Creative readies the Zen Vision

In the middle of last month, Creative gave the first glimpse of the Zen Vision, a video-orientated portable media player as the name suggests.

The early artists' impressions made the player look a little like a PSP without Sony's snazzy lines, but now by lining up a model in white almost a month later, the clear target market must begin with the iPod disciples who may want to upgrade by now.

The specs remain unchanged for the moment - USB2.0 connection, 3.7” TFT Screen with an SVGA (640 x 480) resolution in 256K colours, FM tuner and recorder, 30Gb Hard Disk and 4 hours' movie playback and 8 hours for music from one charge of the battery, rising to over 12 hours if the rip rate is lowered to 128K. On top of that, it also accepts the original two types of Compact Flash card.

Not impressed yet? It supports NTSC and PAL in the same package so there shouldn't be any hassles when it travels across the pond, although the continent may need a firmware upgrade for SECAM. Video Playback formats are AVI, DivX 4 and 5, WMV from Microsoft, Motion JPEG and MPEGs 1, 2 and 4-SP. Audio formats are comprised of classic MP3 up to 320kbits/sec, WMA from Microsoft, DRM restricted music and full-fat WAV files. From the pictures, the headphone socket looks like the standard 3.5mm variety, so you should be able to immediately upgrade whatever's in the box for your own pair of cans.

It's another exciting prospect and one we hope reaches the UK with this specification intact, and with not too high a price bump.