Creative's diminutive MP3 player the Zen V Plus, is its answer to Apple's iPod nano, but has the little player got what it takes to impress?

Small, glossy and lacking few buttons, the Zen V Plus is an easy to use MP3 player that comes in either a 4GB, 2GB or 1GB models.

You'll know which one you've got instantly by the colour coding in the design; the 4GB model comes in a glossy black with blue accents, the 2GB model in glossy black with green accents, and the 1GB model in glossy black with orange accents.

Using the device's small but simple joystick is aided by an additional two buttons - play/pause and back on the front of the unit, while a volume control, record button and lock button can be found on the sides. The top offers a USB connection and 3.5mm headphone jack as well as line-in.

Other features include a 1.5-inch OLED screen for watching video, TV shows like Megawhat.tv or music videos. You can also use the screen to view photos and album art however we wouldn't recommend watching anything longer than around a couple of minutes as the screen quality, overall, isn't that great.

With a built-in FM radio with 32 station presets and support for music subscription services such as Napster To Go and Audible audio books there is more here than initially meets the eye and certainly more on a direct comparison with Apple's equivalent player.

Not stopping there either, the Zen V Plus also includes a line-in port, as mentioned earlier, for direct recording from a CD player or other audio device, and a voice recorder for capturing notes on the go if that's your thing.

Your also able to turn the MP3 player into a storage drive and the menu interface allows you to turn up to 2GB (for the 4GB) player over to storage rather than music files.

Verdict

The Zen V Plus is a nifty little player than does what it sets out to do - offer you music on the go with a screen.

However, we would recommend that you look at the video and photo elements of the player as a bonus rather than a worthwhile feature.

If you don't want to go Apple, the Zen V Plus offers a nice alternative.