The new Zunes are official so let's get to it: a spec-by-spec scrap between Redmond's new Zunes and Cupertino's formidable iPod foe. Unfortunately, Microsoft failed to mention the all important battery performance of their new gear in addition to a few other minor details. Microsoft fans will tell you that's due to an iPhone-like surprise close to the November launch while haters will jump to the conclusion that this is a definite sign of trouble. Still even without that morsel, there's plenty of data to masticate for comparison.

The Zune 80GB certainly holds its own when pitted against the 80GB iPod classic on a specification table. That's not the case, however, with the iPod touch as long as you're willing to sacrifice the bytes for the touch's bigger display and heftier price tag. It's a tougher call on the flash-based Zune vs. the iPod nano -- just how important is WiFi to you on a 1.8-inch display? None of this, of course, accounts for the oh so important user experience or the ecosystems supporting their respective players. As such, we'll reserve final judgment until we have the new Zunes in-hand. Until then you'd best dig in fanboys, that November release is a long way off. The tables that follow will provide the fuel to fight the flame wars in the weeks to come.

Update: Battery data updated with information found on Amazon.com.

The Zune 80 with its big 3.2-inch display fits right in between Apple's iPod classic and iPod touch models. As such, we'll give you all three in a side-by-side comparison. Since Microsoft is a bit light on the specs, we've plugged in the information we reasonably expect to carry over from the 1st generation Zune -- otherwise, it's To Be Determined:

Feature Zune 80GB
iPod classic 80GB
iPod touch 8GB
Price
$249.99
$249.00
$299.00
Size (inches) 4.3 x 2.4 x 0.51 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.41 4.3 x 2.4 x 0.31
Weight (ounces)
4.5 4.9 4.2
Display (inches) 3.2 2.5
3.5
Display Type
LCD LCD (LED backlight)
Touch-sensitive LCD
Resolution 320 x 240 (expected)
320 x 240
480 x 320
Navigation Zune Pad Click Wheel Multi-touch
WiFi Yes (802.11b/g expected) No 802.11b/g
Wireless Sync Yes No No
Wireless Share Yes No No
Wireless Store No No Yes
Web Browser No No Yes
Battery 20 hours music (WiFi off) / 5 hours video
30 hours music / 5 hours video
22 hours music / 5 hours video
Battery Charge Time
2.25 hours / 1.25 hour to 90% via USB
4 hours / 2 hours to 80%
3 hours / 1.5 hours to 80%
Audio Support
WMA, protected WMA, WMA Lossless, MP3, MP3 VBR, AAC (expected)
AAC, protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple lossless, WAV, and AIFF
AAC, protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple lossless, WAV, and AIFF
Video Support
WMV, H.264, MPEG-4
H.264, MPEG-4 H.264, MPEG-4
FM Tuner
Yes No
No
Headphones "Premium" earbuds
Apple earbuds Apple earbuds
PC / Mac compatible
Yes / No
Yes / Yes
Yes / Yes
Client Software
Zune Software
iTunes
iTunes
Colors Black Silver, Black Black

Now on to the flash-based Zunes which like Apple's best selling iPod nano, will likely be Microsoft's top sellers:

Feature Zune
4 / 8GB
iPod nano
4 / 8GB
Price
$149.99 / $199.99
$149.00 / $199.00
Size (inches) 1.6 x 3.6 x 0.33
2.8 x 2.1 x 0.26
Weight (ounces)
1.7 1.7
Display (inches) 1.8 2.0
Display Type
LCD LCD (LED backlight)
Resolution 320 x 240
320 x 240
Navigation
Zune Pad
Click Wheel
WiFi Yes (802.11b/g expected)
No
Wireless Sync Yes No
Wireless Share Yes No
Wireless Store No No
Web Browser No No
Battery 20 hours music (WiFi off) / 4 hours video
24 hours music / 5 hours video
Battery Charge Time
2.5 hours / 1.5 hours to 90% via USB
3 hours / 1.5 hours to 80%
Audio Support
WMA, protected WMA, WMA Lossless, MP3, MP3 VBR, AAC (expected)
AAC, protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple lossless, WAV, and AIFF
Video Support
WMV, H.264, MPEG-4
H.264, MPEG-4
FM Tuner
Yes No
Headphones Microsoft earbuds
Apple earbuds
PC / Mac compatible
Yes / No
Yes / Yes
Client Software
Zune Software
iTunes
Colors Pink, Green, Black, Red Silver, Black, Blue, Green, (PRODUCT) RED

Oh, here's what Zune "premium" headphones look like. Sorry, no useful data but that cable has a certain rugged, mountaineering look to it dontchathink?

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Zune vs. iPod specification smackdown