Here are a few photos of the second generation Zunes, 4 / 8 & 80; along with comparison photos to the rejuvenated first gen and other MP3 players in its class. Aside from the design addition touch interface the Zune 80 and the Zune 30 have an identical feel to them in terms of inter face thanks to the updated firmware. So those of you who have and “old school” Zune 30 you are not missing much.
Overall, I am pretty impressed with the new Zune line up. The design is on point, the interface is very smooth, and the new software is a beautiful thing. I think the Zunes tend to be a bit oversimplified at times and lacks features that will keep the hardcore audience clenching their Creatives, Cowons, Sansas, and Samsungs. But in time, we may see that change with future Zune firmware updates.
Without further delay, here are the pics…
Before the compulsive rush to pick up a brand new Zune kicks in you may be interested in an offer from Zune Originals, who plan on making full use of the aluminum back by laser-engraving a choice of 47 artwork designs and personalized text directly onto any Zune 4, 8, and 80.
Commencing simultaneously with the sale of the new models, the opportunity to purchase a customized Zune will be provided with no extra charges for the engraving or shipping for a limited time. That is, the Zune 4 for $150, the Zune 8 for $200, and the Zune 80 for $250.
Edit: It appears that Zune Originals will only sell the customized Zune 80 from next month.
[Zune.net | Cool Hunting via Zune Insider]
Besides learning that DRM free MP3 will not track you, I have also learned a little more about the Zune design. Inside sources have stated that the back plate of the player will be made from a brushed metal. This will be key for keeping scratches and fingerprints at bay. As for the rest of the body of the player it will be made of a hard glossy scratch resistant plastic as seen on many of the players noting the Creative Zen in particular. This from experience will show smudges and fingerprints but any player with a glossy plastic will. One of the more surprising things was that the Zune screen will be made of glass. So no more need to ridiculously spend $10 on a sticky piece of plastic.
I think the Zune team made a great choice by not leaving out first generation Zune owners; they will be getting all the same full functionality as new Zune owners. There was one small catch that I picked up on is that the first generation will not get native H.264 support. However, H.264 will be easily converted with the Zune software.