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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Apple iPod Nano

Probably the sweetest part of the new Apple iPod nano is the surprise announcement that caught every site and publication off guard. Even the “insider” Apple fan sites missed this one coming. The second surprise is that Apple decided to replace their infamous iPod mini with a flash player with roughly the same storage space (the Apple iPod mini was originally introduced with 4GB of storage). It only make sense that Apple phases the mini out. Most 5GB players out now feature color displays, FM tuners and a myriad of features. Apple is clever to introduce a player with the same storage space as their mini, while using flash memory; it again puts the company back on top of the ingenuity chain.

In what can be considered a combination of the iPod Shuffle and the full-sized iPod Photo, the nano is a little wider and taller than the Shuffle at 3.5” inches tall and 1.6” inches wide. But since the player uses NAND Flash memory (developed by Samsung) instead of an internal mini hard drive, the nano is only .25” inches deep. That’s thinner than your typical #2 pencil! Available in black and iPod white, the new Nano comes with a 1.5-inch color LCD display and a navigation wheel reminiscent of the iPod mini. The back of the nano is bathed in a shiny chrome mold. If you are worried about getting visible marks or fingerprints on the front of your nano, we recommend you go with the white version over the black. Plus, most accessories out there for Apple’s products are white anyways. Expect to get fingerprints on the back of both units.

Powering the iPod nano is a built-in lithium ion battery which is non-removable. Apple says you should be able to get 14 hours of battery life on normal use, but shoot a little lower like 12-13 and that will be a little more realistic. 14 hours for a flash based player is not very long, but if you take in mind that the nano has a 1.5-inch color display, we suppose that sounds about right. The biggest downside here of course is that the battery is not removable, and with Apple’s history of battery issues, this could pose a problem, but our fingers are crossed.

Other cool features that the iPod nano supports include a 20-setting equalizer, sleep timer, various alarm modes, contact manager, world clock, calendar, audio book playback and more. For complete specifications, please click on the specs tab and link found above and below this review.

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