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New iPods, and a new redesigned $99 Apple TV, oh my!

September 2nd, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
So, if you are keeping up with the tech world, you know the two biggest recent announcements are from Apple and Samsung. Apple yesterday released a whole new lineup of iPods and a new Apple TV, as well as iOS announcement, while Samsung today revealed their much anticipated iPad competitor based on Android Froyo.

I’m going to focus on my thoughts on the new iPods.

The shuffle is my favorite shuffle out of all the shuffles. The design is symmetrical, has the click wheel, clip, and small size with all the latest features. Unlike the previous generation which relied on buttons being on the headset, the new shuffle truly is the best of all worlds. Well, with the exception of not having a display. I like it.

iPod Nano 6th generation.

The nano on the other hand, is a huge step backward, in my opinion. In fact, its the biggest step backward I can recall in an Apple product. What Apple doesn’t mention is that the new nano has a smaller 1.54 inch screen compared to the 2.2 inch screen of the previous nano, and also no longer has a built in camera, or even a mic! There are no tactile buttons, meaning you MUST look at the nano to do anything such as skip songs, and to add insult to injury, its the thickest nano ever made, is available in less colors, and doesn’t have the iconic clickwheel to identify it as a nano visually. The capacities aren’t any larger either, and the prices are not significantly lower. I feel they had it right in the 4th generation nano. That nano was the nano design perfected. The nano doesn’t need a camera, or a mic, its more focused that way. The addition of the camera and mic made the back of the nano a whole lot uglier in what was otherwise a beautiful design.

The new touch on the other hand is a fantastic update and adds the much appreciated camera with 720p video recording. Apple again fails to mention that the camera is better at taking video than it is at taking still photos, having only a 960×720 resolution for photos. I think this has a lot to do with the touch being even thinner than the iPhone. Because it is so thin, they can only install certain depth camera optics. Similar to the 5th generation nano, the camera takes video better than it takes photos due to size of the optics, since the resolution is limited. Video on the other hand requires less resolution, and instead needs processing power to take. The new touch is the thinnest iPod touch ever at 7.3mm, even thinner than the 8mm of the first generation, and approaching the 6.5mm of the original nano. Just to compare, the iPhone 4 is 9.3mm and is already exceptionally thin. Other than this, it also got the retina display which is fantastic, as well as a front facing camera for facetime calls (and to act as a mirror).

Apple also released a much smaller, steaming video focused Apple TV successor priced at $99, less than half the cost of the model it replaces. It is also a quarter of the size and can easily be held with one hand, as shown above.