Portable Media Players Guide

iPod Nano 8GB review

First Looks: iPod Nano 8GB

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Apple Does the Cut and Paste

Apple Does the Cut and Paste

Facing a relentless torrent of affordable digital audio players with video playback function from competitors, Apple was looking at either rejuvenating its highly successful iPod nano or risk getting left behind. After much anticipation, the new iPod nano is finally unveiled – to mixed reactions.

Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V

You could say the new iPod nano is a quick “Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V” job from its predecessor because there is virtually no new styling breakthrough worth mentioning. However, fresh from the iPod ‘Scratch-a-nano’ fiasco, the new nano is now crafted from the same scratch proof anodized aluminum as the now defunct iPod mini, giving it a very welcomed robust feel that was sorely lacking in the outgoing nano. If anything, the new nano comes across more as an elongated version of the legendary iPod mini because it boasts similar aesthetic attributes. Even the color availability of the new nano is similar to the iPod mini with fruity colors of green, blue, pink, red, silver, black, and white all making a colorful comeback. Navigation on the other hand remains the same, likewise for the positioning of the audio jack and docking interface.

Bits and Pieces

Cosmetic cut and paste aside, the nano now packs a twofold increase in song capacity (up to 8GB only on the black model), a brighter screen and a longer battery life of up to 24hrs, which should be exciting news to all iPod nano fans. Software wise, the menu programming has been updated with new gapless playback and song search function.

The much touted game functions that the iPod video boasts continue to elude iPod nano fans. Again, FM radio and video playback function that are common on other DAPs (Digital Audio Players) are still nowhere in sight; although we aren’t too disappointed because there is simply no joy watching video on a puny 1.5-inch screen. As to why FM radio is still available only by purchasing an expensive Apple Radio Remote remains an enigma.

The Test

Putting the iPod nano to the test, the battery life certainly did perform up to the 24-hour claim, putting it on par with some of the longer lasting DAPs out there. Navigation was pretty much the same while audio quality was just as good as the old plastic nano. In short, other then the new song search function, there was really nothing much to complain or praise about the new nano, hence the mixed reactions from consumers.

Our Thoughts

The lack of new features in the new iPod nano will probably cause potential consumers to continue avoiding Apple’s latest fashion gadget. But knowing Apple, we strongly suspect something big is coming our way, as it is almost traditional of them to announce something revolutionary each year to wow fans, consumers and the likes. Even with an apparent lack of new features, the new iPod nano will still be strongly considered by the everyday consumer looking for a quality DAP because it is after all an Apple product – at a premium price of course. The black 8GB iPod nano is available at US$249(S$428) and the more color 4GB versions are available at US$199(S$348).