The Zune HD is the latest portable media player from Microsoft in their Zune lineup. Its the first touch screen portable media player in the Zune HD lineup and packs some great features.
Zune HD Quick Specs
- Mutli-Touch screen
- OLED Screen
- Nvidia Tegra Processor
- HD Playback up to 720p (With external docking station)
- HD Radio
With that list of specs you expect either great player or a hot mess and this is isn’t just a great player. Its an Awesome player. Starting with the size and the looks of the Zune HD which are great and feel good in the hand. The screen is solid and looks awesome which is on par and somewhat better than the Cowon S9 AMOLED screen. The menus system works great and is a refreshing and different interface than from the iPod which most people are used to so there will be a small learning curve but not much as its simple to navigate. The Audio quality is great and every sounds clear and crisp when playing music and videos. There is a EQ on the Zune HD but its far below and lacking in customization that the Cowon S9 EQ settings have. Hopefully they will step it up in this department but it shouldn’t be dealbreaker.
The Zune HD matches the iPod in every category with the exception of two which would be Apps and Browser. The browser is a very good first start for the device but isn’t as good and featured as Safari on the iPod Touch or other mobile browsers but this should pick up with updates. There are some free available right now in the Zune Marketplace but its limited to about 8 or 9 right now and since the SDK for the Zune HD was released the same day it came out its going to take some time before we start seeing more apps. However the apps and games should be good as Microsoft has approached iPhone/iPod developers for porting their apps to Zune and Xbox live games can be ported over as well. The Zune desktop software is probably the best media player I have ever used. Its quick, simple, beautiful and has iTunes beat hands down. With the Zune Pass which for $15/month you can download and stream all the media in the store and get to keep 10 songs free with no DRM. This is great for those that love music and want to get as much as that can and always have their player full.
That’s just a small list of features the Zune HD has and with the combination of Zune Desktop Software which is amazing and Zune Pass it makes it a complete portable media package. I believe this is a great competitor to the iPod and if your in the market for a new portable player check out the video review.