Challenge to Apple; Microsoft hits back with Zune HD

Released on September 15, 2009 in 16GB and 32GB capacities, Zune HD is a Portable Media Player in the Zune product family by Microsoft.

The combination of the OLED screen, the Nvidia Tegra processor and a lightweight device has helped put the Zune HD ahead of the iPod. The Zune HD weighs only 2.6 oz, almost 35 percent less than the similarly-sized iPod Touch. Zune has a Samsung-manufactured 3.3 inch OLED display, which is also probably its single most expensive component. At just 1 mm, the OLED screen is incredibly thin and seems more rugged than a traditional LCD panel.

The Zune HD has an Nvidia Tegra 2600 processor. Tegra includes an 800-MHz ARM CPU, a high-definition video processor, an imaging processor, an audio processor and an ultralow-power GeForce GPU in a single package. In comparison, the third generation iPod Touch uses a Samsung ARM processor.Microsoft Zune HD

Betting on Tegra has paid off for the Zune in an unexpectedly positive way. The Zune HD’s battery capacity is 660 mAh, about 16 percent less than the 789 mAh battery in the new iPod touch. Yet the Zune promises a longer run time than the touch for both music and videos.

Specifications of the Zune HD include the following:

16:9 3.3 inch 480×272 OLED display
Nvidia Tegra 2600 processor. Tegra includes an 800-MHz ARM CPU, a high-definition video processor, an imaging processor, an audio processor and an ultralow-power GeForce GPU in a single package.
16GB or 32GB internal flash memory
802.11 b/g WiFi
660 mAh battery for a reported life of 33 hours music and 8.5 hours of movies with no WiFi
Integrated FM/HD radio receiver
3.5mm headset jack

    The battery on the Zune should also be easier to replace than on the new iPod Touch. The Zune’s battery has individual wires for the battery leads. In the Touch, the battery leads run through a single ribbon cable, making hand-soldering a challenge.

    Unlike the latest version of the iPod Touch, the Zune HD does not support 802.11n Wi-Fi. Instead, it’s has an Atheros AR6002GZ 802.11g chip.

    Interestingly, Zune HD is manufactured by Foxconn, the same company that produces iPods for Apple. 🙂

    So at the end of the day, the Zune HD promises and delivers one of the best portable music and video experiences your credit card can buy. However, at a time when people are shifting their attention to games and applications, providing a killer media experience may not be enough for potential Zune buyers.

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