Zune HD review roundup: excellent hardware and UI, apps lacking

Some sites received Zune HD review units from Microsoft (I had to buy mine), but they were not able to post their reviews since Microsoft had to flip the Zune 4.0 server switch on the 15th. We are now seeing lots of detailed reviews coming in for the Zune HD and overall the impressions are that it is a fantastic media player that is the Zune we have all been wanting from the start. It is obvious it cannot compete with the iPod touch in terms of apps, but this is just the start and that may change in the future. The Zune Pass is the really defining feature that stands out from the iPods though and if you have a limited personal music collection the Zune HD can be a killer media player.

Some sites received Zune HD review units from Microsoft (I had to buy mine), but they were not able to post their reviews since Microsoft had to flip the Zune 4.0 server switch on the 15th. We are now seeing lots of detailed reviews coming in for the Zune HD and overall the impressions are that it is a fantastic media player that is the Zune we have all been wanting from the start. It is obvious it cannot compete with the iPod touch in terms of apps, but this is just the start and that may change in the future. The Zune Pass is the really defining feature that stands out from the iPods though and if you have a limited personal music collection the Zune HD can be a killer media player.

I posted my first impressions a couple of days ago and will post my thoughts after more usage when my FC Sounders customized blue Zune Original arrives, which should be next week. Some other reviews I recommend you check out as you try to figure out if the Zune HD is for you are the following:

As I first pointed out, and others also later picked up on, there are pre-roll still and video ads in the 7 free games. I also compared the web browser to the latest Internet Explorer Mobile 6 browser and the browser limitations were pointed out in most of the reviews.

It seemed that even die-hard Apple fans appreciated the user interface and hardware of the Zune HD, but some still don't see the value in the Zune device.

Do you know of any other Zune reviews I should include in my list?