creative_vado_silver.jpg

With
virtually every mobile phone out these days sporting some kind of
camcorder functionality, it makes you wonder why anyone would want to
come out with a product that is the size of a mobile phone that only
take videos. Undaunted by that, Creative has, in its new Vado, done just that.


OK so after the UMPC debacle no one was expecting small laptops,
such as the the Asus eee to do well, but fly off the shelves they did.
Would the same be true for Creative’s little camcorder.

The
device offers the user the ability to take video footage and upload it
straight to YouTube or Photobucket, cutting out the boring transcoding
and other tedious stuff. So it says.

The device uses 2GB of flash memory to record video in MPEG-4 AVI
format. It has a variety of quality settings, ranging from 60 minutes
of HQ capacity or two hours of SP quality. To be honest the HQ quality
isn’t that great so HQ is about the lower limit we were happy using
(even then is is a paltry 640×480 resolution). Viewing of what you are
recording or playing back is via a small 2-inch LCD screen which has a
an anti-glare display, so can be used in strong sunlight.

The unit comes in silver and pink (for the ladies) and is around the same size as a Motorola RAZR
phone (minus the phone capabilities). There is also a threaded mount to
attach a tripod. The casing, while pretty to look at can stain easily.

After
your footage is taken, plugging the device into a Windows PC fires up
software on the device. The Vado Central software helps you copy files
from the unit to the PC and will also allow quick navigation to YouTube
orPhotobucket . We must says that while the software is easy to use,
most people can use Windows Explorer pretty easily enough now to drag
and drop stuff by themselves. Mac users are pretty much left to their
own devices to drag the files off the device (and you would also need
anxvid decoder to play stuff on QuickTime).

Also,
another gripe was the apparent lack of editing software. Most people
who use camcorders are adept at using such software. We couldn’t find
any with Vado Central and we thought that this should be included on
any camera in the market.

Another thing
is for the money, you only get the device itself. New batteries, a
protective case and other accessories, such as a AV cable will cost
extra, which makes the Vado a little of a bargain than first thought.
Really, most camera-phones can do as good a job as this can.

Overall,
while it does what it says, it is what it doesn’t do that makes it hard
for us to recommend this. We’d much rather wait for theCreative’s second attempt before rushing out and buying a Vado.

Rating: 5/10

Next page – Features and pictures{mospagebreak}Features

Video resolution: 640 x 240
Video format: MPEG-4 AVI at 30 frames per second
Sensor: VGA CMOS
2x digital zoom
2" LCD
Built-in speaker and microphone
2GB memory – 2 hours video at good quality, 1 hour at top quality
TV-out
USB connector
2 hours battery life
Dimensions: 3.9" x 2.2" x 0.6"
Weight: 84g

creative_vado_silver.jpg