For those who have been living under rock for the past bit, Microsoft released their own 'iPod Killer' called the Zune. Funky name, eh? The big highlights from the Zune include a 3 in. display with wireless capabilities. Sounds pretty cool, huh?
Well, I got my hands on a Zune when I went to Best Buy tonight and I was completely unimpressed. Now, for the sake of disclosure, I do own an iPod, so there can be some bias. However, I think it's unavoidable that a comparison be made to the iPod, simply because of its market dominance.
The thing that displeased me most was its aesthetic design--or lack thereof. Apple is indisputably the best at industrial design, but a ruddy brown colored Zune somehow fails to impress. The other thing that was really a downer was the actual casing felt cheap. It felt like 'Made in China' plastic. Like I could start chewing on a corner and expect to be able to gnaw it off. I know I wouldn't be able to do that with the iPod. I haven't seen the guts of the Zune, but it really made me wonder if there was anything to its exterior. Now, granted, the iPod scratches really easy (and it didn't seem the Zune would have that problem) but it just didn't seem right to me.
Now the screen. Compared to similar devices, the 3 inch screen really has something going for it that the current generations of iPod lack. So, I watched a couple of music videos, and was again disappointed. The picture seemed to 'tear' quit a bit with heavy motion. I don't know if it was the video's fault, or the Zune's, but either way, it made for a choppy experience. It almost made my eyes bleed.
No, I won't be getting a Zune, nor would I recommend to my friends that they get one. It seems too clunky, doesn't seem 'cool', and for the same price I can get an iPod that feels durable and plays movies without a hitch.
Thanks, Microsoft, but I think you strike out on this one.