Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Apple iPod touch (3rd generation)

Touch: The Song Remains the Same

The third generation of the iPod touch looks identical to the 2nd generation, but the capacities and prices are improved: 8GB ($199), 32GB ($299), and 64GB ($399). There’s no built-in video camera, as had been rumored, which is a bit of a surprise, considering the less-expensive and muchtinier nano got one. With the touch, Apple’s focus remains firmly on music, and, more so than ever, portable gaming. Along with a nice speed bump come some app organization improvements and new Genius features, all of which are welcome additions. Even if there’s no exciting surprise with this touch iteration, after three long years, there’s still not a better portable media player out there.

The new iPod touch doesn’t just look like the old touch—it’s identical. The device is, as always, dominated by its luscious 3.5-inch glass touch-screen. With a 480-by-320 resolution, the display is the best in the business— only the LCD on the Zune HD, which is smaller, rivals the touch’s bright and responsive screen. The player’s top panel houses the Power button, the back of the player looks like a warped funhouse mirror, and the proprietary connection for the USB syncing cable lives on the bottom panel alongside the earphone jack. The Home button remains centered below the display. Though the new iTunes LP feature is very cool (including video, song lyrics, and liner notes with album purchases), you can only experience those extras in iTunes, not on the touch itself. Also, there’s no 802.11n support yet. Apple claims a 50 percent speed bump with this model, and I did notice the device reacted more quickly to button pushes and finger swipes, as well as a more fluid Web experience. One remaining Web gripe: There’s still no support for Flash, which is a feature I’d gladly trade for the slight speed boost. On the software front, the new Genius for apps suggests apps you may like based on what you’ve already downloaded. And Genius Mix can organize your music into “mixes” based on genre. In a nutshell, when you improve the best player on the market, even if in tiny increments, it remains the best—and our Editors’ Choice. If you’re not an Apple fan.

Apple iPod touch
(3rd generation)
8GB, $199 direct; 32GB, $299; 64GB, $399

Pro s : Best touch-screen portable media player, period. Increased capacities at lower prices. Faster processing ideal for gaming. Top-notch Web browser. iTunes improvements include Genius Mixes, Genius-based app recommendations, and app organization.

Con s : Bundled earbuds still stink. Audio file support doesn’t include FLAC or OGG. Browser still lacks Flash support.

Source of Information : PC Magazine 2009 11

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