Zune HD unzipped
IFixit disassembles Microsoft's finest
If you’re disappointed that the Zune HD is just a North American gadget “for the time being”, yet still want to know what makes it tick, then read on. Because US repair-and-parts shop iFixit has taken its screwdrivers to Microsoft’s latest media player model.
A peek inside the Zune HD
Upon immediate inspection, iFixit noticed that the 74g device is “lighter than it looks” and, according to iFixit, roughly 35 per cent lighter than Apple’s iPod Touch.
By leaving the Zune HD’s screws exposed, Microsoft makes taking the Zune HD to bits a simpler task than Apple does on the iPod Touch. However, iFixit hinted that Microsoft probably used tri-wing screws to put you off doing so.
Nvidia processor and Hynix Flash memory spied inside
iFixit found the words “For our Princess” etched inside the media player’s back cover. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed what this means, but one teardown fan has claimed that it’s a reference to a Zune project team member who passed away during the model’s development.
The above image reveals the Zune HD’s Nvidia Tegra processer, iFixit said, while the unit’s 32GB Flash memory – manufactured by Hynix – can be seen to the upper left of the picture.
Fallen Comrade & @ChrisC
Nice touch by MS re: the etching on the back (if indeed it was for their fallen comrade).
@ChrisC "How many more Apple fans will have commented by the time this shows up... "
Not many ;o)
Drink, because I could really do with a drink right now...
Microsoft to overtake Apple once again
I see that hatred for Microsoft (oh sorry M$) has effectively clouded the judgement of many commentators here. Like it or not, the Zune HD has put Microsoft within striking distance of Apple's iPod touch - a fact vindicated by Apples recent clumsy attempt. Its the classic Microsoft strategy - strike 1 (laughable), strike 2 (v. good), strike 3 (job done). We're at strike 2 now and from the look of things (lighter, longer battery life, better screen/sound/video and integration with Xbox, HD out, HD radio etc), strike 3 will deliver a sure knockout.
Apple lovers/fanatics may not like it but Microsoft just dont know how to give up. Sorry but iPod touch looks bound to suffer the same fate as the Playstation. Competition is good for everyone, no matter from where it comes.
How many more Apple fans will have commented by the time this shows up...
@AC 15/09/09 17:37:
Given the proliferation of camera-enabled phones these days, I'm wondering just how many people would *really* find it useful to have a camera in their personal AV player as well. Personally, I'd prefer not to have too many "swiss army" devices in my pockets, because the more functionality that gets squeezed into each device, the less capable each device becomes at doing what it's primarily designed to do. Adding a camera module to an AV player means you either make it bulkier to accomodate the camera module, or you sacrifice some of the internal volume taken up by other components (e.g. the battery). And in either case, you're also adding extra components, which means more likelihood of something breaking.
I accept the compromises made in the design of my chosen phone (HTC Touch Pro) because I like the idea of having *one* device in my pocket that can, if I need it to, do pretty much everything. I wouldn't be so happy if my iPod Classic (the original 160GB model, not the new pretender to the throne) was then also compromised with non-essential functionality that duplicated what i've already got in the phone. Granted, there are *some* people who might only carry an iPod and not a phone, and there are *some* people who might carry an iPod and a camera-less phone. However, based on observation of the average iPod user (at least, those who choose to travel by bus/tube/train in London), I suspect quite strongly that most iPod users are also camera-phone owners.
You're comparing apples to oranges here. The $49 Apple dock is just the dock, the remote, and the various iPod adapters. There's no AV cables, and there's no AC adapter. The comparable Zune accessory is the Sync Dock, which is $45 and gives you the dock, remote, Zune adapters *and* AC adapter. I'd say that was pretty good value compared to Apple.
Now, if you still want to hook up your Zune via HDMI, all you need to do is plug any HDMI cable you may have handy into the Sync Dock. The $90 HD AV Dock pack is simply the Sync Dock pack plus HDMI and composite/audio cables (which you can also buy seperately) bundled into a single package.
And if that's still too expensive, just wait a while for the usual suspects to start producing HDMI cables that plug directly into the ZuneHD...
@ AC (Bill)
So you are only a right thinking adult if you own an iPod?
Whilst I own have owned both an iPod and have an iPhone, I brought them because they fitted what I wanted at the time, not because a few members of society deemed it *required*.
If the Zune is better than the iPod then why not use it? I used an MD player (three of them actually) before the iPod because it fitted what I needed at the time - and is still a far superior piece of kit for listening to music than either the iPod or the iPhone - just not as convinient.