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Comprehensive Review of Microsoft's Zune HD Audio/Video Player

written by: unsel•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/23/2011

The Microsoft Zune HD delivers best audio and video experiences. In this review, we will explore this device, and see how well it performs, and whether it is worthy of your dollar.

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    Design & User Interface

    Rating Average

    The first thing you will notice upon seeing this Zune HD is its sleek and incredible design that stands out in the crowd. The playerzune hd verdict 

    measures 4.0 by 2.0 by 0.3 inches, and has a gorgeous touch-screen interface that measures 3.3-inch. The player is insanely light-weight, weighing only 2.6 ounces, 1.5 ounces less than one of its competitors – the iPod Touch.

    The Zune HD has only three buttons and they’re fairly well hidden. The power button sits on the top edge of the player, the home button under the screen, while the volume rocker and the media button occupy the left spine.

    The Zune pad is absent on Zune HD. On its place, the media button lets you play, pause, reverse and forward the multimedia content. The home button takes you to the main menu. The touch-interface of the Zune HD is very pleasing since the software system of the player provides multi-touch commands like squeezing to zoom, pinching, and complete touch navigation. Getting into your content and playing back media is a simple task, and can do it easily. The display is highly responsive and performance is excellent. The Zune HD menu consists of a refined list, including Pictures, Marketplace, Music, Internet and many more. Navigation though the menu items is very easy for everyone and the other menus have similar design.

    The screen is bright and very sharp making it a suitable portable video player. The 480 x 272 OLED screen is pretty cool and helps in increasing the life of the battery.

    Image Credit: wired.com

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    Features

    Rating Average

    The Microsoft Zune HD player offers pletthra of features to fulfill th desire of its users. Let's find out what features this player offers to its users, in this Zune HD review.

    QuickPlay

    The Quickplay feature lets you pin favorite playlists, albums, songs or other content to the front menu of the player. The featureZuneHD design - a beautiful player  provides a New section that displays the 6 items you have recently added to your collection. There is also a History section that displays the last 6 things you have played.

    HD Radio

    You can enjoy the excellent sound quality and experience of listening to high definition radio on the Zune HD. The Zune HD’s radio features the RDS (Radio Data Service) function, which gives real-time information on titles of songs being played, names of radio shows, etc.

    Internet

    On Zune HD you can even surf the internet. Zune HD allows you to connect to a wireless network so you can read news, browse internet pages, and do whatever you want right on your Zune HD.

    File Formats

    The Zune HD supports supports a lot of audio, video and file formats. The full list includes WMV, HD DMV, MPEG 4, H.264, DVR-MS and iPod-formatted clips (except DRMed videos), WMA, MOV, AAC, MP3, MP4, M4A and M4B.

    Background Art

    Zune HD’s Background art scrolls through pictures of the artist and album art as each song plays. It is a great feature as it adds more fun to your music listening experience. And it is particularly useful when you want to know who the song singer is, so you can see him/her right on your Zune HD screen.

    Wireless Sync

    The Wireless sync feature of the Zune HD allows you to sync your Zune HD content with your computer wirelessly. All you have to do is leave the wireless connection on, and the device will periosically sync with your computer, even if you do not have the Zune HD app open. So the main advantage of wireless sync is that you do not have to physically connect a cable in order to sync your data

    Marketplace

    Like Apple’s iTunes Store, Microsoft has their own store, called Zune Marketplace. You can go to the Zune Marketplace website and download music, games and videos exclusively for the Zune HD.

    You can also download some apps off the Marketplace. There are only less than a dozen apps available. When are the new apps coming, no one knows, but I am sure Microsoft must be working on great apps right now.

    Memory

    The Zune HD is available with 16 GB (black color) and 32 GB (platinum color) of memory.

    eBooks

    You can also use Zune HD for eBook reading. Overdrive and Audible provide audio books for the Zune HD. Simply go the Audible or Override’s website, download their software and begin transferring your favorite eBooks to your Zune HD.

    Accessories

    Zune HD comes with a few accessories as well - A USB cable for connecting the player to the PC, and a set of ear buds.

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    Zune HD Performance

    Rating Average

    The Zune HD's display is highly responsive and performance incredible. The player has an OLED screen and an nVidia Tegra APXzune hd performance 

    2600 video processor, which together gives excellent video performance that will rival many laptop computers for video performance. The audio quality is awesome. The Zune HD is the best sounding hardware, I must say! The audio is rich with deep bass and superb dynamics.

    The battery life of the Zune HD is very impressive. Zune HD can play music for up to 32 hours and video for up to 8.0 hours. This battery life is just grand! The radio reception of Zune HD is great but is affected by physical obstacles, distance and other broadcast signals.

    The Zune HD is a high-performance player than any other player to date, there is no doubt about it and for Apple lovers here is another compelling reason to go with the Microsoft Zune HD over the Apple iPod Touch: The iPod Touch runs at 533 Mhz, whereas the Zune HD runs at 800Mhz. Zoom!!

    Image Credit: newlaunches.com

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    Verdict

    Rating Average

    In this Zune HD review, we discovered that Microsoft Zune HD is the best multimedia player you can get. It is a very attractive device with a lot of great features and great quality. Perhaps the most compelling reason to buy a Microsoft Zune HD is its gorgeous screen and the beautiful body. To me this seems to be the most compelling reason to choose Zune HD.

    The device is lightweight, and fits into the palm of your hand. It is also easy to use and very accessible. The Zune HD 16 GB comes for $ 158.88 and the 32 GB model for $203.54. The majority of people are giving positive reviews and opinions about this product, as it delivers one of the best portable music and video experiences money can buy.

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