Apple has an uncanny ability to keep on making great products. Every time you think it's impossible to make improvements to their iPod music players, along comes another revamp that raises the bar yet again.And with the design and desirability of the latest batch, it has excelled itself once again, especially with the new nano.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past week or so, you'll know roughly what it looks like. In order to accommodate the bigger screen, it's both shorter and wider than the previous nano - 52 x 70 x 6.5mm (WxHxD) to be precise.
The newly revamped iPod nano is surprisingly different from its 1st rev ancestor in that it is much more scratch resistant.
The anodized (which means 'coated with a protective oxide layer') aluminum body is tough - much like the iPod mini - and does not show hairline scratches like the plastic/resin and mirror-like metal of the original nano. Of course, any metal can be scratched if enough force is applied or if the scratching object is sharp enough, but in terms of "normal use", the new nano is far, far tougher than its predecessor. It also looks like the screen on the new nano is made of a different, more durable material. Well done, Apple!
Apple has also overhauled the Nano's user interface. The most notable improvement is the addition of the split-screen menu feature, which lists menu items on the left, along with a visual preview of the menu selection on the right half of the display. (If you select "Music" from the top-level menu, for example, floating, rotating album covers from your music collection appear to the right of the menu list.) It's a nice touch that makes good use of the white space to the right of the menu text and takes advantage of the Nano's wide display. Apple also added Cover Flowâ€"the ability to "flip through" your library by album cover. While browsing with Cover Flow is a bit slow, it's a nice option to have, even though the feature is more fun to use on a device with a touch interface, such as the iPhone or the iPod Touch.
On the UI front, Apple added a plethora of new functions that look amazing, thanks to the wonderfully bright display. One such feature is the added video capability. It can play H.264 or MPEG4 in either MOV, MP4 or M4V formats. Although we didn't expect it to blow us away with its quality, we were surprised yet again. The video quality is amazing, and if the only video device you own is the iPod Nano, you could possibly survive with full scale movie watching on a 2-inch display. But hey, don't get too excited and think about replacing your dedicated portable video players or notebook computers in lieu of the Nano. It's excellent, but it's not a replacement for a dedicated video device. If for nothing else, then think about your eyes and the migraines you will get after hours of squinting on a tiny display. Also, the device is smart enough to skip the unnecessary DVD chapters and start right off with the video, and it also remembers to start the movie at the point you stopped it the last time. How nice is that!
Storage Capacity : 4.0 GB Number of Songs : 1000.0 Family Line : iPod nano Video Format : MPEG-4, H.264 Video Bit-Rate : 2500.0 kbps Max Video Resolution : 640 x 480 Audio Format : MP3, WAV, AAC, MP3 VBR, AIFF, Audible MP3 Bit-Rate : 16 kbps - 320 kbps Frequency Respone : 20 Hz - 20, 000 Hz On Screen Display : ID3 Tag Info, Battery Level, USB Connection, Screen Size : 2.0 inch Additional Features : Personal Address Book, Games, Sleep Timer, Interface : USB 2.0 Outputs : Headphone Jack Power Source : Rechargeable via USB cable, Internal Battery Battery Type : Rechargeable Lithium Battery Battery Life : 24.0 hrs. Width : 2.06 in. Height : 2.75 in. Weight : 1.74 oz.