After letting out a big sigh following the announcement of the 6G iPod, I had hoped for better things from the nano and shuffle. Did we get them? Yes and no.
For my money, firmly in the ‘No’ category are the new iPod nanos. As speculated, new aluminium outer casings were introduced to put an end to virtually 12 months of scratch related lawsuits and styling took a step back to the mini. Black, pink, blue, green and silver models have been introduced and capacities now top out at 8GB. There are also 4GB and 2GB editions but the one giger bites the dust.
The screen itself – which is looking far too small these days – is said to be 40 per cent brighter and battery life is up to 24 hours but nanos still don’t play video, a function which has become virtually standard on most of its rivals. RRPs remain high at £169, £129 and £99 given that SanDisk’s 8GB Sansa – an extension of a range which has been on the market for many months – costs from just £139.99 online (the previous £120 offer is no longer available), has a far bigger screen and plays video.
Just like the 6G iPod I suspect the new nano will only encourage the competition.
Closer to a (qualified) ‘Yes’ is the new shuffle. Closer simply because, unlike the iPod and the nano, it is genuinely ‘new’.
Gone is the white cigarette lighter styling to be replaced by a smaller (4.1cm), lighter (15g) silver player with aluminium casing. A clip has been added to the back for greater portability but Apple has been careful not to risk competing with its nano brand by keeping the capacity down to 1GB.
Battery life isn’t great at a mere 12 hours and it will set you back £55. This may not sound a lot, but when you consider Creative’s 1GB Zen V Plus has a 1.5in colour LCD, video playback and can be found online from just £71 does it still make sense to go screen-less?