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Whet your appetite: videos of ZuneHD

29 May, 2009 (08:49) | zune news | By: Harvey Chute

More details and videos are surfacing about the ZuneHD, which will be released this fall by Microsoft. The video above, from C|net, doesn’t clearly show the entire menu of options, but gives a glimpse of the look and feel of the new player.

One thing that strikes me is the responsiveness of the accelerometer. Watch as the picture display pivots from portrait to landscape mode - it’s a brisk transition, compared to my own experience with iPhone and iPod Touch.

I’m guessing that the web browser will be another menu option - unless it’s tucked under the Social menu. No video that I’ve seen shows the browser, and my understanding is that it’s not yet enabled in these pre-release models. The browser is described by Microsoft as finger-friendly (as opposed to stylus or keyboard-driven). It’s a derivation of Internet Explorer, customized and optimized for ZuneHD. This browser is probably a forerunner to the updated browser expected in upcoming releases of Windows Mobile.

The ZuneHD has an OLED screen - as opposed to LCD screens like the other Zune models and the iPod Touch. What’s that about? OLED displays differ from LCD screens in significant ways: they don’t require a built-in backlight, so they don’t draw as much battery power as LCD; they’re thinner, again because the backlight is not required; they’re capable of displaying a greater range of colors, brightness, and contrast than LCDs; and they allow the display to be viewed from a much wider range of viewing angles than LCDs.

While it’s difficult to tell from the videos, it’s likely that the ZuneHD OLED display will be noticeably better in quality than iPod Touch when the two are viewed side-by-side. Now that’s a video I’d like to see.

We have links to more ZuneHD videos where you can see more angles and commentary.