Microsoft's new Zunes: officially in 80, 8, and 4GB sizes

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.

New flash Zunes

  • 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).

Everything else

  • 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.

Accessories info after the break.


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)