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Microsoft Zune HD

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  Tags: product reviews   technology   microsoft   portable media players   zune hd


Background

The Microsoft Zune HD is a portable, touch-screen media player. It was first released into retail stores in September of 2009. Similar products include Apple's iPod and Creative Labs Zen players.
 

Arguments For

Pros

Pricing

Retail $289.99 is a good price (MSRP).

Applications

Zune apps are freely downloadable.[1]

Hardware Capabilities

3.3" OLED (480x272 resolution) screen.[1]
Wireless music streaming through 802.11b/g.[1]
HD video out to TV for viewing 720p video on a HDTV screen.[2] (AV Dock sold separately for about $90)
HD Radio capability
SD video out
FM Tuner
8.5hrs video battery life
33hrs audio battery life

Usability

Headphone jack is on the bottom of the unit.

Benefits Over 2nd Gen Apple iPod Touch

Zune is about $100 cheaper than the iPod
Zune has HD Radio capability, iPod does not
Zune has a longer video battery life, iPod has 6hrs
Zune has a FM tuner, iPod does not
Zune has an "All you can eat" subscription, iPod does not
Zune has wireless PC sync, iPod does not
Zune has XBOX integration, iPod does not

Benefits Over Creative ZEN X-Fi 2

Zune has a larger screen, X-Fi is 3.0" TFT
Zune has higher resolution, X-Fi is 400x240
Zune has longer audio battery life, X-Fi has 25hrs
Zune has longer video battery life, X-Fi has 5hrs
Zune has HD Radio, FM Tuner, XBOX integration, wireless PC sync, All-you-can-eat Subscription, and HD video out; X-Fi has none of these.

Arguments Against

Cons

Pricing

Retail $289.99 is too expensive (MSRP).

Applications

Lack of available Zune apps.[1]
Lack of any good built-in Zune apps.[2]
No open apps.

Hardware Capabilities

Only 16- and 32-GB models available[1]
Does not have 802.11n support[1].
No camera.
No built-in speakers.

Usability

Drawbacks compared to 2nd Gen Apple iPod Touch

iPod has a larger 3.5" screen
iPod has a higher resolution 480x320 screen
iPod has a longer audio battery life, Zune has 36hrs
iPod has over 15,000 apps available, Zune has less than 1,000

Drawbacks compared to Creative ZEN X-Fi 2

X-Fi costs about $100 less than Zune
X-Fi has expandable memory, Zune does not[3]
X-Fi has integrated voice recorder, Zune does not.
X-Fi has a built-in speaker, Zune does not.
X-Fi supports FLAC, a lossless audio format, Zune does not.

Sources


 1  First Look: Zune HD Sept 15, 2009 Anderson, Nate (ArsTechnica.com)
 2  Microsoft's Zune HD player: It's still no iPod Sept 16, 2009 Colker, David (LA Times)
 3  Creative ZEN X-Fi2 Fetched Sept 19, 2009 (Creative.com)
 4  Side by side comparison between the Zune HD and iPod Touch. Fetched Sept 19, 2009 (Zunip.com)

Commercial Links

Microsoft's Official Zune HD Website
Amazon.com's Product Page on the Microsoft Zune HD

Related Debates

Microsoft (NYSE:MSFT)
Microsoft Windows 7
Apple vs Microsoft

User Comments & Opinion

 
25.0%
75.0%

1 Voted Yes

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Always good to see competition against Apple! Makes everyone better. - thorie 0

3 Voted No

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Its another copycat iPhone/iTouch in theory... no true diversity - _fraz_ (twitter) vote up image vote down image +1
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I think it's still far behind Apple. - thorie (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
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The iPhone looks cuter. - jennyhooah (twitter) vote up image vote down image -1
 
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