Tech News on G4
New iPod Nano – More Breadth & Beauty
September 19, 2007
By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada
It may have added a little width to its appearance but the view of Apple’s new iPod Nano leaves you breathless. That’s right! The new Nano is “fatter” that its predecessor but it’s added breadth has made room for something that was missing – the ability to play video.
In its extreme makeover, they chopped off a whole _ an inch off the bottom and added almost æ inch to the width making room for the 2” LCD screen that takes up almost half of its face. The backlit panel is capable of displaying the same 320 x 240 resolution video found on the 2.5” screen of the existing iPod Video (30GB/80GB) models. Apple claims the screen to be 65% brighter and the highest density (204 pixels/inch) of any screen available today.
Video Player – No Moving Parts
What’s most impressive about Apple’s new iPod Nano is that it’s a video player with no moving parts. Because it still uses flash memory, rather than a traditional hard drive with a spinning platter, it will be less susceptible to catastrophic damage in a tumble – which is a good possibility in a mobile environment. But its greatness can also be its greatest downfall. It’s only available in 4GB ($169) and 8GB ($219) models, which is not particularly much if you are a video fanatic. As an added bonus, the new Nano will ship with 3 bonus games, now that it can play them.
It’s casing is comprised of an anodized aluminum top with a stainless steel back. Apple also revisited the Nano’s colours, calling them silver, blue, green, black and red. While silver and black are just that, the red, blue and green look more like wine, aqua and pastel green respectively. It’s a nice shade of change to the lifesavers colours. (The 4GB model is available in Silver only). And despite the almost 25% increase in real estate this featherweight weight only increases a mere 9 grams.
The click-wheel that defines the iPod remains ad Apple has added its Cover Flow, a feature found on the iPhone. Cover Flow gives you the ability to browse your collection by flipping through the virtual album covers to select the song you want to play.
The Nano has truly had its place right smack in the middle of Apple’s iPod product line between the “display lacking” 1GB Shuffle and the 80GB video models. While this radical change is a coup for the video lover, I believe that Apple has moved farther away from the iPods roots of being a music player. They did change Shuffle, but in color only, adding 4 more, but this still leaves a void for those who are looking for a thin, compact yet feature-full audio only player with more than 1 GB to strap to their upper arms. Well I guess Macworld Expo in San Francisco is less than 4 months away.
Apple has also revamped the iPod Video, renaming it the Classic, going to a metal casing, thinning it slightly and upping the capacities to 80GB & 160GB among other things. As well, Apple has introduced the iPod Touch which is basically the iPhone without the Phone, but it does have built-in wi-fi and unlike the iPhone, it will available to us Canucks north of the 49th parallel ie: Canada - but we’ll save these for another story.
Greg Gazin can be reached at gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net.
About G4 in Canada
G4 launched on September 7, 2001 as the ultimate television resource for technology news, information and entertainment. Co-owned by G4, Rogers Media Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc., G4 is Canada's first television channel 100% dedicated to technology, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The channel features the latest technology news, information and entertainment in an exciting and high-energy format. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite.