Creative just keep the models coming now that solid-state memory players are where the profits are to be made. We take a look at the V200 to see if they can sew up this market as well as the one for hard disk portables. Available in a polished white, the V200 follows in the same footsteps as the previous flash based MuVo players.
We tested the 512Mb version. However you can get a 128Mb version for those on a tight budget and a 1Gb player for those wishing to push the boat out. Assuming a 4 minute track time, Creative estimate you can get 16hours of playback on the 1GB version.
That 16 hours is slightly more than the 15 hours of playback the AAA battery offers and you can bet the technicians at Creative are kicking themselves for not being able to reach that 16hour marker.
The player still comes in two pieces, with the battery compartment in one piece and the player in the other. Like the MuVo this has been done to allow the inclusion of a USB2.0 connector and this certainly makes it easier for downloading songs onto it.
Like previous players in the range the V200 is capable of supporting WMA, MP3 and WAV playback and again like previous players there is no need to install any proprietary software. This has two main advantages; firstly that songs can be simply dragged across on to the unit’s drive, and that it’s Mac and PC compatible.
In our tests sound was very good for the price and the accompanying headphones in the box coped well with everything we could throw at it - everything in fact from Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit to Sting. Our one concern however with the headphones is that they are white, making people automatically think you’re carrying an iPod. While some might wish this, we’re sure any mugger (there has been a spate of these white headphone-induced muggings in London, New York etc) will be doubly pissed off if they have mugged you hoping for a 20Gb player and ended up with something a little smaller.
Aside from the MP3 player capabilities, the V200 also comes with a FM radio and built-in microphone and thus 16 hours worth of recording.
£60 (128MB), £80 (256MB), £100 (512MB) and £150 (1GB)
Creative's latest player, the V200 is catalogue filler material for all intents and purposes. That's not to say it's a bad player. Far from it, the sound is good, the connectivity great and overall it's a complete package that offers what it sets out to do, however compared to previous models there is nothing new here, and style wise, it's rather run of the mill. The V200 is like a Skoda (even the modern variety) -It'll get you from A to B very happily, it just doesn't have any flair.