Exclusive: Steve Ballmer demos the Zune HD for Engadget!

That's right kids -- Ballmer himself whipped out the newly minted Zune HD for us during D7 and showed off a few of its finer features... including its ability to play a Pixar movie on its gorgeous OLED screen. Also of note, Steve off-handedly mentioned that the device would be shipping in a month, though we can't confirm that that's accurate. Anyhow, these pictures say far more than a thousand words, so just hit the gallery.

Update: Microsoft just pinged to let us know that the Zune HD is still set for a Fall release, not next month.

A few quick impressions we took away:

  • The device was a pre-production model, and Steve had to boot it up -- which can be seen in the shots below.

  • Hardware was surprisingly thin.

  • There's what appears to be a solitary hard button below the screen.

  • Interface was basically the same Zune UI with touch navigation, but very colorful and pretty snappy.

  • The OLED screen looked great.

  • We'll obviously be badgering Microsoft in the coming months for a longer, closer look at the device, but at least it's not just a render anymore.