We love a good non-mystery around here, and Microsoft's new Zunes are about as un-mysterious as they get. But we also love a good product refresh, and now that the cat's officially out of the bag we can really dig into the new Zunes, which definitely have a lot going for them. There's plenty to cover, so here's what you need to know.
Hard drive Zunes
- It's called the Zune 80 and, shockingly enough, it has 80GB of storage.
- Uses the new Zune Pad -- four way touch-sensitive d-pad (with up, down, left, and right buttons).
- It will sell for $250 (with "premium" headphones).
- Available only in black (to start).
- Screen size has increased to 3.2-inches (from 3-inches). As far as we know the resolution is still QVGA.
- Dimensions are 61.1 x 108.2 x 12.9mm (2.4 x 4.25 x 0.5-inches), some 1/3rd smaller than the classic Zune.
- The classic Zune will now be known as the Zune 30 -- it's not going anywhere. More on that in a sec.
- Zune 8 and Zune 4 are the names for the 8 and 4GB flash based models.
- Also uses the Zune Pad.
- These will sell for $200 and $150 respectively.
- Both will be available in pink, green, black, and red.
- It will feature a 1.8-inch screen (compare to the nano's 2-inch screen).
- Dimensions are 41.4 x 91.5 x 8.5mm (1.6 x 3.6 x 0.33-inches) -- compare to the new iPod nano, at 69.8 x 52.3 x 6.5mm (2.75 x 2.0 x 0.26-inches).
- New Zunes ship in November, date not yet announced.
- All Zunes (including the Zune 30) will have a new, redesigned interface and feature parity. In other words, early Zune 30 adopters will have all the same software features as new Zune 80, 8, and 4 users.
- Additional native video codecs for h.264 and MPEG-4 -- users no longer need transcode those file types to WMV.
- Zune can FINALLY sync video from your Media Center PC! Jeez, took you friggin long enough, guys!
- WiFi sync to host computer! Includes moving over music, movies, photos, podcasts, etc.
- Podcast support! (Sorry, no over the air downloads -- sync only.) Podcasts can also be shared via WiFi.
- The 3x3 song sharing DRM has had its three day restriction removed, but users can still only play files three times.
- There is still NO wireless music store.
- The Zune software is all new and rewritten, and is supposed to actually be more than a rebadge of WMP10 now. Friggin finally.
- The Zune music store is going DRM-free, with over 1m MP3 tracks being made available for download. Other details (like which labels, whether there is a DRM-free upgrade path is for users who've bought music with DRM, price differences, etc.) are not yet revealed.
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Microsoft's new Zunes: officially in 80, 8, and 4GB sizes
New Zune accessories
- Zune Home AV Pack ($99.99) - "Home Dock with three faceplates to accommodate each Zune device, wireless remote, AC adaptor and composite AV output cable."
- Zune Dock Pack ($49.99) - "Home Dock with three faceplates to accommodate each Zune device and AC adapter."
- Zune Car Pack ($79.99) - "Redesigned FM transmitter/charger and dashboard grip pad."
- Zune Cable Pack ($39.99) - "Sync cable, composite AV output cable and audio cable."
- Zune Premium Headphones ($39.99)
- Zune Leather Case ($49.99)
- Zune Sync Cable ($19.99)
- Zune AC Adapter ($29.99)