Sure, it was fun to have Ballmer run us through
a little demo of the new Zune HD
, but we'd be remiss in our duties if we didn't spend some time manhandling the device ourselves. We managed to track down the beast and toy with it a bit, and we must say... the thing kind of rocks. In your hand the Zune HD has a nice, solid feel, with good heft to it and a surprisingly thin profile. The OLED screen looks absolutely stunning -- even at severe viewing angles, colors were super bright, edges were crisp, and text looked beautiful. The UI is an extension of the existing Zune interface, but way tricked out in this version, with lots of flipping images, scaling text, smooth scrolling, and an extreme emphasis on simple visual navigation. While the OS isn't finished, we didn't notice a single hiccup while jumping through menus or playing back HD video. We'll definitely have more on this in the near future, but for now, you'll have to manage with this handful of images.
Zune HD hands-on