Review: don't call the 3G iPod nano fat
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Review: don't call the 3G iPod nano fat

The 3G iPod nano is cute, but not as cute as its predecessors (or their ancestor, the iPod mini) -- but don't call it "fat," as some folks have. It offers some snazzy new features in a body that's amazingly compact considering what it holds. I simply have trouble recommending it as a good value. On the other hand, if style and size (as in small) is of utmost importance, get your checkbook out.

The new iPod nano adds video playback and an enhanced user interface featuring Cover Flow (which lets you flip through graphics of album covers) and a new design. It features a larger two-inch display with 204 pixels per inch, which means you can watch movies, TV shows and music videos in the same resolution of the 5G (video enabled) iPod. The display is purportedly 65 percent brighter than the previous generation.

The video display is okay for watching, say, YouTube videos. However, I found it too cramped for viewing TV shows downloaded from the iTunes Store -- and I wouldn't even think about watching a feature length movie on it. I personally find the screen too small for effectively using Cover Flow, but younger eyes may see it another way.

The iPod nano includes three games (iQuz, Vortex, and Klondike), and additional games can be purchased from the online [url=http://www.itunes.com]iTunes Store[/url]. However, you have to re-purchase games you've previously bought to work with this iPod -- or any of the newest models

The 3G nano delivers up to 24 hours of audio playback or five hours of video playback on a single charge, according to Apple -- although the one I was test driving actually exceeded the official stats. It's encased in a new all-metal design made with anodized aluminum and polished stainless steel. It comes in five new colors -- silver, black, blue, green and a (PRODUCT) RED special edition.

Music sounds fine on the iPod nano, with no audible system noise. But you'll want to spring for some earphones; the included chintzy earbuds just don't cut it.

In the nano's defense, it's much less "fat" than the photos suggest. In fact, when you're up close and personal with it, it's downright svelte. I personally can't see spending US$149 for a device that holds 1,000 songs or $199 for an iPod that holds 2,000 when $249 will get you an 80GB classic that holds 20,000 songs and $349 will get you a 160GB iPod classic that can handle up to 40,000 songs. However, if you won't something more portable than the classic and the touch and has way more storage than the classic, the 3G iPod nano is for you.

Macsimum rating: 7 out of 10

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The 4GB iPod nano comes in silver for US$149. The 8GB model is available in silver, black, blue, green and a (PRODUCT) RED special edition for just $199). Both the 4GB and 8GB iPod nano for Mac or Windows are available worldwide immediately through the [url=http://www.apple.com]Apple Store[/url], Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. All iPod nano models include earbud headphones, a USB to 30-pin cable and a Universal Dock Connector.

The iPod nano requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.8 or later and iTunes 7.4; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2) or later and iTunes 7.4. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended.

 

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