Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB - Family Flagship

Technically, the Jukebox Zen Xtra can be considered the current Jukebox's family flagship. The Jukebox Zen Touch is the newest of the Jukebox family, but it is mainly targeted as Creative's newest answer to Apple's iPod (we will get to this MP3 player sometime later). Aside from the Jukebox Zen, the Jukebox Zen Xtra is the only hard drive based MP3 player from Creative to hit the 60GB marker.

Measuring at 4.4 x 3 x 0.86 inches, it is slightly larger and heavier than the Dell Digital Jukebox (4.1 x 2.7 x 0.86 inches, 7.61 ounces). Its dimensions actually make it about the same size as the Dell Axim X5 (5.04 x 3.21 x 0.71 inches, 6.91 ounces), though the Jukebox Zen Xtra is slightly shorter, slimmer, and thicker.

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The Jukebox Zen Xtra (all versions) weighs 7.2 ounces (7.9 ounces with the battery pack installed). Its weight and size make it quasi-bulky in our opinion, as the Dell DJ seemed to be the perfect fit for the Jukebox platform.

On the front side, only the LCD screen is visible, while the back side is completely bare. The removable battery pack is inserted beneath the front bezel, which acts as a cover that can be released by the security tab on the bottom side of the MP3 player.

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The size difference of the Jukebox Zen Xtra becomes apparent when you place it next to Dell's Digital Jukebox. Both are based on the same hardware platform, but Creative's choice to design theirs around a removable battery means that their unit needed to be slightly larger.

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The Jukebox Zen Xtra only uses a backlight on their LCD screen, as the buttons for this MP3 player are completely solid and opaque. The only issue that we have with the backlight is that it is slightly, but noticeably, dimmer. After getting accustomed to the Dell Digital Jukebox and other MP3 players, we found the Jukebox Zen Xtra to be a bit dimmer than we liked. Dell got the brightness of their LCD screen on the Digital Jukebox just right.

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Index Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB – Family Flagship (cont.)


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  • jdmf13 - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    This is the MOST USELESS review I have ever read about the Zen Xtra!

    What kind of a reviewer writes a review like this and the only "test" he focuses on is the transfer speed from to the Zen?! I think the transfer speed from a PC to a Zen is the last thing one someone's mind when they're looking for an MP3 player....geez.

    The reviewer forgot to mention two VERY important things like :

    - sound quality (a world apart from an iPod)
    - battery life (average of 10-12h)

    I'm not really fussed how long it takes to transfer a few MP3s, and if I am then I'll use Notmad Explorer (from Redchair software - also left out by the reviewer) which is much faster than Creative's bundled software, not to mention stable.

    To also answer a previous question in these comments, there is limited Mac support via a plugin for iTunes :

    For USEFUL information on the Zen Xtra range, take a look at Nomadness :
  • Quiksel - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    yikes, i'm glad i never bought one of those... gosh, doesn't look very good in any category, especially when you're comparing it to the iPod...

    Andrew, you mentioned the Windows support, but I guess there is no Mac support? Just curious.

    Thanks for the review, but like #2, where's iRiver?

  • EdvardGrieg - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    yay for once again failing to mention either Rio or iRiver.... Reply
  • Souka - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    Yeah, but it can't be integrated into my BMW 3 series...unlike my iPod...which works great! :)


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