RELAX. Microsoft's new Zune has been redesigned from the ground up, and the result is pretty darned cool. Here is the article from Wired.com:
Okay, read it? Great. Many of the changes found in the 80GB version also carry over to the smaller 8GB and 4GB versions. Most notably, the physical interface is the same simple, three button layout, the GUI is virtually identical, and the new software is clean and intuitive to use.
That being said, the 8GB version is definitely a different animal from its bigger 80GB brother, differentiating itself in several key ways. Here, let's break it down, shall we?
While the 80GB Zune comes in ony a deep black noir finish, the flash based Zunes can be found in green, pink, red, and black colors. Fun fun fun.
PortabilityThis is where the 8GB Zune really stands out. Weighing in at 1.7 ounces, it felt like carrying next to nothing in a pocket. Battery life was also rather impressive too. Microsoft claims up to 24 hours of continuous audio playback time and four hours of video. While estimates like these are typically wildly optimistic at best, they actually are fairly accurate in the case of the 8GB Zune. We eeked out roughly 20 hours of continuous audio playback and a little over three hours of video.Performance Just as we described with the the 80GB review, the Zune performs well as a media player. Audio is clean with minimal distortion — provided you are not using the included headphones. The laughably awful included earbuds are not to be used under any circumstances. Not only do they distort at high and low ranges, but they also become irritating and uncomfortable to wear after a surprisingly short time. Do yourself a favor and invest in some good headphones or 'buds. Your ears will thank you for this.
Video playback is smooth with WMV, h.264 , MPEG-4, and DVR-MS formats supported. Battery life also allows for the viewing of an entire feature length film, but the diminutive screen makes this an eye straining experience.
All Said And Done
We mentioned that the 80GB Zune should recieve a 6.5 point score but ended up giving it a 6 because of some minor issues. Not with the 8GB version. This media player is a straight shot to 6-ville. While it is a vast improvement over past versions of the Zune, it does fall short in several key areas — namely the atrocious earbuds and underachieving battery.
Now, would I recommend the Zune 2? Yes I would, but only for certain folks. The player is such a huge improvement over last-gen Zunes, it's easy to get blinded by new features and become enamored with what look like revolutionary changes. Don't be. When compared to other flash based media players out there, the Zune definitely holds its on, but doesn't really stand out in any one particular area. While, it's unlikely to convert any one who owns an iPod Nano at this point, those seeking out a good Nano alternative or those who simply despise Apple products (c'mon, we know you're out there) will find the 8GB flash based Zune a worthy investment.
(It's me again)
Wait! I am done yet! If you are interested in splurging for the 80GB version, the review can be found here
WOA!!!! lets get a little price perspective here before you all hit the nearest BestBuy:
Zune 2.0 8Gb-$200 (not to shabby for a new release)
Zune 2.0 80Gb-$ 250 (Holy sh**!!!!!!!! only 50 more bucks for 10 times the memory!? Bill Gates really is a god.)
Alright so thats the word for today, untill next time, Happy Listening!