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Zune HD vs. iPod touch: The Definitive Comparison

In preparing my review of the Zune HD, I've found that comparisons with Apple's best-selling iPod touch are inevitable. In fact, they're frequent. Again and again, I've found myself accessing Apple's tech specs for the iPod touch and Microsoft's tech specs for the Zune HD. Why not, I thought, combine them? You know, like two great tastes that go together?

Thus this handy reference chart. With your help, I'm happy to update it with anything relevant, and I'd like to keep it as up-to-date and complete as possible. One thing I will point out right away: I did not--and will not--include the 8 GB iPod touch in this chart. That model is a relic from last year and is only still being sold so Apple can keep a toe in the low-end of the market. But the 8 GB iPod touch does not include the processing capabilities found in this year's models, and I don't consider it a real part of the iPod touch line. (It would be like including information about the also out-of-date Zune 16 or 120.)

So let me know if you see any mistakes or any missing information.


Feature Zune HD iPod touch
Availability US only Worldwide
Price/capacity $200 - 16 GB
$270 - 32 GB
$300 - 32 GB
$400 - 64 GB
Available colors Black
Case customization Custom colors, case designs via Zune Originals (online) Text engraving from Apple Store (online)
Size 52.7 mm x 102.1 mm x 8.9 mm 61.8 mm x 110 mm x 8.5 mm
Weight 2.6 ounces 4.05 ounces
Battery life Music: up to 33 hours
Video: up to 8.5 hours
Music: up to 30 hours
Video: up to 6 hours
Charge time (A/C adapter) 2 hours 4 hours
Charge time (USB/PC) 3 hours 4 hours
Screen 3.3 inch, 16:9 OLED display
480 x 272
3.5 inch, LCD display
480 x 320
Multi-touch capable Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
CPU NVIDIA Tegra Samsung ARM
Video output 720p HD (requires optional AV Dock) 480p SD (standard definition, requires optional cables or dock) (576p SD internationally)
Features unique on-screen UI when connected to TV Yes n/a
Radio FM and HD Radio receivers n/a
Bluetooth No Yes
Wi-Fi Yes (802.11b/g) Yes (802.11b/g)
Wireless sync between PC and device Yes No
Wireless access to online store Yes Yes
Content available from online store Music, podcasts, TV shows, movies, applications Music, podcasts, TV shows, movies, audiobooks, applications
Number of available apps (including games) Several Tens of thousands
Subscription music service Zune Pass, $14.99/month n/a
Audio format support MP3, WMA, Protected WMA, WMA Lossless, AAC, Audible MP3, AAC, Protected AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, Audible
Video format support H.264, MPEG-4, WMV, DVR-MS (transcoded) H.264, MPEG-4
Speaker(s) n/a 1
App: Photo viewing Yes Yes
App: Web browser Yes Yes
App: Email No*
(* can read/send email from web-based services in web browser.)
App: Calendar No Yes
App: Contacts No Yes
App: Clock Yes Yes
App: Calculator Yes Yes
App: You Tube No Yes
App: Voice recording No Yes
App: Stocks No Yes
App: Notes No Yes


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