Fourth-gen iPod touch announced with dual cameras, Retina display, FaceTime

Following the new iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, we got our inevitable new iPod touch announcement with many of the expected specs, but we're happy to see them finally.

Following the new iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, we got our inevitable new iPod touch announcement with many of the expected specs, but we're happy to see them official finally.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs noted during the keynote today that the iPod touch is Apple's "most popular iPod," and often dubbed an iPhone without the phone part...or maybe it's just "contract free." (It didn't help that Jobs kept referring to the iPod touch as a "phone" a few times during the speech.)

But let's get to the important stuff. As expected, the slimmer iPod touch got two cameras: a front-facing VGA camera with FaceTime support as well as a rear camera capable of shooting HD video. Videos can be edited directly on the device and uploaded via Wi-Fi thanks to the new iOS 4.1.

The iPod touch also took some specs from the iPhone 4, including the A4 chip, 3-axis Gyro and all the glory of the Retina display with 4x the pixels, 326ppi, and a 24-bit color, LED-backlit screen. Jobs dubbed it as "the best display in the world." It truly is a clear screen, but does anyone still prefer AMOLED?

Finally, users can expect up to 40 hours of battery life for music playback alone. The iPod touch is available for pre-order today and will be released "next week." Buyers have three capacity and pricing options to choose from: 8GB for $229, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399.

The latter two capacities are still priced the same as the previous generation, but that's a bit of a jump for the 8GB variant, which cost $199 before. Now it's even more expensive than the 16GB iPhone 4, which seems a bit strange considering the iPod touch does lack at least one big feature in comparison. Nevertheless, this one is still contract-free.

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