Zune HD now available
Microsoft first came up with the Zune to go up against the Apple iPod, but their initial outing wasn’t spectacular in any way, and was by far a failure in terms of sales comparison figures. The iPod has been established for quite some time already, and it doesn’t look too easy to knock it off its perch anytime soon – just ask the slew of manufacturers who churn out portable media players and they’ll agree with you. Funny to see so many people slugging it out for second spot. Well, Microsoft is not one to give up so easily (just take a look at the Xbox 360), and has finally made available their next generation portable media player official – the Zune HD. It will be accompanied by a powerful update to the Zune PC software which is free for download, enabling users to purchase or rend standard- and high-definition (HD) movies right from the Zune Marketplace online store, while taking advantage of a new streaming music service on Zune.net that allows one to enjoy music they like from a Web browser.
The Zune HD is no slouch when it comes to its hardware and innards – after all, you get an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) multitouch screen, the vaunted NVIDIA Tegra HD processor and HD Radio capabilities alongside software advancements including the new Quickplay menu, a well-featured Web browser, and engaging music and video playback features that will definitely bring the portable listening and viewing experience to a new level. The Quickplay menu system also makes it a snap to access frequently visited content with but a touch, doing away with the need to sift through layers of menus just to access the right file.
It also comes with a built-in FM tuner, a slew of new casual games and non-gaming functionality to keep you productive on the road including a calculator and an MSN Weather application. You can pick up the black 16GB version for $219.99 while the platinum 32GB version is going for $289.99. Any takers?