Microsoft taking pre-orders for Zune HD media player; $219 for 16GB; Sept. 15

Microsoft taking pre-orders for Zune HD media player; $219 for 16GB; Sept. 15

Summary: Microsoft announced on Thursday that its Zune HD portable digital media player is available now for pre-order.The device is expected to arrive on store shelves on Sept.

SHARE:
48

Microsoft announced on Thursday that its Zune HD portable digital media player is available now for pre-order.

The device is expected to arrive on store shelves on Sept. 15.

[ZDNet Image Gallery: Hands-on with Zune HD]

The player, available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, is the first touch-screen Zune and competes directly with Apple's iPod touch.

[ZDNet Image Gallery: Hands-on with Zune HD browser]

The Zune HD can be ordered in 16GB Black and 32GB Platinum now from the official Zune site and through Amazon.com, Best Buy, Walmart and Microsoft. Beginning Sept. 15, both 16GB and 32GB capacities of Zune HD will be available in five colors with the option of 10 artist-commissioned laser engravings.

Microsoft says the Zune HD is the first to combine the following features:

  • A built-in HD Radio receiver: For higher-quality audio than is available from traditional radio channels and additional HD-only programming.
  • HD video output capabilities: Supports HD video playback from the device through an HDMI A/V docking station (sold separately) directly to an HDTV in 720p.
  • OLED touch screen: A 3.3-inch glass screen and 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution) allow for an extremely bright and crisp display.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi: In addition to Internet browsing, helps with new music from Zune Marketplace.
  • Internet browser: Full-screen Web browsing, optimized for the multitouch screen with zoom-in and zoom-out gestures. Search powered by Bing, of course.

Inside the Zune HD is an NVIDIA Tegra ultralow-power HD processor, by the way.

Pricing for the Zune HD is as follows: 16GB: $219.99; 32GB: $289.99. That makes the Zune HD twice as spacious for the same price as the iPod touch, though Apple is expected to refresh its device in the next month or two.

In addition to placing a pre-order online, you can place a pre-order in person at Best Buy beginning Aug. 16. There will be "sneak peeks" of the device at select stores on Aug. 22 and 23 in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

More on ZDNet:

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

48 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Ah-hahahahahahahaha!

    Stop it! You're killing me!!
    vikingnyc@...
  • another flop

    lack of Linux OS on it will doom this device like it doomed its predecessor.
    Linux Geek
    • I LOVE WINDOWS 7!!!

      Sorry, was that off topic?
      ericesque
    • Linux.... seriously?

      Seriously,Linux users are too cheap to buy a real OS. Why would we think they would pay $200+ on a music player?
      Russedl
      • zune hd

        dont really care about the itouch, the ipod, the me2, etc.
        the zuneHD looks killer and i am glad we have another option in the touch player market.
        And Linux distros suck. Anybody that buys a new laptop immediately wipes the drive and installs XP. Just admit it already, Ubunto is not ready for primetime. And how funny that Ubunto tries to mimic XP. Come on, it sucks.
        ElvisIsntNotDead
    • Not every device.....

      Not every device needs linux on it in order to succeed. The iPOD does NOT use Linux and it is very successful.
      visualambrosia
  • decent price

    It's a decent price for the HD and when Apple presumably
    ups capacities on the next round of iPod Touches it will still
    keep the Zune HD $10 cheaper. The biggest concern I see is
    the AV dock... $90 for the dock! It's a neat feature to output
    720p, but not at a $90 premium over the cost of the Zune.
    JakAttak
    • Don't assume they won't modify their pricing to match it

      not too mention though, the iPod touch allows for apps. No mention of this capability for the Zune HD.

      Although the ability to push HD content from the Zune HD to a 720p capable television is intriguing. But definitely not necessarily a deal maker or breaker.

      No mention of E-mail or Exchange support, Calendaring. All of which for me is a deal breaker. I can use my iPod at work, with the notes capability, intigration with Exchange, and multiple calendaring. Still getting a lot less for the money, if these features are not in this device for the same cost, and if not it will be hard pressed to be a device worth that much to look at and seriously consider.
      xXSpeedzXx
  • The Zune HD hardware is substantially more powerful than any Apple offering

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10308833-64.html
    Qbt
    • You still after all these years don't understand do you?

      I keep running into people who keep bringing up individual pieces
      which I will grant are either not present in any given Apple device or
      tech specs that are more powerful in a given PC or consumer product
      and think it has meaning. It really does not or at least not nearly as
      much meaning as your kind seem to think.

      Apple is not about "features" or "tech specs" both those factors play a
      part and an important one at that but they are NOT the end all, be all
      of any given Apple product.. they are just pieces of a far more
      important or greater whole. Its not the pieces my friend it's how those
      pieces are brought together to make a better whole... a much better
      whole. The UI, the software, the OS, the features, and the hardware.
      Not only those pieces but how they come together.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • RE: Microsoft taking pre-orders for Zune HD media player; $219 for 16GB; Sept. 15

    I'm unlikely to care about how many multiples of 10,000 songs it can hold, or whether or not the album art shows up in HD.

    I'm really not going to spend a lot of time using this "full browser" since there is no keyboard, and the gesture based touch interface is probably on lock-out most of the time so it doesn't accidently change the music...

    Overall - it's still just a music player, which will sound the same as my Soviet-tank-brown original Zune.

    Without something very interesting - not even sure what that would be (how about an Outlook client?) What's the compelling argument to spend $200 - $300 for an upgrade?

    I just don't see it...
    ZvX
  • RE: Microsoft taking pre-orders for Zune HD media player; $219 for 16GB; Sept. 15

    I LOVE WINDOWS 7 AND ZUNE HD!
    Hucko
  • RE: Microsoft taking pre-orders for Zune HD media player; $219 for 16GB; Sept. 15

    Does the Zune work with Linux PCs? If not, it is a dead issue for me, since I'm not about to pay for a grossly overpriced operating system.
    CodeCurmudgeon
    • OMG

      Take your Linux behind and go whine about something worth whining about. I'm guessing you hate iPods as well since iTunes only works on Max OSX and Windows. I swear you guys are just like smear campaigns. Personally, I don't use Apple stuff, I do use Ubuntu from time to time but really, do we have to see your dumb Linux comments everywhere. Microsoft doesn't HAVE to make it sync for anything other than their platform. Complain somewhere else.
      Zedox
  • Interesting but...

    Although the ability to push HD content from the Zune HD to a 720p capable television is intriguing. But definitely not necessarily a deal maker or breaker. But to do so I am required to buy a $90 dock? ouch...

    No mention of E-mail or Exchange support, Calendaring. All of which for me is a deal breaker. I can use my iPod at work, with the notes capability, intigration with Exchange, and multiple calendaring. Still getting a lot less for the money, if these features are not in this device for the same cost, and if not it will be hard pressed to be a device worth that much to look at and seriously consider.

    So without those features, E-mail, Apps, Multi-Calendaring, Task Management this device will flop, even if it remains $10 less the then cheapest iPod touch.

    We will have to see how it stacks up against the iPod refresh coming up.

    Also don't forget all of the DRM content that Zune will force on you...

    Edit: Oh but it comes in 5 colors and 10 possible artist laser etchings...
    xXSpeedzXx
    • DRM

      The only thing that is definitely DRM content is the Zune Pass thing which is voluntary to sign up for. Most of the songs/albums you buy are DRM-free. Also you can burn your own CDs or whatever other stuff you have can be added, so I don't understand where they "force" you to do anything.
      Zedox
      • My experience with Zune

        Zune software when I owned one of the first zunes it was ok in the beginning, but the latest editions are far worse.

        1.) If the Zune software cannot find the album art it gives you no way of matching it up.

        2.) Zune software v2 had renamed my tracks incorrectly, and in incorrect order. Why because it linked up my version of the album with some other version of the release. (Note *while importing my CD collection)

        3.) the DRM sucks. Buy an album from the Zune Marketplace, and if the next month they no longer carry it, you lose the ability to sync, burn, or the ability to redownload it should you need to. Way not cool. I had at least 6 albums that I paid for and lost this way. Zune did reimburse me in terms of "Points" but the hassle of sitting on hold for 30 minutes, only to have a language barrier was enough to turn me away as a customer. Solution: (directly from Zune support) Burn the music you purchase immediately, and then re-rip it back in to remove the DRM. No issues like this with using iTunes. With iTune plus I get DRM free music.

        4.) No way to edit the tracks after the Zune software screws up the order of the tracks and renames them for you. You can attempt to modify it in windows explorer with mixed results.

        That is my experience with zune software.

        edit: IMHO Zune Pass is a rip off. You are paying to lease the music you are listening to. Personally I prefer to purchase my favorite albums for $10 or less, and know that I will always be able to enjoy them. Not to mention it is one less Monthly fee I don't have to worry about and keep track off. If a month gets tight on cash, I don't have to worry about that 15 bucks screwing me up somewhere. Grant it is only 15 dollars, but I pulled myself up out of poverty, and there was times 15 dollars made a big difference if I was going to be able to eat anything for 3 days.
        xXSpeedzXx
        • Why do Apple guys lie so much about MS products?

          [i]1.) If the Zune software cannot find the album art it gives you no way of matching it up.[/i]

          LIE!

          [i]2.) Zune software v2 had renamed my tracks incorrectly, and in incorrect order. Why because it linked up my version of the album with some other version of the release. (Note *while importing my CD collection)[/i]

          LIE! Never had any problem with this although, ironically, my friend had iTunes totally mess up 80% of his music.

          [i]3.) the DRM sucks.[/i]

          LIE! Zune went DRM free before iTunes did. There is DRM on ZunePass but since you were talking about purchasing, not renting, you weren't talking about Zune Pass.

          [i]4.) No way to edit the tracks after the Zune software screws up the order of the tracks and renames them for you.[/i]

          LIE! Seriously, how do you feel good about writing these things?

          [i]IMHO Zune Pass is a rip off.[/i]

          Um, then don't pay for it. Here is another double standard. Macs can run OS X, Windows, and Linux. PCs can only run Windows and Linux. This is constantly brought up as an advantage Mac because Macs give you one extra choice. Now, if you choose [b]not[/b] to run one of those OSs, having that choice isn't a negative, it is simply a positive you choose not to use. Likewise with the Zune Pass. Having the choice to use it, even if you don't, isn't a negative, it is simply a positive you choose not to use. The existence of the Zune Pass, something Apple has no answer for, doesn't in any way prevent you from doing the only thing iTMS allows you to do: buy media.
          NonZealot
          • Isn't he entitled to describe his own experience?

            Clearly your experience, and presumably that of
            most Zune users, is better than Speed's. I'm
            happy for you and I expect that the majority of
            Zune users haven't have the problems described
            by Speed. But, apparently his experience is
            different. Just because someone has a different
            experience doesn't mean they're lying. I don't
            see the need for such a heated and personal
            response.
            People interact with devices differently and
            have different experiences. Their buying habits
            and the recommendations they make on that basis
            may be different from yours. But that doesn't
            mean that they are any less real than yours.
            You could respond by noting that Speed's
            experience is in the minority...but boldly
            declaring him a liar borders on paranoid or
            arrogant. I have seen some of your prior posts
            and I don't believe you're either.
            UGottaBKidding
          • Experience is one thing, this was something else

            If I wrote the following:
            [i]If the iTunes software cannot find the album art it gives you no way of matching it up.[/i]

            Is that experience or is that a factually incorrect statement?


            [i]the DRM (in iTunes) sucks ... With Zune I get DRM free music.[/i]

            Is that experience or is that a factually incorrect statement?

            [i]No way to edit the tracks after the iTunes software screws up the order of the tracks and renames them for you[/i]

            Is that experience or is that a factually incorrect statement?

            He isn't describing his experience, he is lying about documented capabilities of the software. However, I will relent with this one:

            [i]Zune software v2 had renamed my tracks incorrectly[/i]

            This is the only one you may have a point on. I'll take back my statement on that one even though I'm sure he made it up.

            It would be one thing to say that you didn't like the UI, or that it crashed on you, but to lie about what it can or cannot do is simply inexcusable and 3 of his 4 statements had nothing to do with his experience and were written in a way, and about the existence features, not experiences. Big difference.
            NonZealot