Microsoft has not only confirmed officially the price details for its upcoming lineup of digital media player devices designed to go against Apple’s iPod touch, but also gave the green light to pre-orders. Starting today, August 13th, 2009, customers are able to pre-order Zune HD from Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and the Microsoft Store. As previously speculated, the 16Gb version of Zune HD will cost $219.99 while the 32GB flavor will come with a price tag of $289.99. Microsoft emphasized that these were just the estimated retail prices and that actual prices might vary. At the same time, the Redmond company revealed that Zune HD would hit store shelves come September 15th, 2009.
Zune HD is Microsoft’s first touch-enabled Zune device and is positioned as a direct competitor to the iPod touch, offering consumers the advantage of a much smaller price compared to its rival. For the time being, only two flavors of Zune HD are available for pre-order, namely Zune HD in 16GB Black and 32GB Platinum. However, Microsoft indicated that, come September 15th, Zune HD in both 16GB and 32GB capacities would be offered in no less than five different colors. At the same time, customers will have the possibility to customize their digital media players with new content and engravings from Zune Originals.
Zune HD is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra ultralow-power HD processor. Below you will be able to find a description of the features that Zune HD brings to the table, courtesy of Microsoft:
"- Built-in HD Radio receiver. Allows you to listen to higher-quality sound than is available from traditional radio channels, as well as access additional programming through HD2 and HD3 multicast channels from many of your favorite local FM radio stations at no extra cost.
- HD video output capabilities. Supports HD video playback from the device through a premium HDMI A/V docking station (sold separately) directly to an HDTV in 720p, making it easy to enjoy better-than-DVD-quality video on your own big screen at home.
- OLED touch screen. Allows you to easily flip through music, movies and other content. The 3.3-inch glass screen and 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution) offer a premium viewing experience.
- Built-in Wi-Fi. Allows for browsing, streaming or downloading new music from Zune Marketplace.
- Internet browser. Full-screen Web browsing, optimized for the multitouch screen with zoom-in and zoom-out gestures.
- Accessories, at home and on the road. Zune HD and AV Dock charges and syncs players while playing supported 720p HD videos on HDTVs. Play HD Radio, music and podcasts from your Zune HD device through your car stereo using the Zune Premium Car Pack."