For those of you who are looking for an alternative mp3 player because you dislike Apple products or because you’re simply just not into iPods, here’s an alternative for you – Microsoft’s newest version of the Zune, the Zune HD Video/MP3 Player. The Zune HD is available in two models – a 16GB model available for $219 and the 32GB model that sells for $289.
- 16GB or 32GB internal flash memory (5 hours high-definition video, 22 hours of standard-definition video, 25,000 pictures or 4,000 songs).
- Supported formats – MP3, WMA and AAC audio formats, plus WMV, MPEG-4, HD MPEG-4 (with included transcoding software), H.264 and DVR-MS video formats and JPEG.
- 3.3″ OLED color display
- 480 x 272 pixels and 16:9 aspect ratio. Scratch-resistant glass and touch-screen QWERTY keyboard.
- FM/HD radio tuner
- 802.11b/g wireless connection (WEP, WPA, WPAZ encryption)
- Internet browsing. Features tap-to-zoom technology, and a built-in accelerometer.
- Connection port
- HDMI-out and composite-out connectivity with optional dock (not included)
- Rechargeable battery – 33 hours of music or up to 8.5 hours of video.
Based on the reviews of people who’ve bought and tried the Zune HD, we can say that it’s definitely better than its predecessor and can easily be a strong competitor for the iPod Touch. The features that stand out in the Zune HD are the OLED screen powered by the NVIDIA Tegra processor providing a crisp display and the FM/HD radio tuner that lets the user tune in to HD FM channels. With the HD AV dock, you can play the Zune HD videos to any display or receiver via HDMI, optical audio, or component media.
In terms of apps, the iPod Touch still has the advantage as the Zune Marketplace has only about half a dozen apps to offer users right now. If you own or plan to get a Zune HD, don’t let this bother you because Microsoft has promised to offer more apps and games in the Marketplace soon. Although it is an excellent media player, it does have some flaws like it can’t play Flash video when browsing the web, the included desktop software – Zune 4.0 is Windows-only and it lacks codec support (only supports WMV, MPEG-4, and H.264).
If you decide to purchase the Zune HD from the Zune Store, you can customize your player with ready-made custom designs/patterns and choose from 3 different sets – Artist series, MLS (Major League Soccer) and Xbox. If you’re gonna get a 32GB model, you can choose from 4 different colors – Platinum, Red, Blue, and Green.
The Zune HD Video/MP3 Player is now available both online and in stores nationwide. Btw, the Zune HD will only be available here in the US (for now) so for those of you who are living outside the US, you’ll have to ask a family member or friend here in the US to buy it for you.
What do you guys think of the Zune HD media player? If you were gonna buy a media player today, which would you go for – the new iPod Touch or the Zune HD?