Saturday, May 3, 2008

Apple's New Line of iPods for 2008

Apple's New Line of iPods for 2008

Palm-sized Nano

Leading up to Apple's grand unveiling of its refreshed iPod line, the chatter was all about the so-called "phat" iPod Nano. Turns out the "phat" Nano is anything but: Sure, it's wider than the previous slim Nano stick; but, its form is actually svelte, stylish, and lightweight. The new Nano is packed with more capabilities--namely, video playback and casual gaming--than its music-only predecessor. Plus, it carries a rated battery life of 24 hours for audio, and 5 hours for video--about enough to get you through the first two installments of The Pirates of the Caribbean series.

How Far We've Come?

In early 2005, the second-generation 6GB Apple iPod Mini, seen at left, shipped. That model sported a 1.67-inch monochrome display, weighed 3.6 ounces, and measured 3.6 by 2 by 0.5 inches. At the time, its size was considered fairly compact. Fast forward more than two years later to the new iPod Nano (the first Nano replaced the Mini in Apple's lineup), seen at right. The tiny Nano is a marvel, with a 2-inch color screen and less than half the Mini's weight and half its depth. The Nano weighs just 1.7 ounces, and measures 2.8 by 2.1 by 0.26 inches.

Stack o' Colors

The new Nano comes in 4GB and 8GB capacities, and carries an attractive price of $149 and $199, respectively. The Nano ships in five colors: The 4GB model only comes in silver, while 8GB model ships in the full color spectrum of metallic teal and metallic pale green, silver, black, and Apple's socially conscious (Product) Red. Notice the Nano's remarkably slim profile in this view: It's barely more than a quarter-of-an-inch thick.

iPod Touch

The iPhone's most innovative features characterize the best of the iPod Touch: The 3.5-inch multi-touch display for slide-and-glide and pinch-and-squeeze navigation; Cover Flow music navigation; an accelerometer that automatically detects the device's position and orients the screen accordingly; integrated YouTube; 802.11b/g wireless and the full-on graphics of the Safari Web browser. Even better, it does so in a device that's lighter and thinner than the iPhone--the Touch is just 0.3 inches thick. The 8GB version will sell for $299; the 16GB version will sell for $399.

Choose Your Own Headphones

The iPod Touch uses a standard 3.5mm headset jack, which means you can use the headphones of your choice with this model, no adapters required. This is an improvement over the iPhone, which has the headset jack inset into the unit, and requires an awkward dongle in order to accommodate a headphone other than the one the unit ships with. You may want your own headset of choice for all that music you'll be listening to: Apple rates the Touch for up to 22 hours of audio play, and 5 hours of video play.

Coming Soon

The iPod Nano and the newly dubbed iPod Classic (80GB for $249, a gargantuan 160GB for $349) will ship soon. The Nano could be in stores by Friday, this weekend--or even Monday. According to Apple's online store, a Nano ordered today would ship out for delivery on Monday, at the earliest. The iPod Touch is expected to be available by September 28.