mid-December. A US release is also confirmed and will price the player at $329. Separately, the company has also released a low-cost ZEN 2GB in Europe for basic users. It ships for 70 pounds ($144 US) after tax in the UK but is not yet known to be shipping to the US.