Creative Labs' Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB - Extra Storageby Andrew Ku on July 3, 2004 12:10 AM EST
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Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB - Family FlagshipTechnically, the Jukebox Zen Xtra can be considered the current Jukebox's family flagship. The Jukebox Zen Touch is the newest of the Jukebox family, but it is mainly targeted as Creative's newest answer to Apple's iPod (we will get to this MP3 player sometime later). Aside from the Jukebox Zen, the Jukebox Zen Xtra is the only hard drive based MP3 player from Creative to hit the 60GB marker.
Measuring at 4.4 x 3 x 0.86 inches, it is slightly larger and heavier than the Dell Digital Jukebox (4.1 x 2.7 x 0.86 inches, 7.61 ounces). Its dimensions actually make it about the same size as the Dell Axim X5 (5.04 x 3.21 x 0.71 inches, 6.91 ounces), though the Jukebox Zen Xtra is slightly shorter, slimmer, and thicker.
The Jukebox Zen Xtra (all versions) weighs 7.2 ounces (7.9 ounces with the battery pack installed). Its weight and size make it quasi-bulky in our opinion, as the Dell DJ seemed to be the perfect fit for the Jukebox platform.
On the front side, only the LCD screen is visible, while the back side is completely bare. The removable battery pack is inserted beneath the front bezel, which acts as a cover that can be released by the security tab on the bottom side of the MP3 player.
The size difference of the Jukebox Zen Xtra becomes apparent when you place it next to Dell's Digital Jukebox. Both are based on the same hardware platform, but Creative's choice to design theirs around a removable battery means that their unit needed to be slightly larger.
The Jukebox Zen Xtra only uses a backlight on their LCD screen, as the buttons for this MP3 player are completely solid and opaque. The only issue that we have with the backlight is that it is slightly, but noticeably, dimmer. After getting accustomed to the Dell Digital Jukebox and other MP3 players, we found the Jukebox Zen Xtra to be a bit dimmer than we liked. Dell got the brightness of their LCD screen on the Digital Jukebox just right.