Microsoft's latest generation Zune is arguably the greatest with multi-touch support, fast processor, slim form factor, and overall UI improvements. The 32GB Zune HD is now available to purchase for just under $300 and if you are looking for a powerful portable media center then this may be one to consider. The Zune Pass is a great deal for $15 per month where you get to select 10 songs to purchase, download, and keep forever while listening to millions of other songs as much as you want.
The box really is very compact and you can see the Zune HD on the back cover. It looks similar to an HTC Hero, without the chin.
You slide the top up and it reveals the Zune HD wrapped in plastic and sitting in a formed area.
Other box contents are found under the Zune HD.
All of this fits into that tiny box.
There are different colored earbud covers included in the box.
This is found on the lower left side of the Zune HD.
The Zune HD has a svelte form factor and is surprisingly much more compact than I imagined it would be.
Here you can see the first generation Zune with the Zune HD in the middle and my small 4GB Zune on the far right.
This gives you an idea about the thicknesses.
The Zune HD is as thin as my super compact Zune 4GB and not that much wider.
The power button has changed from a sliding switch, which I liked, to a button. The slider was nice to easily lock the device and now you press once to turn off the display.
Here you can see that the backs each have a Zune logo, but that is about all that is the same.
You can see the angled sides of the back in this shot.
There is only one button on the front and that takes you back to the home screen.
Here is the screensaver image loaded by default showing off the display.
Here are the available menu items. You can see the small left menu over on the left sort of behind the main menu.
Your pinned items, history, and new files/apps appear in this quick left menu.
These are the new items in the left menu list.
The music collection appears here in this album view. Note the letters that appear in line with the albums. Tapping the top letters that are partially shown takes you back one level in the menu system.
This is what a typical screen looks like when you select a song to play.
This is a shot of the video menu. You can see parts of V-I-D-E in the top that you tap to go back.
Tapping the display or pressing the left media key brings up this pop-up display for controlling your media.
This is a typical photo view on the Zune HD.
You can tap and zoom, much like the iPod/iPhone, to look at closer details of photos.
One app you get is a calculator.
You can use the keyboard to search for music and also enter URLs in the web browser. There is no predictive text functionality.
As you hover over an area the letter you want to enter appears in bold.
There are a few settings you can change for your desired usage.
Unfortunately, mobile versions are served up in the browser and there appears to be no way to change this in the settings.
The accelerometer automatically switches between landscape and portrait.
Isn't it cool how multiple stations can be assigned to the same frequency and give you more choices?