The battle between Apple and Microsoft heated up again with the Tuesday release of the Zune HD, the latest version of Microsoft's portable media player. So how does it stack up with new iPod touch? Based on early reviews of the device at least, PC doesn't get shown up by Mac.
Gizmodo called the Zune HD the "best touchscreen PMP on the market," with the most impressive hardware and "most stylish software". But the tech blog noted that comparisons to the iPod touch aren't necessarily apt because the latter is more a mini computer than a pure media player.
"The success of the iPod Touch shows that that media playback alone isn't necessarily enough anymore," according to Gizmodo. While the Zune HD won't cut into iPod sales, the site suggests it could be more threatening to competing devices from Samsung and Sony.
A CNet preview pointed out some features the new Zune has that the iPod touch doesn't, including an OLED display, HD radio, and high-definition video playback. The Zune HD received four out of five stars based on 64 user reviews so far posted on CNet.
The site also notes the new model is the first with an Internet Explorer Web browser. But in a separate review http://news.cnet.com/8301-13526_3-10354240-27.html?tag=hotTopicsBody.1, Matt Rossof, CNet's Digital Noise blogger, said the new browser "seems like an afterthought" because of difficulties with the interface. He also found the mobile version of Bing hard to use on the Zune HD.
On Amazon.com, 37 users gave the 16GB version of the Zune HD four out five stars, the same as CNet. A number of the reviews posted compared the device favorable to the iPhone and iPod, especially when it comes to sound quality and playing music. Detractors pointed out the continuing dearth of apps in the Zune Marketplace compared to the App Store.