New Zen X-Fi 2 Firmware Makes UI Smooth and Useable

With the first demonstrations of the Zen X-Fi 2 the consensus was that the UI sucked. It looked slow, laggy, and downright unusable. Before its release to the US, the X-Fi 2 received version 1.00.10 firmware dramatically improving the responsiveness of the UI. Considering its priced well below the more premium touch based players it may be a pretty good contender, especially for the budget minded shopper. The only major hang up now is the lack of microSD integration. Though this hasn’t been fixed in the last three generations of Zens, so don’t hold your breath.

The X-Fi 2 will be shipping in the first week of October and is available for pre order on Amazon.


Lightsout565 on September 11, 2009 4:56 PM

After being an iPod Touch owner for 8 months, this seems pretty unusable for me. The responsiveness of it is still quite laggy and the Touch offers almost unbeatable responsiveness.

sim on September 11, 2009 5:38 PM

seems just as slow…

edd on September 11, 2009 10:01 PM

@lighstouthow is this unusable? i agree with sim. its alright, but its not the best but unusable? Dont you think thats a little extreme?

Shorty15c4 on September 11, 2009 10:53 PM

He means unusable as in inconvieniant. After dealing with the speed and fluency of the Touch’s menu, I can see how someone wouldn’t even wanna touch this player.I dont find myself attracted to this player either, me being a P2 owner. I know, I know, the P2′s menu is just as laggy. But this player being in a landscape design, I would find it hard trying to navigate with just my right hand and thumb.

Hirudin on September 12, 2009 1:42 AM

It looks fine. If you think THAT is unusable you really are better off with an iPod. For those of us with an extra quarter-second to spare this is perfectly usable.

Lightsout565 on September 12, 2009 9:14 AM

I’m just saying, realistically this is going to be compared to the iPod Touch. And when a customer see’s the difference in responsiveness, it’s a big decision maker. If creative really want’s to market this as a touch screen player they are going to have to increase the responsiveness of the screen.

Woembah on September 12, 2009 1:55 PM

If i were an average consumer on a budget looking for a touch screen player, i definetely wouldnt mind dealing with a slightly less fluid interface as a tradeoff for the big price diffrence.

DAzure on September 12, 2009 2:32 PM

Currently, the price difference between the Zen and the Touch 32GB is 70$ according to Amazon.I agree with the people here who are arguing for the value to performance of the Zen.

electron on September 12, 2009 8:54 PM

hey lights, to be perfectly honest, most people who are thinking about getting an iPod Touch won’t be considering this as an option…

DaHarder on September 13, 2009 3:52 AM

There’s something rather strange about this video. Does it not appear that entire thing looks somewhat ‘artificially’ sped up so as to make the interface appear faster than it is? If you really look closely at the demonstrator’s hand motions, they seem unnaturally quick IMO. Hmm?

Woembah on September 13, 2009 10:02 AM

People in the background seem to be moving at normal pace, and the background music sounds normal as well, so I dont think its manipulated. It would be stupid if it was, though.

mike on September 13, 2009 12:56 PM

The conspiracy that Creative sped up the video was also raised at epiZENter ( and dapreview (). Looking at the points raised by the two sites (people in the background, timing in the video, the music being played) I guess we can safely conclude that the new firmware is so fast that it seem fake. Which is also a good and bad thing. Anyone here ordered one?

Hirudin on September 13, 2009 4:53 PM

I don’t think it was sped up.Look at the panda video between when the elapsed time strikes 0:45 and 0:48 (the person goes into some menu during this time, but it looks like the video keeps playing). I used a stopwatch to “time” between these two points and it was very close to 3 seconds (I figure my reaction time accounts for any discrepancy in the timing).Also, if the video was truly sped up they would be asking for a lawsuit.

Dominic on September 13, 2009 7:14 PM

This video actually make the player seem usable, unlike the one shown at Engadget. I’m pretty surprised that Creative is so quick to fix this with a firmware and video.

Gilbert on September 18, 2009 10:56 AM

Now they have fixed their firmware, I supposed it’s time for me to upgrade my Zen Vision M once my paycheck comes in!I received this mailer showing that ZEN X-Fi 32GB and 16GB is on promotion now at Creative Labs UK.. £39.99 in savings!

Steve on September 25, 2009 6:56 PM

I So don’t need this, and I’m So going to get one! I just got a Cowon Q5W to replace my Zen Vision W – (Battery has failed and no replacement can be found) I have a 32g Zen X-Fi but I just HATE the tiny buttons. This will fix that problem! and lets face it, I LOVE the Cowon Q5W but it’s kind of big (huge actually!) and not the easiest thing to use when driving/working out. Thinking about pre-ordering today actually!

Some0ne on October 1, 2009 2:27 PM

OMG! The video is sped up! And aliens are invading! And the moon landings never happened! And Elvis is alive with Michael Jackson!Could you just *maybe* consider that it was actually improved? Or is that too hard for someone so stupid to comprehend?

Lucy on October 7, 2009 11:41 AM

I got this player yesterday and it is not slow at all. I love it.Mick, my bf, has an ipod and my player is not slower than his anyway.Now I am trying to figure out how to attach it to the neck band and this is how I came across this thread. What is this > by the way and how do I look up what version I got?

Chris Quintrell on December 31, 2009 8:52 AM

I tried an iPod – the software and converting files is a nightmare and I use mp3 files; so I went back to Creative and their latest efforts after originally having a Zen V plus, which is excellent but a little small in size and memory.The X-Fi2 has a lot of pluses and a few draw-backs, but it is good value for money and more or less does what it says on the tin (or box). I will list the qualities thus:Pluses+ Easy to transfer music and photos without installing software.+ Just plug and play and use with Windows Media Player.+ Robust and light-weight.+ Has lovely sound quality.+ Quality earphones supplied.+ Has good asthetic qualitys – big screen too!+ Supported firmware updates – I have yet to download this and it could improve functions on the player.Minuses- The touch-screen is a little dodgy; but don’t let it put you off as you get used to it – and it may improve with firmware update.- The volume is touch-screen only, but is easy to access; though hard to control.- BE WARNED – The USB cable is only about 10 cm long, so if you need to reach further, you will need an extention!- The software download is a little confusing to use and not as good as the Zen V plus software I had before. Saying that, iTunes makes it look good; and you only really need it if you want to convert your video files.- The memory slot is a good idea – but apparently works separately. I have yet to find out.With a selection of good sized memories on these players – 8/16/32 gb and the general good quality, this for me is a pleasurable buy!

Ross on April 24, 2010 12:28 PM

Any amount of time wasted due to the “lag” in this UI easily beaten by the time it takes for iTunes to do anything.

Comments Closed. Please continue the discussion in the forums