With its checkered, multihued design, Creative Zen's Mozaic looks pretty slick.

The Creative Zen Mozaic can display images in JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG and TIFF formats. All of the pictures that we looked at were crisp and clear, and the Creative Zen Mozaic includes some fun slide-show options.

Using the Mozaic's video features wasn't as enjoyable, though. All videos must be transcoded with the bundled Creative Centrale software before they can be played on the Mozaic, which isn't difficult so much as it is be time-consuming. The videos we played were sharp and crisp, but they only play horizontally - which means you have to turn the player on its side to view a video (even though the buttons remain in the vertical setting, which feels awkward).

The Creative Zen Mozaic's support for Audible audio books is a strength - if you're already a fan and user of Audible. If you're not, you may not appreciate the software (and the advertisement for a free audiobook) being added to your PC when you install the Creative Centrale software. In addition, we couldn't get the FM radio to play any of the stations we tried to set it to, and we had to figure out the audio recorder through trial-and-error because no instructions were provided. (We also searched Creative's website for the user's manual, but came up empty-handed there as well.)

OUR VERDICT

Overall, the Creative Zen Mozaic is a solid offering at a good price, but you may have to do some fiddling to get its features to operate smoothly.