Mention portable media players and most probably the first thing that comes into your mind would be Apple’s iPod family, be it the Classic, nano, touch or shuffle. Well, many other players have tried to grab a slice of this apple pie (forgive the pun), but failed miserably not for the lack of effort, but simply because Cupertino’s design and user experience was ahead of everybody else. Microsoft too, entered the portable media player market some time back with their line of Zunes, although they weren’t too successful in the end. This time round, Microsoft aims to improve on their previous showing by coming up with the Zune HD that will hit retail shelves next month on the 15th, featuring powerful playback technology, touchscreen capability (finally!) and a host of software as well as online services to offer a rich and meaningful connection to music, videos and podcasts among others. We sure hope the Zune HD will be able to offer more of a challenge, and like how the Xbox 360 made a strong case for itself in the world of video games, this second generation hardware ought to “finish the fight” – with Master Chief cheering in the background.
You will be able to place your pre-order for the Zune HD from a variety of sources, with the usual suspects such as Amazon.com, Best Buy, Walmart and Microsoft all in it together. The 16GB model will come in black, while the 32GB model is laced in platinum color for that added touch of elegance (and superiority whenever you whip it out). Microsoft will also make available five other colors for both models in due time, although they have not yet mentioned what those color choices are. In the meantime, you can also opt for one of 10 new engravings on the Zune HD courtesy of guest artists to take personalization of the device to a greater degree.
Microsoft has slated the Zune HD 16GB to go for $219.99 while the 32GB Zune HD 32GB will peg you back by $289.99.