It seems like only days ago that Creative announced the launch of its iPod Shuffle killer the Zen Stone, but that aside, Creative have surprisingly launched a follow up; the Zen Stone Plus. So what's the difference and should you be sitting up and paying attention?



The most major upgrade is the addition of a round blue OLED display for at-a-glance track and feature selection even though the size of the player hasn't increased.

Admittedly, the screen is small, heck so is the player, but it's enough to see what is going on with your tracks, choose the track that you want next and adjust the volume.

It also means you can scroll through the players options, including a newly added FM radio, a recording option, timer and stopwatch.

Like the ZEN Stone, the ZEN Stone Plus comes in six high-gloss colours: black, white, red, blue, pink and green. We've got a black version on test and the glossy finish is nice, smart, but does show up smudges.

If the introduction of a screen, radio and recorder weren't enough, Creative has upped the ante with a 2GB memory capacity and tracks can be transferred by the included USB cable, without the need for any software.

Creative do offer some simple software via its website so you can manage the player, however you can simply drag and drop your favourite tracks to the Creative Zen Stone Plus like the Zen Stone either via a PC or a Mac as it if was a standard USB drive.

The songs can be organised in favourite artist or playlists folder and can be played in normal or shuffle modes, however the player has lost the skip to next folder option that we really liked on the original Zen Stone.

Verdict

We really liked the Zen Stone, rating it a 9/10 on Pocket-lint.



The Zen Stone Plus takes what we think is an already really good mini MP3 player, adds a screen, adds a radio, and more memory too boot without changing the size or the functionality of the player.

Top marks again.