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Review: 4th Generation iPod Nano

written by: theninjapeanuts•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/20/2010
4

The new iPod Nano is back, and it's looking hot. Read my review for more!

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    The New iPod

    I absolutely love all the iPod Nano models (except the 3rd generation. Ugh. It just sends shivers down my spine). So, while I was at the Apple Store in Chicago (where else would I be?) I spotted the stunning new iPod Nano, 4th Generation (available in 8gig for $149 USD and 16gig for $199 USD).

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    Design

    Rating Average

    Apple pulled out all the stops designing this new iPods. I have to say, the new iPod Nano must be the best designed iPod ever, even better than the iPod Touch (yes, I said it). Unbelievably slim, the new iPod Nano has beautiful aluminum casing that wraps completely around the device, unlike previous models, in which they had a silver casing at the back. The casing is curved, or beveled, as you might say, and feels slightly like a blunt knife in the hand. Picking up the Nano is a treat; I'm still in awe of how tiny and thin it is.

    Also unlike the previous models, the new Nano has a glass screen instead of a plastic one, which curves along with the rest of the iPod. This is fantastically scratch resistant, but makes it a pain to view videos or photos in the sunlight, because of the glare. Thankfully, many companies sell anti-glare screen coverings to save you the frustration.

    The new Nano's screen is exactly the same size as the 3rd generation Nano. But, as you may remember, the 3rd generation was more square, while this model is long and skinny again.

    There are two things I absolutely love about the new Nano: the accelerometer and the Genius feature.

    The accelerometer detects the orientation of the screen, so you can view everything either horizontally or vertically. This make watching videos and movies a treat, as well as playing games. Also, if you shake the Nano, it will automatically go to a different song in your library (unless you have the shake feature off. I didn't know about this, so for the first week, I was enormously frustrated when the song would change every time I dropped the Nano).

    The second feature, the Genius feature, finds artists and songs that go well with another, making an ideal playlist for you. The only problem with this is that if your music library's too small, Genius might not be able to find a suitable match (but don't worry; you'll soon fix that!)

    The Nano comes in a stunning array of bold, bright colors, nine in total. Pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and silver are available at any store, but the red edition is only available from Apple's website (Apple's website also offers free engraving for your iPod).

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    Quality

    Rating Average

    The screen resolution is the same as the iPod Classic and previous iPod Nano, so there's no change there. They've also given you coverflow, to view your library in a more entertaining fashion. The one thing that irks me is that the controls become a little awkward when the Nano is on its side; but that's a small price to pay for a thing of such beauty!

    The sound quality is so-so, and hasn't changed much. The headphones that come with the nano don't have a microphone, so although you have a voice recording feature in the Nano, you can't use it until you get an Apple-compatible mic.

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    Ease of Use

    Rating Average

    The screen resolution is the same as the iPod Classic and previous iPod Nano, so there's no change there. They've also given you coverflow, to view your library in a more entertaining fashion. The one thing that irks me is that the controls become a little awkward when the Nano is on its side; but that's a small price to pay for a thing of such beauty!

    The sound quality is so-so, and hasn't changed much. The headphones that come with the nano don't have a microphone, so although you have a voice recording feature in the Nano, you can't use it until you get an Apple-compatible mic.

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    The Bottom Line

    The 4th Generation iPod Nano makes it easy to see why the Nano is Apple's best-selling MP3 player. Its gorgeous design and simple user interface makes it stand out in the crowd, and, with its low price, It makes a great gift.