- Irksome software
- • • •
This was a big improvement from the peanut device I previously used. It didn't take long to become disappointed with the way the software has to rename and re-categorize all your music making about 30% of it difficult to find. If you don't transfer music to it often, you have to relearn how to do so.
Actually I like several things about it (size, battery life, power, equalizer) but would be very pleased if I could turn off the renaming/re categorizing thing.
Creative ZEN Mosaic EZ300 MP3 player
The new Creative ZEN Mosaic MP3 player adds little to the previous version
- Sturdy body, decent integrated speaker, acceptable bundled earphones
- Confusing controls, outdated and ugly interface
If you’re looking for a cheap MP3 player from a well-known brand, the Creative Mosaic EZ300 is an option. It is not one we would recommend though, with few quantifiable improvements over the earlier ZEN Mosaic and a feature list that looks markedly outdated next to competitors’ offerings.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
The Creative ZEN Mosaic EZ300 is a reasonably priced 4GB MP3 player with a basic feature set. It is out-classed by players costing only a small amount more, and even cheaper players have better interfaces and aesthetics.
With a similar form factor to the iRiver T6 MP3 player, the Creative ZEN Mosaic EZ300 is easy to hold. The buttons — laid out in a matte and glossy checkerboard pattern, giving the player its name — are large enough to press easily, but their layout isn’t particularly intuitive. For example, instead of holding the centre button to power the player on — in the absence of a dedicated power button, this seemed logical — we were confronted with a black screen. The play/pause button takes care of power functions but it is located on the bottom-right corner of the checkerboard, which is a puzzling choice.
The matte black plastic body is sturdy enough to resist knocks and scratches, but the player feels cheap and hollow. Similarly, the 1.8in, 128x160 pixel screen is acceptably bright for outdoor use but has a terrible viewing angle and a glossy fascia which catches reflections easily. A mini-USB connector joins the 3.5mm headphone jack on the player’s lower edge below the controls. Hidden on the player’s rear is the integrated mono speaker; we liked the speaker’s smooth sound, but it does not have a very high maximum volume.
The Creative ZEN Mosaic EZ300 is bundled with a pair of Creative-branded ear-buds. We liked the Creative EP-830 headphones that came with the Creative ZEN X-Fi MP3 player and while these bundled ear-buds aren’t up to that level of sound quality, they’re still fine for listening to compressed MP3 music or FM radio.
Sound quality from the Creative ZEN Mosaic EZ300 is fine for an entry-level MP3 player. We tested using the bundled earphones and some Creative Aurvana Air earphones and found the maximum volume to be more than loud enough for most situations. There’s no shortage of bass or treble and a versatile equaliser with a custom setting allows you to tailor the sound to your liking.
The interface of the Creative ZEN Mosaic EZ300 is based upon sub-menus, with each selection opening several new options. We think the iPod’s system of navigation does this well, but the ugly text and low resolution screen take the polish off Creative’s implementation.
The ZEN Mosaic EZ300 also has an integrated voice recorder and FM radio, both of which work well. The FM radio’s Auto Scan feature is useful, with 32 presets that covered all the major broadcasting stations in our test. A photo viewer and video player are also included. The photo player has a useful slideshow function, but the video player is little more than a novelty given the small screen and the need to transcode files to the Motion JPEG format through bundled Creative software.
The Creative ZEN Mosaic EZ300’s chief competitors come in the form of the Apple iPod Nano and the afore-mentioned iRiver T6. The iPod Nano may be $60 more expensive for an equivalent model, but we think that’s a justified price increase given its far superior interface, features and control scheme. The iRiver T6 is cheaper and while it has a similar feature set and menu layout, we prefer its design and navigation scheme.
The Creative ZEN Mosaic EZ300 is a competent MP3 player if you can devote a little time to learning its controls and menus. That said, there are many other competitors which are more intuitive and more refined for similar or lower prices.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Bose SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones
- 2 Apple iPhone 6 Plus: An in depth review
- 3 Medion Akoya P2214T (MD99430) hybrid laptop
- 4 Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen.) android smartphone
- 5 HTC One Mini 2 android smartphone
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Wi-Fi Passpoint standard now knits together SF, San Jose, London
- Big Data Digest: Rise of the think-bots
- FCC pushes TV spectrum auction to 2016 after legal challenge
- Apple mum as Mac owners tussle with Yosemite over Wi-Fi problems
- Apple Pay tops Tim Cook's to-do list in China
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCConsumer Product Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTMarketing Communications Operations Manager - Global Tech Market leaderNSW
- FTDigital Account ExecutiveNSW
- FTTechnical Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTPartner Marketing Communications Manager - Leading Global Tech BrandNSW
- FTDigital PR SpecialistNSW
- FTBusiness ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness development manager - retargettingNSW
- FTAccount ExecutiveNSW