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Zune HD Review: Finally, an iPod Competitor?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

The Tom's Guide review of Microsoft's new Zune HD makes a few things clear: the Zune HD is not an iPod copycat, the Zune HD is a serious competitor to the iPod Touch, and the Zune HD is not perfect. However, with this product Microsoft is showing that it (finally) knows where the Zune is headed. Head on over to Tom's Guide to find out why.

Our review focuses on differences between the iPod Touch and the Zune HD, the hardware and software interfaces, and various ways to get media on the device without buying it outright.

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  • 2 Hide
    doomtomb , September 17, 2009 10:32 PM
    Zune HD is where it's at
  • 0 Hide
    techguy911 , September 17, 2009 10:51 PM
    Archos is much better then either zuneHD or ipod touch you can record tv when put in its base it can record tv or off any video source neither zune or ipod can and it had real HD no video conversion needed plays all major file formats and has more storage than both and plays back to your tv when in base in FULL HD.

  • 0 Hide
    tomsguiderachel1 , September 17, 2009 11:05 PM
    techguy911Archos is much better then either zuneHD or ipod touch you can record tv when put in its base it can record tv or off any video source neither zune or ipod can and it had real HD no video conversion needed plays all major file formats and has more storage than both and plays back to your tv when in base in FULL HD.

    Hey TechGuy911, We're very interested in Archos and plan to bring you reviews of the latest Archos products ASAP!

    -Rachel Rosmarin, Editor Tom's Guide
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    tipoo , September 18, 2009 1:12 AM
    I want one really badly...Damn U.S Only launch. No love for us Canadians, eh?
  • 0 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , September 18, 2009 1:16 AM
    Has anyone even heard about Creative's Zii? That looks like a pretty bad-ass unit right there, if I might say so... but I already know where this is headed.
  • 1 Hide
    math1337 , September 18, 2009 1:55 AM
    The Zune HD is not just an iPod competitor, but a vastly superior product, capable of crushing the iPod touch and wiping apple off of the map.
  • 1 Hide
    war2k9 , September 18, 2009 3:25 AM
    math1337The Zune HD is not just an iPod competitor, but a vastly superior product, capable of crushing the iPod touch and wiping apple off of the map.


    Only when microsoft decide to support it a 100%, remember hddvd.
  • 0 Hide
    Sicundercover , September 18, 2009 3:37 AM
    techguy911Archos is much better then either zuneHD or ipod touch you can record tv when put in its base it can record tv or off any video source neither zune or ipod can and it had real HD no video conversion needed plays all major file formats and has more storage than both and plays back to your tv when in base in FULL HD.


    Though I agree with you that the device itself is amazing, the media management software is garbage and is in no way on par with either iTunes or Zune. However just like Zunes software in the beginning this too can be corrected.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , September 18, 2009 11:51 AM
    iPod's are forbidden where I work due to the nature of the work. Same thing will happen with Zune.

  • 0 Hide
    techguy911 , September 18, 2009 12:53 PM
    sicundercoverThough I agree with you that the device itself is amazing, the media management software is garbage and is in no way on par with either iTunes or Zune. However just like Zunes software in the beginning this too can be corrected.


    Archos has no management software that it is tied to i use to use windows media player 12 but i have been using media monkey, i even got it working with itunes with a little work.

    It works with any of the itune alternative programs media monkey,song bird, winamp.

    It is both a portable media player off base and on the base it's a home media player i can stream video wireless from my pc to my tv through the archos on the base it has a remote control /w keyboard for use on the base.

    When i go to the doctors office i always bring it for watching video nothing beats it, the new archos 5 looks nice.
  • 0 Hide
    techguy911 , September 18, 2009 12:59 PM
    Oh and forgot the new archos 5 uses android for the os the amount of things you can do with it compared to zunehd or ipod touch i find it has more features.

  • 0 Hide
    CptTripps , September 18, 2009 4:57 PM
    war2k9Only when microsoft decide to support it a 100%, remember hddvd.


    Why would MS 100% support something they did not create? They were a backer and a strong one at that but the movie studios were the deciding factor in who won that war.
  • 0 Hide
    crom , September 18, 2009 5:31 PM
    The Zune is like General Motors. It has gotten much better than it used to be, but in consumer's minds its considered a crappy item. If Microsoft can put some serious marketing muscle behind it, it may have a chance, otherwise it'll be overlooked.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 18, 2009 7:31 PM
    Did you all forget latest Microsoft change in DRM technology, stopping DRM servers (silly the technology is/was called "Play For Sure"...) asking all customers to "convert" their purchased songs...
    This alone is a valid reason to not trust Microsoft in this business, even if the HW is (finally) competitive...
  • 0 Hide
    ssalim , September 18, 2009 9:03 PM
    Nice pic of "Hell"
  • 0 Hide
    Andraxxus , September 19, 2009 9:13 AM
    ^Yeah that picture is where Apple wants the Zune HD.
    It's good competition for the iPod.
  • 0 Hide
    TFBundy , September 21, 2009 1:35 PM
    techguy911Oh and forgot the new archos 5 uses android for the os the amount of things you can do with it compared to zunehd or ipod touch i find it has more features.


    Yeah, how's the appstore? AFAIK, you can't even get a VNC client / server monitoring software. I'm not allowed phones in the building I work at, so my iPhone has to be checked in - if I had to use an Archos or Zune - I'd need to lug a laptop/netbook wherever I go. With a Touch I can quickly log into any of the assets even in a meeting. Meh, a Touch is more of an ultraportable comp that's also a good media player; the other 2 are just media players with some token features bolted on. I'll pass thanks...
  • 0 Hide
    TFBundy , September 21, 2009 1:45 PM
    P.S. That's not to say that they can't be or have any worse hardware; they are all much the muchness - but Zune suffers from poor Msoft decisions and Archos just doesn't have the clout to create a viable software ecosystem. The android version, (5?), could be a viable option if it plays nice with the Android marketplace. Although, since anyone can post anything on AM, my work will probably black list the device... Making the only option for me either Apple or MS devices. Of course, this is just my lot in life, it doesn't necessarily represent the one true way ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    techguy911 , September 21, 2009 4:44 PM
    [c
    TFBundyYeah, how's the appstore? AFAIK, you can't even get a VNC client / server monitoring software.


    Yes then new archos does have a vnc client ect. the processor in it blows away the iphone ,itouch or zuneHD and custom apps are made for it there are over 300 atm and i have made a few myself and it runs all android apps.

  • 0 Hide
    techguy911 , September 21, 2009 5:04 PM
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