We do have a couple of minor complaints about the design, though. The front and back panels are smoothly curved, but the corners of the case are actually quite sharp. They’re not going to draw blood, but they might snag on your clothing, especially if the Nano is crammed into the pocket of a skin-tight pair of jeans of the kind we understand some young people are given to wearing these days.
We’re also not wild about having the headphone connector on the bottom of the unit, right next to the dock connector. Apple apparently does this with the diminutive Nano because some people dangle it upside down around their necks with a lanyard, so that the bottom of the nano actually points upwards. In our experience, though, most people just stick it in their pocket, in which case having the headphone cable coming out of the bottom of the unit just seems awkward. The larger iPod Classic, in contrast, has the headphone connector on the top of the unit, which seems less clumsy to us.
Skinnier now, but with more legible menus
Speaking of headphones, the Nano is, of course, supplied with Apple’s cheap and cheerful little white earbuds. As always, the audio quality from these is acceptable for the casual listener, although their rather thin sound leaves plenty of room for improvement - hence the thriving market in 'upgrade’ earphones.
These are relatively minor details, though, and a far more important change is the new screen. The 320 x 240 resolution is unchanged from the previous model, but Apple's taken the wide screen of the 3G model and turned it on its side. It's also fractionally bigger: 43.8mm x 32.5mm to 43.8mm x 31.3mm, to compare like-for-like dimensions.
The first thing we noticed about the new screen is that it improves the legibility of text when you’re scrolling through the music menus. The extra height allows the Nano to display information in a larger typeface and yet still list more song titles on the screen than was the case with the previous model. On the other hand, the narrowness of the screen means that photos and video clips will appear squashed – that’s why the 3G model opted for a wider screen that could display photos and videos more effectively.
Nice gadget but 2 things...
One, I've got a 3 year old 20GB iRiver that came with Sennheiser earphones which still has better sound quality and cost about 300 quid (I think, was a while ago) at time of purchase and I can see it for $140. It looks good, although it doesn't have a colour screen or many of the features, but hey, I'm very happy with it.
Two, could you accidentally turn on shuffle while jogging?
I would like to confirm that the new nano and the new touch suffer the same poor sound quality inherent to the change of DAC as the Classic (6G)?
I tried the new touch in Apple Store this weekend, but even with my own (proper) pair of earphones and my 5G, the settings doesn't really allow a proper test:
- No similar file on both device
- Noisy environment (even if the Shure SE530 took a good care of that)
- Probably more important: the Touch battery was nearly dead (hey another great side-effect of putting the earphones jacks at the bottom.... and it's hard to charge it upside down)
So the sound sounds very metallic, a bit of distortion and frankly quite unpleasant. I'm not sure if it's (only) linked to the discharged battery or the cheap DAC.
So, of course it's a flashy gadget, with a great browser (the Touch) but it's still supposed to be a music player.... so sound quality is still for me a important factor!
Do you think....
That given the older generation of iPod tocuhs and iPhones have acclerometers that they'll do a firmware upgrade to filter these features down to the old models?
Re: Decisions, decisions ...
"Correction: An extra £20 buys you an 8 Gb Touch. The 16Gb Touch is a hefty £70 more than the 16 Gb Nano."
Oops ... my bad. <slaps forehead>
For some reason, I thought the 8Gb Touch had been canned. Storage capacity aside (I've got a 1Gb shuffle which is rarely more than 75% full but I still have adequate tunage for when I'm out and about) I think the 8Gb Touch may be a better buy, for me at least. Roll on payday :-D
Paris, 'cos she'd have got it right ...
@ sir toxteth of gravy
my only comment is that the apple standard headphones may be good enough for you, as the intended listener (i won't go into details, but you are wrong - you get what you pay for in the low end, i.e. sub £100, audio area, headphones are no exception) but they sure piss off the people in your locality - they are horrendously audistically leaky - you can hear a very bad tinny redition of the latest and not so greatest pop tunes from any white earlobed applite.