As the Microsoft userbase should know by now, the Windows maker introduced its first touchscreen, portable media player at the D7 technology show on Thursday. Surprisingly, those who've had a hands-on with the device have characterized it as quite impressive, and downright better than the iPod touch.
In what is sure not to resonate with Apple fans' view of a portable player, Brian Lam at Gizmodo claims the device is “tighter and more physically beautiful than the iPod Touch.” Moreover, the device (in the author's opinion) “has got a better UI,” with the main menu's scrolling feeling particularly “natural through the swipe gestures.”
Microsoft has placed the power button on top, with the home button below and to the left of the screen (as the device is held vertically). Under the volume toggle, there was a note saying "Hello from Seattle," according to the report.
Speaking about the home button in particular, the tester found it “nice and prominent,” though smaller than the one found on Apple's devices, describing it as “a bar rather than a round button.” The report also suggests that, although the device is sleek and extremely user-friendly, early adopters will not benefit from the variety of software applications that iPod touch users are enjoying.
While Softpedia hasn't been lucky enough to get a hands-on with the Zune HD just yet, I'm holding off any compliments regarding the aesthetics of the device, being quite taken by Apple's designs. And, as I'm sure readers of our Mac section agree, Microsoft's approach is not at all surprising.
Admittedly, the Zune HD isn't half bad (looking), while the hands-on video does show an impressively accurate and fast response to accelerometer input. However, history has shown that a good way to sell a product is by intriguing the customer. Microsoft has played it safe here, carefully building a device that looks normal enough not to frighten potential buyers, whereas Apple experiments, innovates and, in most cases, delivers the most amazing products on the market.
- Speaking of which, I can't wait to see what Apple has prepared for us at WWDC 09 -
So it's simply a matter of taste, and Apple fanboys have no problem being identified as the ones who thought “different” when making their pick. The iPod touch ranks high in every aspect, from design to software, from portability to wearability.
I believe that most people (Mac and PC users alike) would grab the iPod touch in a jiffy, had it been less expensive, but they simply won't admit it. So again, I turn to you, the readers. What is so spectacular about the Zune HD that yours truly simply doesn't see?
What is so spectacular about the Zune HD that yours truly simply doesn't see?
First let me call shennaigans on you not thinking that microsofts UI and design for the player is far superior. The design of the touch is beautiful, minimalisitic, smooth, and classic apple. When I saw it I thought it was the peek of PMP design. But Microsoft outdid them. Admit it. The sleek industrial looks stunning next to an ipod touch.
Next the screen. OLED screens are beautiful. They are the peek of display technology at this time. Its display has richer blacks and colors. The display is nothing short of breathtaking.
What about HD radio? Sometimes you just dont want to listen to your musics. Maybe your tired of it. Maybe you wanna try something new. Not only do you get FM AND AM, you get them in perfect quality. iPod doesnt do this.
Apps are stupid. At least the majority of them. The majority of apps on my iPhone touch are pointless gimmicks. Lightsaber, flashlight, beer drinky cup thing, and other useless things. It is not a selling point. And I'm sure microsoft will copy the ideas of the USEFUL apps and just port them over.
Next is the fact that microsoft has announced it will offer the zune at $100 less than the matching capacities of the iPod. Next is the fact that it can play 720p movies, and has an HDMI out for playing video off your zune and onto your tv.
Or how about the fact that its going to hook up to my xbox360 and allow me to play arcade games on my xbox on my zune? Its better and cheaper, and if apple doesnt announce something better at wwdc i know what ill be asking for for christmas.
Comment #2.1 by: Gallleke on 31 May 2009, 18:31 GMT
yeah sure dude:
1. radio is avalaible on the ipod touch, with the allradio app which costs only 79 cent
2. apps are stupid if you buy the stupid ones dork. youre making a list of all the first free apps, those are really pointless but funny apps, i can give you a list of great apps, and even if they are not free, they are wonderful
3. i dont have an xbox
4. an ipod touch can also connect to the tv
5. an ipod touch is definitely nicer and more original of course
6. an ipod touch has a great great great ipod, thats apples speciality
7. an ipod touch has a very nice video player, very easy to use programs built in to it
8. an ipod touch is very very small
9. if you want some more good things let me know
Comment #2.2 by: sd on 06 Jul 2009, 00:30 GMT
ok, to Gallleke,
1. as far as i know, the ipod touch doesnt hve an hd radio
2. ipod touch wont play hd movies on the tv.
3. everybody sais that the zune hd looks way better.
4. zune hd also has a great video player.
5.wat do u mean the ipod touch has a great ipod. every pmp has a music player built in, including the zune hd.
6. ipod touch is small...zune hd is smaller.
7. and chek this out, its about the processing chip inside the zune hd: http://www.zuneboards.com/?p=vB43372
im still keeping an open mind however, the zune hd is missing the 35000 apps that apple is offering, plus, if the touch 3rd gen comes out with a camera, that will also mke the zune hd go once again into the background.
Comment #2.3 by: charlay on 07 Dec 2010, 15:53 GMT
the ipod touch 3rd may not have a camera but the 4th gen does
i have the new ipod touch and i love it to pieces
Sound Quality, Sound Quality, Sound Quality. I am a professional musician and my girlfriend let me play with her Zune and I used the same headphones on both my itouch and the zune. The difference was amazing -- the zune captures the subtle sound qualities so much better! Also, I must say that what is overlooked is the Zune software on the PC. wow!!! It really is cool, easy to use, and very slick -- much slicker than itunes. bottom line is that apple is fantastic at innovating, but microsoft is great at playing catch up and then perfecting. good job here microsoft!
Comment #5.1 by: Tyler on 18 Feb 2010, 03:02 GMT
i think that the Zune HD is already way ahead of the ipod in technology so i don't think it will fall back at all.
i have owned an itouch and a zune, i love them both. but one thing zune has is infact sound quality, although itouch has better more sleek looks in my oppinion.
yes the itouch has HD radio, its in the apps store which i think is filled with some over priced useless junk. but on the flip side does have some things that come in handy for school, work, social life, and boredom. i am a senior in high school and i use many apps including graphing calculators, book notes, equation formulas, easy terms, timelines, the list goes on.
the itouch also has HD video, and can hook up to your television. although zune has this function also
the bottom line is there are two things i think that set these two apart
1. Zune has unbeatable sound quality
2. itunes app store.
both easy fixes on both ends, and will cost almost the same.
As far as i know the zuneHD is better than the ipod on all fronts except for the glorified apps and the web browser but nothing a little elbow grease and firmware updates can't fix! but of course seeing as how ipod touch has been out for years now everyone thinks of that when they think of touch screen portable media players but that DOES NOT mean it's better it simply means that it is more well known that's it and on the apps thing the zuneHD has been out what? a month now? give it a break already apple fanboys =/
I have a Zune HD, and let me tell you its amazing. I have a ipod touch and its good but not great. Yes its true ipod has way more apps and better internet but thats the only good points. The Zune HD has better sound quality its touch is so smooth. Maybe it's only me but when the Ipod touch first came out it was like 300$ while the 120 gig was like 280$. Common sense should say get the HD i recommend it highlt.
Comment #10 by: Twhite1195 on 05 Mar 2010, 05:11 UTC
Ok the ipod has a bigger app strore.... SO WHAT???!!! If i wanted to play videogames i would buy a PSP or something, and the weight of the zune is way less than the ipod.
Note: i wrote this directly from my zune hd ohh yeahh
The debate between the iPod touch and the ZuneHD is very familiar to a similar argument, the playstation 3 and X-box 360.
The ZuneHD is like the PS3, a lot more powerful, better quality, etc.
The iPod touch is like the x-box 360, decent quality, a lot more games (apps), and is used by a broader audience of people. Like the playstation 3, the ZuneHD will most likely release a new Zune later down the road, with an ocean of applications, updates and tweaks, etc. To attempt a sudden overthrow of apple.
2 years of watching the iPod take the market, and an HD radio feature built in is all they have to offer? ouch Windows.
Comment #12.1 by: Dean on 02 Aug 2010, 22:10 GMT
if you were paying attention the zune hd have better video quality and better sound quality, but as i've heard way too many times you will reply with something about all the apps that you can get, but if people would do there homework in addition to the few apps we get from microsoft you can also download apps using microsoft xna game studio 3.1, you can even make your own. Lets see apple allow you do that!
Comment #13 by: daniel campos junior on 26 Jun 2010, 05:09 UTC
a friend is buying me a zune cause he smashed my 80 gig video i pod i never got to do much with that 400 dollar thing cause i couldn't figure out how to do the videos and when i did i hooked it up to my brother computer to get a movie and it said can only be sync'ed to one computer at a time and then when i clicked sync it went and friggen deleted everything i had put on there most of the stuff being un replaceable.....i bet microsoft u can jack it to a windows media player and call it square tho the games and such sound appealing i do alot of waiting in dr's offices and such and sometimes music gets old the radio helps and hopefully microsoft does release some games and such tho some ppl say u can put some on there i dunno how if someone wants to email me and explain im all for it email@example.com i apreciate it and i will after i get my zune come back and write my pros and cons of each but as of now i do not even have my zune yet and im looking more forward to it than apple's overpriced crap ppl say when u buy somthing u pay for name brand well apple is glorified and think i watched a spoof video about mac vs pc and what does a mac have to offer besides some good business stuff that microsoft can do as well but pc whippe dout a gun shot mac and roared I GOT GAMES so im sure microsoft will come out with some fun hand held games sorry i don't use puncuation don't like it to bad haha
Comment #14 by: Not A Lemming on 30 Jun 2010, 00:49 UTC
The Zune HD is a fantastic device. It's superior sound quality, interface and OLED screen completely trash the iPod Touch. HD Radio and HD movie-playing ability makes this media the device of High Definition!
I love the screen. Vibrant colors! The battery is much longer. 8.5 hours versus 6 on an iPod? And as far as Apps go, iPod wins in that area (obviously) but what Zune has is solid, and they're making more, but most importantly they're all free.
I own both devices (Zune HD and the iPod Touch), as well as both a Macintosh Leopard and Windows 7 HP Desktop. I must say, Microsoft has completely out shined Apple with the Zune HD!
At first i bought into zune because i dislike i/tunes and always have, and i fell in love with the simple and beautiful software for the Zune. After using my smaller zune for about a year and enjoying all the Xbox perks and such, my family bought me my Zune HD for my birthday, which is actually today they gave it to me afew days early. I have yet to even use the internet function and I am already in love with its beautiful art style, great video quality, and the plethora of information that can be gleamed of any band you have, including bios, pictures, ect. I understand iPods favoritism from people, but Zune will rise, and its only beginning, really people, check this out.
Comment #16.1 by: Squint on 01 Dec 2010, 02:34 GMT
I had the first generation Zune and had nothing to compare it to and really enjoyed it,with that said I went out and bought the Zune HD and in hoping it had progressed to only to find that it really had not changed a great deal I did like the HD radio feature. I am not 15 anymore (the eyes go first) the wording on the screen was way to tiny you have to manipulate the screen while on the internet just not to user friendly once you break away from using it as a music player. So I went out and spent another $70 and got the 32 GB I touch 4th gen note I am not an Apple guy by any means and so far it has exceeded my expectations The only thing I have not found yet is HD radio but I hear it is built in but not turned on, a firmware update just what I heard. I have not used Itunes yet that will be another day !!
Comment #17 by: dont like appl on 22 Apr 2011, 07:50 UTC
I have a Zune HD myself and I love it! One of my friends love it better than his 3gen ipod touch. Only things that are bums that there are no speakers, nobody knows about it, no youtube at this moment, and that the Zune Apps are no where close to reaching the 75,000 apps compared to the 30 apps on the Zune, also it has no cam:( Up sides!!!! Well first things first is its called HD so that is a great thing, it is a lot more social then a touch, the home page is better, cheaper because for a 16gb for $150 or get a i pod touch 8gb for $200, the music is much clearer, it has a music program so you pay $15 a month and you get unlimited music and 10 downloads that you keep for ever, you can do wireless syncs to your computer, battery will last longer, all the apps that are on the app store are free= Example PGR Ferrari Edition, Chest, Drums which is really fun!!, Zune Reader= 100's of free books at command, and much more, CAN COOK FOR YOU= not really, and the software is much better than iTunes. Hope you get it much better than touch. Hope this was a big help to the techno fight to who is the number one MP3
I know this a couple years old but I own the Zune HD and two older Zune30s. All have been awesome and never a problem. I do take issue with the author's note about how the HD interface is very Apple-like...are you @$&*$% kiddung me?!. Looks nothing like iPod and works much more smoothly. I don't know what people are doing but I have no problems with the web browser. It even displays pages in PC format (very tiny though). And nothing gets blocked (my wife cannot visit some web pages or do certain searches on her iPhone because it goes through Apple's servers). Apps are great, games are great but the real purpose for both of these devices is music and video. The HD has better sound, better video, and much more fun to mess with. And finally, I own a Ford car with Sync and the Zunes (and my kid's off brand MP3 players) sync up and play just fine. But I have to download a tutorial from Ford and a software utility to make the iPhone or iPod work. So it comes down to two things: The Zune is better all around at what it was designed to do, and second, why would I want to buy a product from a company that has so much control over what I OWN?!?