I just finished reading the Dell Jukebox MP3 player review on the site and am having a hard time understanding exactly how such a poor review made it to publication. While I have no gripes with the information presented in the article I think it was lacking in a large amount of the information those of us reading a review like that are actually interested in. For example:
1. The article mentions in very tiny print under a photograph that it takes 6 hours to fully charge the device for the first use. How long did the charge last? How long did it take to recharge it after actually using it to drain the battery? These two pieces of information are probably some of the most important pieces of information you can have about a portable device yet they are conspicuously absent.
2. Are the batteries user-replaceable? After the debacle with Apple and their iPod battery issues I'd think any portable device review would be remiss to not point out whether the batteries can be easily replaceable by the user once their lifespan is over. I also didn't see any mention of a projected battery lifespan which is something the reviewer should have been able to get either from Dell or the company manufacturing the batteries themselves.
3. How long is the warranty? What does it protect against? Is there a supplemental warranty available to cover things like water damage/dropping/etc if they are not covered by the included warranty?
4. How fast were file transfers to and from the device?
5. What caused the problem with the USB hub? I personally own a USB Logitech QuickCam which has a problem with one of the powered USB hubs in my house but not with the other powered USB hub I have. Was the problem tested with other powered/unpowered hubs to see if the issue was that particular hub?
6. How visible is the display in conditions like nighttime and bright daylight?
Please consider what the purpose of these reviews are supposed to be (allow us to make informed choices about what to buy or not buy) and prepare your article accordingly to meet this need. In reality, all I got out of this article was that the installation experience is currently poor, a list of the features, an idea of how easy it is to transfer files to the device and the fact that the included headphones are substandard. While this is useful information, I don't feel it's as useful as understanding what it's like to actually deal with the device on a daily basis.
I own a Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra. I just saw the Dell player firsthand. The Dell player has the exact same menu structure as the Nomad. It would seem as if Creative manufactures the firmware for both. The Nomad holds more for the same price and the sound quality seems to be better on the Nomad, as well. However, the Dell has the bonus of the built-in mic. Also, the Dell's button interface is a bit more ergonomic.
Funny coincidence, I ended up buying a Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra myself (the 40GB flavor). I haven't gotten a first-hand look at the Dell but from what I understand it's got excellent battery life. The built-in mic is useless to me so it wasn't a factor in my decision and I can't make any comments on the Dell's button interface as, once again, I wouldn't even know where to go to see one up here in Canada.
What kind of battery charge life are you seeing on your Nomad? I'm getting about 10 hours under normal listening conditions which is really good in my opinion. I'm also shocked at the sound quality of the free noise cancelation headphones that came with him; for free it's pretty good.