The Zune HD made its official debut today and the fanfare around this new media player is well deserved. The beautiful OLED screen delivers bright colors and deep blacks, rendering crisp images and HD video with ease. The screen also boasts touch capability, allowing for easy and fun navigation through the well-designed user interface.
One of my favorite things about the Zune is the menu navigation. It’s very intuitive, combining common sense structure and design. No matter how deep into the menus you get, there’s an easy way to get back to where you were and, of course, the home screen. Like its predecessor, the Zune comes with wireless and now has an integrated web browser. Unlike some underbaked mobile browsers we’ve come across lately, the one included here makes navigation and URL input easy.
This elegance extends to the outside as well. There are only three buttons — power, home, and volume/playback control. Otherwise this sleek and slim device is smooth and uncluttered. It’s available in platinum, black, red, blue and green in 16GB and 32GB capacities.
The HD offerings extend beyond video — there’s also an HD radio receiver inside that will allow users to save song information for later purchase. And the new Zune Marketplace will carry an array of apps starting with n array of games that will show off the Tegra chip’s 3D capabilities.
We’ll have a full hands-on with the Zune HD and software soon.