Creative Readies the Zen Sleek

200GBP will buy you Creative's latest and greatest Zen Sleek player, if you're not wedded to your iPod. The Zen Sleek sports a backlit Touch Pad control on a large blue backlit display (whatever the Sleek's bezel colour) which gives natural, one-handed fingertip management of all the player's functions, even in poor light- so they boast.

The Zen Sleek can store up to 10,000 songs in WMA or 5,000 in MP3 on its 20Gb hard disk though of course this will vary with compression quality as it always does, while the synchronisation stays at the preferred faster USB2.0 standard. It can also record direct from its built-in FM radio and microphone. Its battery is rated at 16 hours maximum playback.

Design is reputedly cutting edge with intuitive new touchpad, a FM tuner with 32 presets and direct recording and a built-in microphone. The built-in recording from radio's a nice new feature but it depends on the reception quality. If it were a portable DAB it would be a killer app, but probably send the price sky-high.


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