Photos Reveal New Zune HD With Touchscreen

Microsoft's iPod competitor gets an upgrade

Leaked artwork of the supposedly upcoming Microsoft Zune portable media player has found its way onto the Internet. The artwork labels the new device as the Zune HD, and shows it to feature a large widescreen display housed in what looks like a bushed aluminum enclosure and glass.

Images obtained by Engadget show what appears to be a marketing campaign for Microsoft's new Zune portable media player (PMP), coming only weeks after rumors that the Redmond company will release a new Zune model later this year.

Expected sometime this fall (when Microsoft usually updates the Zune line), the Zune HD will take a shot at Apple's iPod Touch. It would also be the first touchscreen Zune. Similar to the iPod Touch, the Zune HD features a single button on the front panel, under the touchscreen.

The HD suffix of the upcoming Zune model implies that the device would at least be able to play high-resolution videos, with some speculating that Nvidia chipsets could be used for this task (capable of 720p video and advanced 3D effects). At the same time, the HD suffix could just be a marketing buzzword, as used by other devices like HTC Touch HD and Samsung OmniaHD mobile phones.

Besides the artwork in the images looking very similar to the style Zune used before, Technologizer's Ed Oswald also confirms the legitimacy of the leaked pictures, claiming sources that "have accurately called the launches and specs of two previous launches."

Also, according to Technologizer, the Zune HD's size will be smaller than the iPod Touch (but it won't be slimmer); and, it will have similar storage capabilities. Apple's iPod Touch comes in 8, 16 and 32GB versions, with a 64GB version expected in June, with the launch of the iPhone 3.0 software update.

You can follow Daniel on Twitter at @danielionescu

There are currently no plans to release the Zune media player in Australia.

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)

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