Creative keeps stabbing at the MP3 market, reveals bantam ZEN X-Fi3

Another IFA, another minuscule ZEN X-Fi media player. And somehow, they manage to get less and less impressive with each passing year. This go 'round, we're looking at the ZEN X-Fi3, equipped with a 2-inch LCD, 8/16GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 2.1, a built-in microphone / FM radio / speaker and a battery that should last up to 20 hours when playing back audio alone. As with prior ZEN units, this one also supports a multitude of file formats (FLAC, AAC, MP3, WMA, Audible, etc.), and for those kosher with watching Alf reruns on a thumb-sized panel, MPEG-4 / WMV9 / DivX video files are also capable of being played back. This guy's slated to ship at the end of October across Europe, but with $99.99 (8GB) / $139.99 (16GB) price tags, we're guessing most are bound to just collect dust. For shame.

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The Latest Incarnation of the ZEN X-Fi Delivers Premium Wireless Audio On-the-Go Through X-Fi Restoration, Lossless Music Support, the apt-X Codec and Bluetooth -- All at an Incredibly Affordable Price

MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA, USA – 1 September 2011 – Creative Technology Ltd today announced the launch of the Creative ZEN X-Fi3 music, photo and video player with X-Fi audio technology-enabled Bluetooth wireless audio playback and support for lossless audio and a wide range of other music formats. Just 65 x 45.5 x 12.5 mm in size, the Creative ZEN X-Fi3 is packed with features including a microSD card slot, video-out, and 2" TFT screen with touch-buttons, and it is priced from only US$99.99. The Creative ZEN X-Fi3 will debut at IFA 2011 in Berlin from 2 – 7 September 2011.

Key Features of the Creative ZEN X-Fi3

* Superior Wireless Connectivity with Bluetooth 2.1 and apt-X

The built-in apt-X codec allows users to enjoy superior wireless Bluetooth music transmission (that sounds as good as a wired connection) when Creative ZEN X-Fi3 is used with all compatible stereo Bluetooth devices such as Creative's comprehensive line-up of Bluetooth headphones and speakers.

* X-Fi Quality Audio

Creative ZEN X-Fi3 lets users re-experience their music in pristine crystal clear quality and detail through the revolutionary power of X-Fi. With X-Fi Crystalizer, users will experience their digital music the way it was meant to be heard, with lost details restored. With X-Fi Expand, users will enjoy the most natural sound staging available in headphone audio today.

* X-Fi Crystalizer
Digital Music today pales in comparison to the real thing.

That's because important details disappear in the high and low ranges when users rip their CDs into digital music. X-Fi Crystalizer intelligently restores lost details instantly to amazing clarity.

* X-Fi Expand
X-Fi Expand intelligently moves a conventional left/right earphone stereo source away from a user's ears, virtually expanding it for an audio experience with a breathtakingly realistic depth of field. Users will feel as if they were listening to their music from a pair of high-end speakers.

* Support for a Wide Range of Audio Formats that Include Lossless Audio

Creative ZEN X-Fi3 allows users to enjoy their music even in lossless audio formats (FLAC files) besides accessing all their content and music in various formats such as MP3, WMA and Audible 4. In addition, the player also supports iTunes Plus – also known as unprotected AAC (.m4a).

* Additional Space for Music with microSD Card Slot
Users can add up to 32GB* of music on top of the player's built-in memory

* Video-out

Users can enjoy movies or share images with family and friends on a larger screen, when they connect Creative ZEN X-Fi3 to a TV via the player's video-out connector (A/V cable available separately).

"With Creative, you will always get best value performance when it comes to portable media players. Earlier this year, we introduced the ZEN Style M300 that surprised everyone with how many features one could pack into a tiny device at such a low price point," said Ting Lai Chu, Vice-President of the Advanced Multimedia Group at Creative Technology Ltd.

"Now here at IFA Berlin 2011 with the ZEN X-Fi3, we're all set to amaze everyone once more, but this time with a portable media player that delivers the best possible wireless audio experience in the market. ZEN X-Fi3 will set a new benchmark in what premium audio performance should be for a portable media player."

Technical Specifications of the Creative ZEN X-Fi3

* Display: 2" TFT with 262K colors
* Capacity(1) : 8GB , 16GB
* Wireless: Bluetooth 2.1 (supports apt-X, AVRCP & A2DP)
* Audio formats(2): FLAC, non-protected AAC (*.M4A) from iTunes Plus® , MP3, WMA (DRM9), WAV(IMA-ADPCM), Audible Format 4, Audible AAX
* X-Fi™ Audio Enhancement : Adjustable Crystalizer / Expand effects
* Video formats(3) : WMV9, MPEG4-SP, AVI (DivX4/5, XviD)
* Video / Audio out : PAL or NTSC / Stereo (via A/V cable sold)
* Photo formats: JPEG
* Built-in Microphone for Voice Recording
* Built-in FM Radio with 32 station presets
* Built-in Speakers for sharing music out loud
* Battery Playtime(4) :
o up to 20 hours of audio (mp3,128kbps)
o up to 5 hours of video (640x480, stereo(128kbps))
* Dimensions: 65 x 45.5 x 12.5mm (est.)
* Weight: 45g (est.)

1. Availability may differ in different regions.
2. Non-protected AAC (.M4A) from iTunes Plus ®. Supports FLAC of up to 1.1Mbps.
3. This product is not certified by DivX Inc. and may not play all DivX 4 and DivX 5 files. XviD encoded files are playable if they are encoded as standard MPEG-4 Simple (SP) or Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) without GMC and QPEL support. Appropriate codecs must be preinstalled.
4. Actual battery life and playtime will vary with use and settings. Battery has limited recharge cycles.

* 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Available capacity will be less. Reported capacity will vary.

Pricing and Availability

The Creative ZEN X-Fi3 portable media players will be available at the online store at in Europe from end Oct 2011 onwards at the following suggested retail prices:

· Creative ZEN X-Fi3 8GB US$99.99

· Creative ZEN X-Fi3 16GB US$139.99

For in-store availability, please refer to local authorised dealers.

For more information about Creative ZEN X-Fi3 portable media players, please visit