Portable Media Centre

Fevzi Turkalp - The Gadget Detective joins Mike Mendoza

On Friday mornings from 3.00 to 4.00am to answer your tech questions

and take a look at the latest from the world of Gadgets and Technology.

Gadget Detective on

Gadget of the Week

Creative Zen Portable Media Centre



Watch movie clips, listen to your music collection and display your photo collection on one handheld unit

Bright, clear screen

Removable battery means you can carry a spare

Connects to PC via USB 2.0

Well made

Good value compared to an audio only Apple iPod



No ability to record media, they have to be transferred from a computer

Battery life is not great; unsurprising given inclusion of a hard drive and large backlit screen

Would have been nice to have a 40GB hard drive rather than the 20GB drive utilised

Not as small as audio only devices

Not a cheap gadget


Price: Estimated c £400 inc. VAT (UK Launch Mid September)


Star Rating: 8.5 Stars  lots of fun, well implemented device for early adopters. Look forward to cheaper, smaller, more capacious devices next year.




Watch up to 85 hours of Movies, Recorded TV Programs or Home Videos(1)

Store and listen up to 9,000 songs(1)

Carry and enjoy up to tens of thousands of photos(1)

3.8" TFT LCD backlit display

Removable and rechargeable Li-Ion battery

Windows Mobile operating system lets you sync, find and manage your digital entertainment

Quickly transfer content from your PC to your Zen Portable Media Centre with USB 2.0

Built-in speaker

4 presets buttons that shortcut to your favourite TV show, movie or song

Works with popular formats like WMV, WMA, MP3, JPG


(1) Based on 2-hour movies encoded at 500kbps, 4 minute songs encoded at 64kbps (WMA) and 500KB per photo, with 20GB hard disk drive and all disk drive space dedicated to either video, audio or photos.



Size WxHxD: 5.67" x 3.18" x 1.06" (144mm x 80.7mm x 27mm)

Weight: 12oz (340 grams) with battery

Display: 3.8", 320 x 240 pixel resolution, backlit LCD Display

Capacity: 20GB Hard drive

Battery Life: Up to 22hrs continuous audio playtime or up to 7hrs of continuous video playtime

Interface: USB 2.0 (backward compatible with USB 1.1)

Video Playback Format: Windows Media Video (WMV) 7, 8 and 9

Audio Playback Support: Windows Media Audio (WMA) (Lossless, Standard, Voice) MP3

Photo Format Support: JPEG

Windows Media Player 10 Supported Formats: ASF, DVR-MS, AVI, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPE, M1V, MPG, MP2, WAV, AU, SND