Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB - Family Flagship

Technically, 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.




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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.




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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.




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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.




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Index Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB – Family Flagship (cont.)
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  • stephenc - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    I'm keen to try to find a music player for my wife with at least 10GB memory which she can -

    1 Play in the car and tune it to a radio FM station to play through the car

    2 Play it at the gym whilst joging, etc

    Hope you can help and advise

    Stephen
    Reply
  • Snacko - Sunday, July 04, 2004 - link

    Beyond sound quality, which is of course subjective, and battery life, the reviewer also failed to mention anything about file format acceptance of the player. One of the main things that might draw me toward the Zen and away from the iPod is the iPod's lack of WMA compatibility.

    As a Windows guy who has done his research on file formats with their inherent strengths/weaknesses, I'm going with WMA for my digital music needs. The Zen can handle WMA - the iPod can't.
    Reply
  • plewis00 - Sunday, July 04, 2004 - link

    It wasn't a bad review but it wouldn't have taken much to have some size (photo) comparisons between this and it's competitors - least of all, the original Zen. A lot of reviews fail to do this and when I am getting an MP3 player this is a big concern for me - size IS an issue, I don't want to end up with something oversized, as I may as well keep my Creative DAP Jukebox instead which also won't fit in my pockets... Reply
  • WizzBall - Sunday, July 04, 2004 - link

    Hmm, like I said on the previous 'masterpiece'... (review of creative's muvo tx) when are you guys going to get serious about sound hardware reviews ?

    Just about any of us could have 'tested' the hardware this way. It is useless and sounds more like a commercial to me than a true desire to keep us informed about what's going on in the market at the moment.
    Reply
  • webchimp - Sunday, July 04, 2004 - link

    A review of an audio device without a single mention of how it sounds - bizarre. Reply
  • Lurks - Sunday, July 04, 2004 - link

    I examine mp3 for a living, I've seen seriously hundreds of the damn things. The best hard-drive based unit on the market is the iRiver iHP-140 by a very long way indeed - unless you want something very small and sexy, in which case it's an Cowon iAudio M3.

    This Creative wouldn't even be on in my top 20.
    Reply
  • opposable - Saturday, July 03, 2004 - link

    Sorry for the blank post.

    Anyway, how can you continue to do mp3 player reviews with no comparison of sound quality or battery life? It seems to me that these two would be FAR more important than something like file transfer speed. These aren't meant to be portable HD (although they can serve as them in a fix). If you want your mp3 player reviews to be taken seriously, you need to include battery life benchmarks and sound quality benchmarks.
    Reply
  • opposable - Saturday, July 03, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • cobalt - Saturday, July 03, 2004 - link

    Review the iriver h series :\ Reply
  • Oxonium - Saturday, July 03, 2004 - link

    I mentioned this in my comments on the Dell DJ review: If you're going to compare size to the iPod, you should show a picture showing that comparison. The side-by-side with the DJ is fine, but there really should be one with the iPod since it is the icon of this class. Reply

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