UPDATE Aug. 17, 2009: Microsoft updated the Zune HD battery life specifications to now show 33 hours audio and 8.5 hours video. That’s quite competitive with the iPod Touch now.
Wifi is still just b/g, while battery life comes in at the same 24 hours audio, 4 hours video as the older flash-based Zunes, and is 2/3rds what Apple advertises for the iPod Touch (36h/6h). There’s also a little nugget about downloading games.
Wireless: Buy, stream, and update your music â€“ and download free games â€“ wirelessly via a Wi-Fi connection.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw the first hands-on video of the soon-to-be-launched Zune HD. Now, more detailed videos are starting to appear from Engadget and CrunchGear.
First up CrunchGear:
A brief overview of many of the key features are touched upon here. The interface looks great, with transitions as smooth as ever. It has been officially confirmed that NVIDIA’s Tegra is behind the action, and it does a fantastic job. Apparently packing GeForce 6000-series performance, it seems inevitable that some sort of Xbox gaming integration will come. When is the big question.
The other interesting feature is the tight integration with the Zune Marketplace. Biographical information on artists gets downloaded. Furthermore, related artists get pulled up, and at the Albums screen, you can browse for other albums directly on the Marketplace. Couple this with the attractive Zune Pass, and it’s like on-demand music where ever there’s a Wifi hotspot. Sweetness.
Engadget also put up a video:
Again, most of the core features were touched upon. Both videos also showed the browser, although neither in the entirety. However, if you watch both videos, you’ll see the keyboard demo in the Engadget one, and a sample of panning and multi-touch zooming in the CrunchGear version. Overall, the performance is very good, the UI looks absolutely fantastic (it certainly gives the iPod Touch OS a run for its money), and with pricing to be $220 for the 16GB and $300 $290 for the 32GB, not too expensive either. Launch date should be September 18th.
CNet also did a hands-on report a short while ago. Again, generally ecstatic about the device.
I hope more than ever that Microsoft will give these to interns in the fall. And if they don’t, well, I’ll probably fork over the cash for it myself.