Zune HD unboxing and hands-on

The Zune HD is soon to be officially out on the streets, and we've got the official Engadget hands-on / unboxing. Now, we were excited as all get-out to wrap our paws around the Tegra-powered PMP, but some of that luster has worn off since popping this baby out of its extremely attractive packaging. Why is that, you ask? Well, Microsoft decided to hold on loading up any usable software until the new Zunes were out to market. What that means is that we have yet to do any serious testing with the new device -- despite having the gem sitting right here. We can tell you that the Zune HD is most definitely a thing of beauty as far as gadget standards are concerned, and while the only media we've been able to enjoy is the big M's demo video, we have been marveling at the clarity and crispness of that OLED display.

Obviously we've got a proper review coming soon, but we take this stuff pretty seriously and don't like to offer our opinion till we've spent some quality time with a device. You can expect a look at both the music and media playback capabilities of the ZHD, as well as the new Zune integration into Xbox Live, Windows Media Center, and all other kinds of connected-world goodness. Till then, feast your eyes on the galleries below, and quietly curse Microsoft for handing us a neutered Zune.

Update: As a commenter points out below, these devices are being sold to end users in the same condition our unit is in -- namely, without any real functioning software. It's a pretty unusual move for a company like Microsoft to put devices into the hands of consumers with no functionality at all, but it seems the Zune team was cranking till the last minute. Let's hope all the hard work pays off!