Microsoft's Zune HD ... looks an awful lot like an iPod touch to me

Microsoft's Zune HD ... looks an awful lot like an iPod touch to me

Summary: 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.

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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.

[poll id="464"]

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.

Interested?

Topics: Microsoft, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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119 comments
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  • Yummy looks and likely better sound than any iPod

    Looks are good and the Zune has similar or better features as the iPod Touch and if it is anything like previous Zunes it has superior sound quality over the iPod as well
    IE11
    • Yes, the 1s and 0s are straighter and rounder than the iPod's. [nt]

      [nt]
      olePigeon
      • LOL! [nt]

        :-D
        pairof9s
      • Do you listen to 1s and 0s?

        No, you don't, you listen to the output of a DAC that turns the 1s and 0s into an analog signal. iPods have [b]notoriously[/b] bad DACs. This is common knowledge to all but the most indoctrinated Apple zealot.
        NonZealot
        • @NonZealot

          Care to provide some links?
          Axsimulate
    • Great, comments about specs on a device he never used

      Credibility = ZERO
      ThePrairiePrankster
      • I can't be 100% sure...

        ...but I think he was talking about the iPod touch vs. the [i]current[/i] Zunes when he was talking about most of those features. There are a few things (e.g.,, wireless sync, built-in radio, etc.) And while I don't know how the Zune sounds personally, I know that the iPod has never been the top in terms of sound quality.

        None of that may matter to most people, but they are differences.
        bhartman36
        • Zune's tend to color the music more by default.

          With the iPod Touch's sound a bit more flat. Personally, I want my
          music to sound flat (as it was recorded) without artificially increased
          base to attempt to add "depth". Some people will equate this to
          "better'.

          Neither sound as good as a good high end (Martin Logan with Krell
          mono-block amps for example) set up correctly. However, the iPod is
          a bit closer IMO.

          The Zune seems a bit "deeper" by default but this can be tweaked on
          either unit. So the iPod can be made to sound like a Zune and visa-
          versa.

          Neither match a really high end setup but both sound pretty darn
          good.
          Bruizer
    • Koolade

      Looks better? The Zune has a smaller screen. It is in every way smaller than the Ipod touch and you expect better sound too? Look, I am not saying the sound will suck but I am not swallowing it up like you for sure. I do think it's nice to see some competition for the Ipod for once, just don't start the wild accusations.
      spikedstrider
      • wild accusations?

        My good friend had an ipod and when his wife wanted one he gave her the ipod and bought a Zune and he stated that the sound quality was better on the Zune. I am sure he knows how to tweak the sound so I would go with someone that has experience with both over some people here that see these devices from a distance.

        Its the same old garbage that you hear from people about Vista being so horrible. Maybe I am just lucky but it works like a charm for me. Its like I live in the twilight zone hearing some of these flat out lies from people. If the Zune had an Apple logo on it I can assure you that it would be much more accepted. If I am wrong please tell me exactly why the Zune sucks so much over the ipod instead of the old "mine is better than yours" argument?
        OhTheHumanity
  • RE: Microsoft's Zune HD ... looks an awful lot like an iPod touch to me

    The new Zune will be filled with draconian DRM if it is like
    other MS products. Will it have a remote kill switch if the
    DRM is violated? Will it have WGA like other MS products?
    Will it have a back door so that authorities can examine the
    contents easily? Has it been approved by the RIAA and
    MPAA?
    gertruded
    • Sounds alot like.....

      The iphone. Its got a kill switch to do whatever Apple wants. Which is the backdoor for Apple to examine your device. DRM is dying and you can get DRM free music from the Zune marketplace. I would find it hard to pirate the Zune so WGA is a non issue, duh! So I think your above reference was mostly aimed at Apple. Actually your post came of very whiney and kind of pathetic since you ignore Apples own doings.
      OhTheHumanity
  • RE: Microsoft's Zune HD ... looks an awful lot like an iPod touch to me

    HD Radio? That sounds really cool! Capacitive touchscreen means that it won't have multi-touch, but that really isn't a useful feature anyway. HD Video out might be cool, too.

    To that other poster: Zune Marketplace offers songs in both DRM and DRM-free flavors. What significance would WGA have on a portable music player? I think you forgot to take off your anti-Microsoft goggles.
    jamesayton
    • Anyone recall the playsforsure debacle from Microsoft.

      You really have to feel bad for all the users who got burned by Microsoft.

      BUYER BEWARE !!!
      Intellihence
      • And what of Apples dropping...

        The newton or the Power PC support? What of the use of propietory hardware in their intel machines??
        What a non issue. You do realize play for sure was going nowhere. MS smart play was to break from it and push their own hardware/software integration to go after the Ipod.
        CrashPad
        • Me thinkith you protest too much...

          Apple has innovated on their own and yes they have used the innovations of others as well. The difference is Apple has taken these innovations and produced products that are elegant, useful, stable and just plain cool. Now let's see, Microsoft tried copying the iPod with the Zune and it failed. Then they copied OS X with Vista and it failed. Now they are trying to copy the iPhone and iPod Touch, and guess what, it will fail too. Microsoft just isn't good at innovation. Even when they have models to copy from, they still seem unable to get things right. Until Microsoft gets rid of that embarrassment of a CEO Monkey Boy Ballmer, they will continue to fail in future technologies. The company is in severe need of an intelligent visionary leader that can bring them into the 21st century. Making mediocre ripoffs of other companies innovations isn't the way to win back customers.
          gregory.dworak@...
          • Do you actually believe what you write?

            Seriously?
            Sleeper Service
          • Apsolutely...

            If I didn't believe it, I wouldn't write it. I think I wrote accurately and thoughtfully. What would you like to dispute in what I wrote.
            gregory.dworak@...
          • @Sleeper Service

            What gregory.dworak wrote was pretty accurate. If you don't believe it then you really are asleep. How about coming up with some hard facts that show otherwise.
            Axsimulate
          • @axsimulate

            What gregory.dwoark wrote was nothing more than his opinion and was not (IMHO) at all accurate.

            Why should sleeper service be required to counter biased opinion with nothing other than "some hard facts"?

            rtk