Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Zune 4GB Review

Recently I got the new Zune, a flash based 4GB Zune- Black. It came in a neat box. The un-boxing experience was a pleasure. It came with the Headphones, Zune Sync cable, 3 pairs of earpiece covers, quick start booklet, product guide
and of course, the Zune, all packed neatly in the neat box.

After removing it from the box, first thing you have to do is connect your PC to net and install the Zune Software from, without which Zune will be ‘locked’. So this was done in a jiffy and I connected my Zune to the PC and started syncing. If a firmware upgrade is needed, it’s also done easily. After syncing is done, you can enjoy the preloaded contents of Zune, as Zune comes with few songs, pictures, videos preloaded.

The Zune looks simple, with a Zune pad and 2 small buttons for ‘back’ and ‘play/pause’. The screen is a scratch proof glass screen. And the size of 4GB/8GB Zune is very small, almost credit card size. But when you start using it, you find it to be the most easy and convenient to use its controls. With its unique Zune pad, which you just have to either brush your fingers/thumb or can be clicked 4-way or at the center. Zune pad also registers velocity, just brush your finger quickly and you can fly through the list and just tap it to stop the scroll. You will find the Zune pad controls to be very natural. The zunepad is complimented by two buttons.

With its matte finish the front gives a solid look while its back is metallic matte finish. At the top it has the Hold switch and space for lanyard loop. And at the bottom it has the connector port and headphone jack. Some may not like providing the Headphone jack at bottom. (But I think, that will be convenient when you will be keeping your Zune in your Upper Shirt Pocket.) I also would have liked a cover for the connector port, like they are provided in some digital cameras. The included headphones sounds very good and they snap together magnetically.

Now, coming to its performance. As in the beginning, I had said it looks simple but once you start using it, it’s the most comfortable to use. The sound quality is great. And the video is sharp and crisp. It looks even better than watching on bigger screens. The video is played in landscape mode. And it has a built in FM tuner. Now it comes with a wireless sync. That’s great! It has an option for podcasting. The backgrounds can be changed as per your taste and the picture of your liking. And it has some more options as Zune Social, which is not available in this region. As you all know the Zune is available only for US market at present, I hope soon it will be made available worldwide. Except those services like Zune social, marketplace which are not available here, I am enjoying it with its good sound quality and sharp, crisp videos, I will give it a five star rating.

The Zune's user interface is simple, easy to navigate and fast to respond.

The new Zune software installed on your PC is easy, and you can be familiar with it as you start using it.

I had no problem with its set up, syncing or transferring my songs and videos to Zune. In fact I have converted many movies to Zune format and been enjoying it on Zune. It’s one of the best experience to watch your favorite movies on Zune. One has to see it to believe. I have also set up 10 FM local stations as presets and enjoying the radio also.

I will write a step-by-step guide on how to convert your movies to Zune compatible format for free in my next post.


mahesh said...

What about price and availability in India..?

Vasudev said...

mahesh, as you know the new Zune series (4GB,8GB and 80GB)was launched recently, on 13th of Nov. in US. And as such, AFAIK, there are no plans in near future to launch these Zunes in India. First I think they will open up in Canada and Europe and then they may do it in other regions. Yes I also want it to be made available in India and surely it'll be very popular here also. I can tell you again, the new Zunes have become a hit because of its features.

I got it from the Microsoft Company Stores being a MVP. So that's also one of the advantage being a MVP.

Anonymous said...

you got a zune... thats great!!! amazing.. wow

1shopreview said...

good product

i like! Zune

Vasudev said...

Yes It is a good product. Check out the update coming to Zune, Zune 3.0 software on 16th Sep which will add many new features to Zune, including Games, Buy from FM etc.

Vishal Gupta [MS MVP] said...

That's an excellent and detailed review. Thanks. I'm also planning to purchase the Zune this time and your review will definitely help me. :)

vasudev said...

Vishal get the Zune, Surely you'll like it.
Now with recent Zune 3.0 update, the software is also very much improved.
They have added lots of new features and the Zune also gets a clock, games and more.....

Anonymous said...

hi vasudev,

i too got the zune recently.
I Could not tune the RADIO to FM stations in India.
If possible could you explain?


Vasudev said...

Hi keerthi
Which city in India are you from? I hope your city has FM stations. And if your city does have FM stations and you are not able to tune in, Please follow this guide, your Zune will surely tune the stations Loud and clear:
Zune FM Radio Tip

or this short URL

Please let me know if you have any further related queries.

Vignesh said...

Nice review...I heard there are games in are they ? And how much time it takes to charge ?

Vasudev said...

Yes Vignesh, with new updated Software one gets the option of games. Yes there are few games which I like and are quite addictive. And if you are kind of developer/programmer then you can write your own games for Zune.
It takes around 2 Hrs to fully charge from totally discharged state.