Zune HD

Few products dominate their market to the extent that the Apple iPod does. It has been the undisputed champion of portable music players since it was first introduced in 2001. But in the past few years, Microsoft have been chipping away at the extraordinary market share of the iPod with their Zune range. The Zune HD is the latest model to be released and replaces some of the older models. The most remarkable features of the Zune HD are its high definition radio and video output, something that has not been seen on a Zune before. It also has a large touch-sensitive screen which puts it in the same class as the Apple iPod Touch.

Microsoft are famous for their Windows operating system, which can be found on a large majority of the desktop computers used today. They are also well known for their range of home and business software, such as the popular Microsoft Office suite. In recent years, Microsoft have expanded into other markets, such as portable computers and video game consoles. Their Zune range of portable music players has proven successful since the first model was launched in late 2006. While the Zune range is growing in popularity with consumers, Microsoft has a long way to go before they starts to seriously challenge the formidable popularity of the Apple iPod range. But the recent launch of the Zune HD will certainly help them move closer to that goal.

The Zune HD is available in two capacities and five colors, but no limited editions have been released so far. The 16GB model sells for $220 and can hold about 4000 songs or 5 hours of HD video. The 32GB model sells for $290 and can hold twice as much media. Of course, the amount of media will be less if it has above average quality. Unlike the older models that had a miniature hard drive, the Zune HD stores its media on Flash memory chips which use less power. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts for around 33 hours when the Zune HD is used to play songs, but this drops to around 8.5 hours when it is used to play videos. The battery can be recharged from a USB port on a computer or from a USB wall adapter.

The high definition radio and video output gives the Zune HD a major advantage over the iPods and its other competitors, including the new generation mobile phones that also function as media players. By using the AV dock, high definition movies stored on a Zune HD can be shown on any HDTV. The 3.3?OLED screen is touch sensitive and has a resolution of 272 by 480 pixels. The widescreen aspect ratio allows videos to take up the entire screen, although sitting through an entire movie at that resolution would be a challenge on any device. However, it is good for watching short clips, such as music videos and movie trailers.

Just as Apple has its popular iTunes website, Microsoft also has an online store where customers can purchase and download digital media. The Zune Marketplace was launched at the same time as the first Zune model and offers music, movies, games, and applications. Customers do not have to own a Zune to use the Marketplace, but it helps because of the Wi-Fi connectivity built into every Zune. Out of all the models in the Apple iPod range, only the iTouch and the iPhone have Wi-Fi. This allows media to be downloaded directly to a player without the hassle of connecting it to a computer first. Of course, the player needs to be within range of a wireless router or hotspot in order to download, but hotspots are readily available in most towns these days.

This Zune HD Review is Written/Updated on Nov 29th, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed