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

When the security tab is released, the bottom part of the top cover (anodized aluminum) pops up a centimeter or so, and then the cover needs to be slid down and out to be unhinged from the rest of the unit. The security tab is actually a spring mechanism that is attached to two hooks that is secured to two slots in the cover.

Click to enlarge.

The 3.6V Lithium Ion battery pack that the Jukebox Zen Xtra uses is the same used for the Muvo2 and Jukebox Zen NX. We were glad to see that the battery was of the Lithium Ion variety, mainly because of the benefits of constant recharging.

We really enjoy the concept of a removable rechargeable battery because this brings back the ability of swapping batteries to increase battery life. No longer is there a need to stop and wait for a recharge before use; if you have a spare battery, swapping in and out makes recharging a second thought.

The only issue we have is that charging can only be done within the unit. You can't just swap a battery out and charge it while using another. Creative hasn't made a recharging bay/station available that charges their removable battery, which is something that would be great for the future. The only way that you can swap batteries in and out for a long flight is to charge each battery one by one before you go, and recharge them one by one afterwards.

Click to enlarge.

The headphones included for the Jukebox Zen Xtra are the same ones that are included with the package for the Muvo2 4GB MP3 player. The odd thing about this pair of headphones is that they are overly large. The earbuds themselves don't quite fit (several people have commented on this), and they are even more uncomfortable due to the increased size that the padding adds to them. To be perfectly honest, we can't imagine most people using these headphones without some sort of a complaint.

Click to enlarge.

Comparing an earbud on this headphone set to our new Apple in-ears helps show the relative size difference. The earbud size for the Apple in-ears is actually the medium sized one, which just goes to show how large the headphones are that come bundled with the Jukebox Zen Xtra and Muvo2 4GB.

Aside from the headphones, battery pack, and power adapter, Creative also includes a holster with a belt clip to hold the Jukebox Zen Xtra. Overall, the design of the holster is well done, the LCD screen is visible, all of the buttons are accessible and so are the USB and headphone ports. This means that the only time you need to remove the MP3 player from the holster is when you want to charge the unit, since the security clip blocks the power port.

Click to enlarge.

While it is nice in design, it doesn't work well when put to use. The Jukebox Zen Xtra is already quasi-bulky, and the addition of the holster only makes the MP3 player cumbersome. We preferred to use it without the holster when we went out.

Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB – Family Flagship (cont.) Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB – Under the Hood


View All Comments

  • stephenc - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    I'm keen to try to find a music player for my wife with at least 10GB memory which she can -

    1 Play in the car and tune it to a radio FM station to play through the car

    2 Play it at the gym whilst joging, etc

    Hope you can help and advise

  • Snacko - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    Beyond sound quality, which is of course subjective, and battery life, the reviewer also failed to mention anything about file format acceptance of the player. One of the main things that might draw me toward the Zen and away from the iPod is the iPod's lack of WMA compatibility.

    As a Windows guy who has done his research on file formats with their inherent strengths/weaknesses, I'm going with WMA for my digital music needs. The Zen can handle WMA - the iPod can't.
  • plewis00 - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    It wasn't a bad review but it wouldn't have taken much to have some size (photo) comparisons between this and it's competitors - least of all, the original Zen. A lot of reviews fail to do this and when I am getting an MP3 player this is a big concern for me - size IS an issue, I don't want to end up with something oversized, as I may as well keep my Creative DAP Jukebox instead which also won't fit in my pockets... Reply
  • WizzBall - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    Hmm, like I said on the previous 'masterpiece'... (review of creative's muvo tx) when are you guys going to get serious about sound hardware reviews ?

    Just about any of us could have 'tested' the hardware this way. It is useless and sounds more like a commercial to me than a true desire to keep us informed about what's going on in the market at the moment.
  • webchimp - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    A review of an audio device without a single mention of how it sounds - bizarre. Reply
  • Lurks - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    I examine mp3 for a living, I've seen seriously hundreds of the damn things. The best hard-drive based unit on the market is the iRiver iHP-140 by a very long way indeed - unless you want something very small and sexy, in which case it's an Cowon iAudio M3.

    This Creative wouldn't even be on in my top 20.
  • opposable - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    Sorry for the blank post.

    Anyway, how can you continue to do mp3 player reviews with no comparison of sound quality or battery life? It seems to me that these two would be FAR more important than something like file transfer speed. These aren't meant to be portable HD (although they can serve as them in a fix). If you want your mp3 player reviews to be taken seriously, you need to include battery life benchmarks and sound quality benchmarks.
  • opposable - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

  • cobalt - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    Review the iriver h series :\ Reply
  • Oxonium - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    I mentioned this in my comments on the Dell DJ review: If you're going to compare size to the iPod, you should show a picture showing that comparison. The side-by-side with the DJ is fine, but there really should be one with the iPod since it is the icon of this class. Reply

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