Apple iPod Touch Review

iPod Touch
Box Contents

  • iPod touch
  • Earphones (handy for the bin)
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • Dock adapter
  • Polishing cloth
  • Stand (aka crap piece of transparent plastic)
  • Quick Start guide (also handy for the bin)

Retail Price: £260

A look at the new Apple Ipod Touch

September 5th 2007 saw Apple announce something rather different. Every update to the Ipod range has seen rather minimal changes to the lineup. From my perspective, the iPod Nano is the best iPod in the entire range and even with the new version nicknamed ‘fatty’ by Steve Jobs in my opinion it remains the best.

Steve Jobs announced that the older iPod Video line will have bigger hard drives and a revamped UI (User Interface) using their CoverFlow UI seen in the latest versions of iTunes. So the new Nano has a larger screen, CoverFlow and better battery performance, whilst the new iPods have been given a new name – the iPod Classic, which comes with a larger hard drive, Coverflow and of course better battery performance.

Rumours about a touchscreen based iPod were rife well before the show and the crowd were waiting for the final ‘endgame’ show from Apple. Steve Jobs then announced their newest player – a Touchscreen iPod based on their iPhone. The iPod Touch as it would be known is a their new flash based audio player.

I will be making the odd comparison with the iPod Touch and my Creative Zen Vision:M during parts of this review and suffice to say that the touch certainly looks poor in some areas against it. Lets see how well it does.

Capacity Malarky

The hopes of a many fans were dashed when the Touch’s specifications announced. We were all hoping to see a large capacity hard disk player but given that the ‘Touch’ is 8mm thick, I thought there would be no chance. Apple proved me correct as they stated that the Touch will be available in two capacities of  8 and 16GB using flash based memory, which essentially Flashram or solid state storage, something a lot of Media player manufacturers seem to be moving to.

Hard disk based players may have greater storage, but they aren’t without their reliability issues and having to squeeze smaller and smaller hard disks into equally smaller footprints is becoming a challenge for engineers now as they also need to deal with the additional heat being generated by the tiny spinning drives. RAM (Read Access Memory) has become extremely cheap over the past year or so, demonstrated by the silly amounts of large capacity USB sticks that are available to the consumer now so it is of no surprise that manufacturers are looking for a cheaper, and more reliable option.

Flash based technology known as SDD (Solid State Drives) are able to retain the contents of their memory even when powered down. Access to the data is close to instantaneous and because there aren’t any moving parts, reliability is extremely high. Sadly solid state technology can be expensive in mass quantities so the price of a flash based player will be greater compared to a hard disk based one.

Out of the box the iPod Touch has 14.9GB of space available for your videos, audio and photos. Sadly unlike the new Creative Zen, the Touch has no SD expansion slots at all. You’re pretty much stuck with your 8 or 16GB capacity until Apple release a new 32GB version in…..about 6-8 months time from now I predict.

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