Looks like CNET managed to get a Zen V Plus from Creative a while ago, and have already put the thing through its paces and posted their glowing review of the device. First, and fairly notable: for sheer value, the Zen V and V Plus really have the iPod nano beat, since not only do Creative's new players feature similar capacity for a good bit less, but the players also have the quite convenient line-in capability, and V Plus adds in FM and video playback for a bit of extra nano smackdown. As for design, CNET seems to be a fan; noting its cute, Tamagotchi-like feel and form factor as a definite asset. They also felt more confident with the sturdier design of the player in comparison to the nano, which is thinner but taller than the Zen V, and didn't complain about the "bulk" in regards to pocketability. Unfortunately, the joystick is a bit small and cheap feeling, and the player lacks two of the face buttons of its big brother, the Zen Vision:M. We're also concerned about the lack of scrolling capability which does show up in the Sansa and nano, but we're just worriers like that. Apparently, the 1.5-inch OLED screen is looking good, with a bit of an visible pixel grid, and some bright sunlight problems, but overall "vivid" performance. We can't say that changes our mind about the actual functionality of video playback on this thing, but if you need to know, the V Plus supports MPEG-4, WMV, DivX and more, and comes with the ToolBox software to convert files for playback. The device of course supports MP3, WAV, PlaysForSure WMA and Audible audio, and you can nab podcasts with Creative's ZenCast software. Other than USB host capability, or WiFi, the Zen V Plus has about every feature you could ask for, even PIM functionality with Outlook syncing. As for what really matters, Zen V shines with 20 hours of batter life (5 more than Creative's 15 hour rating), and solid audio quality and volume. Sounds like Creative could have a winner on their hands, and CNET's Editors' Choice award can't hurt, but we're still not sure we've seen something that can actually manage to beat the nano at its own game in this market.

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