Apple iPod nano (2nd Generation)
- New aluminium design and colours, Brighter display, Drop in price, Search function, Gapless playback. Better battery life
- No extras such as FM radio, Not all colours available for each size
The improvements are not groundbreaking, but the nano still remains an excellent portable music player and should keep iPod fans pleased.
Price$ 380.00 (AUD)
Apple has given their popular nano a facelift, offering a 40 percent brighter display, a new search function, an all-new aluminum body and better battery life. The second generation nano (2G) has also been lowered in price and now comes in an 8GB capacity, along with the 2GB and 4GB models. Unfortunately though, there are still no FM radio or voice recording functions, but the nano still remains an excellent portable music player.
Although the nano is technically an all-new model, the changes aren't drastic. The most notable is the new aluminum casing, which looks remarkably similar to the now defunct iPod mini. The original iPod nano came under some harsh criticism for a surface that was easily scratched and marked but the new model is excellent in this regard. A full day in our pocket with a set of keys and the nano still looked brand new, showing no signs of wear and tear. The new casing has also brought a new look, with the unit available in silver, pink, green, blue and black colours. Unfortunately though, not all colour options are available for all memory sizes (the black colour is only available in the 8GB version, for example).
Believe it or not, the new nano is smaller, thinner and lighter than its predecessor. It measures just 90mm x 40mm x 6.5mm and weighs a feather-light 40g. The difference in size is minimal, but the sleek curved edges ensure this is a slightly more attractive unit than the original. While the nano isn't capable of playing videos, viewing photos on the 1.5in screen isn't ideal. In saying this, the screen is noticeably brighter - up to 40 percent according to Apple's specifications.
The simple and easy to use iPod interface remains essentially the same, with only the search functionality added. Selecting this from the music menu brings up an alphabet that you scroll through using the wheel. Conveniently, the results list is marked by small icons representing albums, single tracks, photos or podcasts. The only complaint we have is that the volume still can't be adjusted unless you are in the 'Now Playing' menu. Apart from this, the interface is almost flawless with easy to navigate menus and the now famous scroll wheel providing excellent interaction with the unit. The new nano also features gapless playback, although this is a feature of iTunes 7, rather than this actual unit.
The 2G nano still doesn't include an AC adapter in the sales package, with only a dock adapter, USB cable, quick-start guide and a standard pair of ear buds present. The ear buds have been redesigned and are much more comfortable than the previous ones, although their sound quality is much the same.
Perhaps the biggest improvement is in battery life, with Apple claiming up to 24 hours of use before recharging. Our figures were closer to 20 hours, but nonetheless this is an excellent result and certainly a major improvement over the 14 hours of the original iPod nano.
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