Creative Zen Style 300 

Way back in time – before the iPod – Creative had one of the early MP3 players. Here one of the latest generation of such devices called the Zen. Of course time moves on and so does what we expect from such a device.

creative ZEN Style 300 mp3 video player

The Creative Zen Style 300 is 8x3.8x1cm and for such a device quite chunky hence the weight of 43grams. However this unit does include a speaker.

These days this sort of device needs to do than just play music and the Zen does. It has a 3.5x3cm screen which in imperial has a diagonal measurement of 1.8inches.

Not only does it play music, it can play photos and videos and for good measure it also has a quite decent FM radio.

The front has the screen below this a row of four buttons which are fairly self explanatory, and, under this the ubiquitous five position joystick. The bottom edge has micro USB port (lead provided) and 3.5mm jack socket (lead not provided). That is all the controls with the pin hole microphone being on the top right of the unit.

The USB lead not only allows you to transfer items to and from the Zen but it also charges the internal battery.

A three second push on the rightmost button will turn the unit on and if no headphones/earbuds are detected the output is played through the internal speaker. A nice touch when listening quietly and its low enough (even at maximum volume) not to annoy people more than a couple of seats away on a bus or a train, something I cannot say for some other devices.

When in music mode the display has eight lines of text well spread over the screen. The top line shows Now Playing, the speaker icon and battery state. The next shows the number of the item you are playing IE 27/95 and also the equaliser setting.

creative ZEN Style 300
click image to enlarge

The next line is the title, below that any rating (up to four stars) that you have given the track. Next the album it has come from and below that the artist. The next is a graphic to show what you are doing > for example and then a line to show the total length of the track and the amount you have progressed through it. The final line confirms the graphic above by showing the elapsed time and finally the time remaining for the track.

Touching the leftmost button twice will take you back to the main menu; the top setting is the microphone. Pressing the right button will start recording and the display shows the number of seconds minutes and hours the recording has progressed and two graphics to show where the volume level is green, orange or red. Below this shows the name of the recording with date and time recorded that scrolls right to left and the final line shows the maximum recording time available.

The next item is pictures and the joystick can be used to rotate each image in 90degree increments. The video playback mode is rather good (once you understand the requirements). The FM radio will you your headphones as an aerial. Next is Extras that has a clock and an organiser. There is of course an alarm as well as a sleep timer.

So this is far more than an MP3 player the speaker is a nice plus in a quiet environment but best of all it’s easy to use.

Doing my Internet searches found the Zen Style 300 8GB version at a best price of £73.75 including delivery from Amazon on the first link below.

I found the Zen Style 300 8GB version available for $59.99 including delivery from Amazon on the first link below.

I found the Zen Style 300 8GB version available for €78,93 including delivery from Amazon on the first link below.

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OverallCreative Zen Style 300 rated 72 out of 100

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