It seems like it took the designers and engineers at Microsoft two and a half years to figure out something that a lot of us already knew - that a small, touch-screen, solid-state media player (just like the iPod touch!) is what people really want in a portable media player.
Here's what we know:
- Touchscreen - The Zune HD will feature a 3.3-inch, 480 x 272 16:9 OLED capacitive touchscreen display. This is smaller than the 320 x 480 screen on the iPod touch/iPhone and a lot smaller than the 480 x 800 screens on the high-end Windows Mobile devices. It is however OLED.
- HD video out - The Zune HD is capable of outputting 720p HD TV using the Zune AV dock (sold separately).
- Wireless - Connect to WiFi hotspots to surf the web and buy content for your Zune HD from Microsoft.
- HD radio - Listen to the radio when on the move.
- Xbox integration - Seriously, this is something that the original Zune should have done.
There are a number of unknowns, including price and capacity. I have to say though, that from the photos it looks like a much smarter device than the current Zune line up. That said, I do feel that it needs more to distinguish it from the iPod touch on the features front.