Taking into consideration the fact that we are dealing with a portable media player, it seems logical that there will be a few key areas of performance that all media players must do well in.
Today I am once again employing my 'floating format' testing criteria that is sensitive to the differing needs of individual products. And, as such, changes progressively to meet those needs are on a case by case basis.
The first of which in no particular order is the players ability to communicate several key pieces of information to the user via the built in screen. In this case it is a 2.4" TFT LCD; more than capable of handling the task.
The built in screen is both bright and colorful in all viewing conditions and communicates a sense of style and quality to the viewer (user) when being held in hand.
The brightness is adjustable, but comes already set at 100%, so I would assume that most users would be making that adjustment in order to save battery life rather than improve on the factory setting.
Creative Labs provides a specification of 262k colors, but I must be hasty to add that it seems like much more when held in hand and being used.
Honestly (and Creative will like this), I cannot tell the difference between the colour provided on the Zen Style and a 16-bit desktop. This is probably due to the small size of the screen. But what can I say? It works tremendously well.
The demo images provided by Creative are probably 'cherry picked' but they look amazing without a doubt.
Ok, time to load up some big uncompressed 10.2MP images and see what this screen can do.
Once I had dumped some images onto the Zen Style I rebooted the device and proceeded to take a closer look.
The results were very impressive I must say, once we take into consideration the fact that this is not a highly 'spec'd' LCD and only has a small palette of colour to use in order to build the image.
The only issue I found was the time it took to load the images I had dumped onto the device. I'm thinking perhaps the fact that I did not compress them and dumped a full size 'raw' image onto the Zen Style for testing had something to do with that. And also, the device had to process down the data to be viewable on screen, which ended up taking the extra time.
However, I will add that no such delay was experienced with the Creative test images loaded on the device, only my very large images.
Before we move onto video testing, I'll add here that I felt the menu was fantastic and very well implemented into the device with a speedy learning curve needed to be passed in order to be proficient at accessing all of the features.