I'll admit right off the bat that I've been a pretty big fan of the Zune ever since I bought my first one back in 2007. I've also had some disappointments, which I haven't been shy about sharing--and last year's half-hearted Zune hardware refresh had me losing faith that Microsoft would be able to steer this one out of the ditch.
Well, having just geeked-out with a pair of Zune HDs for about an hour, I am tentatively reaffirming my faith in Microsoft. This thing was worth the wait, folks. Mind you, it's not going to crush the iPod Touch--a product that for all intents and purposes is more mobile computer than media player--but it's safe to say that the Zune finally has the power to make good on the promise of delivering one of the richest music experiences on a portable device.
How are they going to do it? Let's start with hardware. The Zune HD feels expensive, solid, and sexy. The metal enclosure is a little more angular than the curvy chrome of the iPod Touch, but feels just as nice and has the advantage of laying flat instead of teetering around. The body is just a little thicker than the iPod Touch, and not nearly as wide (as seen in this photo).… Read more