It is never too late, and Creative released the first touchscreen player. This is extremely late as most of its competitors has switched to touchscreen. Sony has done it, so has iriver and Archos, and of course Apple. So what makes the Zen XiFi 2 more special from the others? That is definetly the XiFi technology. It attempts to "restores detail lost during file compression with just one touch". In reality, it dosen't work for all kinds of music, but it is still very cool. As compared to the previous model, the Zen XiFi, the new XiFi 2 allows you to enjoy XiFi technology on videos and radio too! Imagine, your favourite station with XiFi! I wonder what will be the quality on radio stations. Anyway, this is great news for people who put movie in their music player. Better sound in video defintely heighten the movie experience.
You can connet the XiFi 2 to the TV via A/V cable. Not many music players can do that. This is extremely useful when there is a big LCD screen in your friend house and you wanted to show off your travel photo on your Zen. There is also a microSD slot to boost your memory of your Zen. However, I don't think it will be full SD integration.
Apart from all these, all other features in the XiFi 2 can also be found on other brand's music player. FM radio, voice recording etc. It has also finally supported the FLAC music format. It is quite a surprise that Creative never supported this format for so long since Creative is known more for its sound quality than anything else.
Interface wise, it isn't much difference from the old Zen XiFi or the older Zen. It also do not have apps like the iTouch. Thus honestly, Creative XiFi 2 really do not have much new features to draw in consumers, apart from the price I guess.
It is cheaper than the super expensive Sony OLED walkman, which is almost 1.5X the price of iTouch for 32Gb. I wonder who buys that?? As compared to the iTouch, the Zen XiFi 2 is cheaper by more than SGD$100 for the 32Gb model. For those who are consdering buying this, I urge you to consider again. By far, the iTouch is still the coolest thing on earth, apart from the Zune HD, which I must say is extremely sexy and sleek. Only time will tell if the Zune HD will compete with the iTouch. I have been watching my friends playing all those cool games on iTouch, and here I am wtih my Creative Zen feeling sad... You will know what I mean. Also, according to epizenter, Creative is just testing the touchscreen market with the Zen XiFi 2. If there is enough demand, more touchscreen players may be coming up. In otherwards, 'better' music players are coming up. For those who don't get it, take a look at the difference in Zen Stone and Zen Stone Plus. Thus, if you are more concerned about sound quliaty, and you are on a budget, and you will not be tempted by all the iTouch games, get the Creative Zen XiFi 2. And pray hard there won't be a Creative Zen XiFi 2 Plus coming next month. For everyone else, go Apple!