As much as I am not a fan of Best Buy and their yellow clearance tag of a brand image, the fact is that many decent consumers shop there, as it is one of the last free-standing big box electronic stores. So it is only right that I rejoice alongside my colleagues for the announcement that we can finally pre-order the new Microsoft Zune HD beginning today, August 16th! Microsoft has teamed up with the electronics giant to provide an up close and personal sneak peek at the device in select cities on August 22nd and 23rd, as well as pre-order support leading up to the release on September 15th.
But what about the features? I'm glad you asked. For starters, the first touch-screen Zune will be available in both a 16GB and 32GB version, priced at $219.99 and $289.99, respectively. There will be five original colors to choose from but if you head over to ZuneOriginals, you can get ten unique engravings to customize your Zune with, all designed by guest artists. Now for the fun part. The Zune HD is boasting several things that the coffee sipping iPhone and iPod touch users (sorry, Jon) would only dream of being able to accomplish on their soon-to-be rudimentary metal playtoys.
Obviously the HD in the Zune HD's name plays as a factor in differentiation, and Microsoft used the term two-fold. Zune HD compliments its 3.3" glass OLED screen's ability to play movies and clips in 16:9 widescreen with the ability to support HD video capability through an HDMI A/V docking station right into an HDTV in 720p.
The Zune has always been known for its built-in FM radio, but the Zune HD has stepped up its game all the way to HD radio quality! All your favorite FM radio stations will broadcast in crystal-clear HD sound at no extra cost, so throw away those $3 flea market headphones and get yourself a nice set of Bose earbuds. Of course, the built-in WiFi will allow full-screen Internet browsing, perfect for the multi-touch screen with zoom-in and zoom-out movements. All of this can be attributed to the lovely NVIDIA Tegra chip ultralow-power HD processor powering this beast of a machine.
Sound enticing? Then get off the WiiMote and down to your Best Buy today! I know Scott will be getting himself one!