Apple iPod 60GB review

Price when reviewed

After all the media speculation, Apple has finally dipped its toe into the world of mobile video with the launch of the new iPod. While there’s no doubt it’s a significant move in terms of broadcast video distribution, it’s being marketed as an evolution rather than a revolution.

Apple iPod 60GB review

With so many other companies failing to replicate the success of portable digital music with video, Apple seems aware that the novelty of peering at video on a tiny screen will wear off quickly for many. If you’re prepared to hold the player in front of you for long periods, the bright, crisp screen stands up to the job admirably, but it’s ultimately an ancillary feature for most. Fortunately, the screen also lends itself well to menu navigation and viewing photos.

But even if you never use this latest iPod for video, the other physical changes improve on an already good core product. There are now increased storage capacities, with the 30GB (£219 inc VAT) and 60GB models coming in the standard white, as well as a new black option. The screen size has also increased from a 2in to 2.5in diagonal. Yet compared to the previous generation, these new units are two-thirds as thick at just 14mm.

Battery performance is still fairly good, although we only managed 15 hours of music playback – less than Apple’s 20-hour claim. Watching a mixture of video and audio took this down to six hours, and playing continuous video drained the battery in just two hours.

Of more serious disappointment is the slimming down of the accessories bundle. In the battle to keep prices competitive, Apple now charges significant cash for the extras that used to make the iPod feel like a luxury item. A USB charging cable is supplied, along with a soft pouch case and earphones, but there’s no dock, IR remote, video-out cable or even an in-line remote control.

Despite these complaints, there’s currently nothing else on the market that offers such a mix of sheer desirability and superb design. The only caveat is that Apple continues to lock you into the iTunes system by not allowing you to use any other online music stores or any type of WMA. If you haven’t yet invested in either of these, this latest iPod is a great choice; if you have, we’d advise waiting to see how Apple’s competitors are going to raise their game.

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