updated 06:30 pm EDT, Thu May 5, 2011
Creative intros Zen Style M300, ships to US early
Creative had a slew of introductions on Thursday headlined by its own take on the concept behind the iPod nano. The Zen Style M300 and M100 have the square, compact frame but replaces the touchscreen with touch-sensitive buttons at the edges. The M300 adds a rare touch at its size with Bluetooth 2.1 to support wireless headphones and speakers.
Either version can last for up to 20 hours on battery. They only support Audible, MP3, WAV, and WMV for video, but all can handle JPEG photos and have microSDHC slots that can add up to 32GB more space. M300 owners get FM radio missing in the M100.
Cost is the chief focus of the players. The Zen Style M100 starts off at as little as $40 for a 4GB version and moves up to $60 for an 8GB version. M300 players carry a small $10 premium at the same capacities and also bring in a 16GB version for $90.
Creative was one of the earliest companies in the MP3 player business but grew mostly quiet for the second half of the last decade after the iPod became the dominant device in the field. It has lately undergone a renewal and has been hoping to lure in those wanting players below the iPod's prices.