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Go Back   Thoughts Media Forums > ZUNE THOUGHTS > Zune Hardware

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  #1  
Old 08-22-2009, 07:22 PM
Adam Krebs
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Default Impressions from Best Buy Zune HD Hands-On

<p>I just got back from my "local" (half hour away...ugh) Best Buy to take a look at the forthcoming Zune HD. I was pretty impressed with what I saw, and I'm definitely looking forward to picking mine up when it comes out. Here are a few things I noticed and thoughts I have about the device, and I'm mostly trying to avoid repeating anything that has been said before. Forgive the short-hand, but I'll try to clean it up later.</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/zt/auto/1249411053.usr495.jpg" style="border: 0;" /></p><ul><li>Press and hold the screen while in a song to bring up the option to "pin" a track, which shows up along with Now Playing and History to the left of the main menu</li><li>Now Playing screen folows the Zune Software more closely, with artist pictures and track info scrolling by slowly. Looks amazing on HDTV</li><li>Now Playing playlists can be saved to the device for later use, and even sent via the Social to yourself or other people to look at later. A keyboard pops up so you can name the playlist.</li><li>Now Playing list didn't seem to have many advanced features, only a Clear All and send button. The presenter tried to do a clockwise-circular gesture to re-arrange tracks, but apparently this was removed since an earlier version</li><li>He wasn't allowed to show off Marketplace, Social, or Internet features, since they weren't finished yet.</li><li>These features don't show up when the Zune is docked to the TV. Says it has nothing to do with wifi, just that they haven't finalized a version of these for 10-foot viewing. May come out in a future update</li><li>I got to hold the device to feel its heft, and it's surprisingly light. Screen seems very responsive, and the buttons tactile. The "home" button below the screen is slightly beveled, which felt good to press.</li><li>Notifications pop up at the bottom of the screen, a bit like the "curtain" on the Palm Pre. When you do an action like pin a song or clear a list, it will show up in this area, and not show up as an overlay the way it does currently on the 3.0 firmware.</li><li>There are no sliders in the Now Playing screen. To seek within a track or change the volume, you must hold one of the buttons on the screen</li><li>Changing tracks can also be accomplished via a swipe gesture, similar to the one currently used with the Zune Pad.</li><li>The "twist" interface has been retained (as you've likely seen in screenshots), but anywhere in the main area of the screen can be swiped right or left to accomplish the gesture.</li><li>Artist bios, pictures, and related artists all look incredibly well implemented, and it seems a great evolutionary step</li><li>The packaging appears similar to the second-generation product, and comes with regular (non-"premium") headphones and a sync cable that doesn't look to have changed much since version 2</li><li>The HD dock will not accept the original Zune 30, since it "simply will not fit." Apparently has more to do with size than anything else.</li></ul><p>All in all, a number of welcome improvements (like saving Now Playing lists, HD radio, and of course the beautiful transitions), and a number of things I hope they'll fix in coming updates. No matter what, this definitely appears to be something the Zune team can be proud of. Great stuff.</p>
 
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:47 PM
David Tucker
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Awesome...there wasn't one close enough to me to get out to
 
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:20 PM
USArcher
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Hopefully they add MarketPlace, Social and Browser to the 10' UI. I could see a non-Media Center non-XBox household member wanting these features...especially with Zune Pass. I'm still waiting to see what/if any additional integration with Media Center is provided.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:27 PM
Alber1690
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Thirty minutes sounds like nothing compared to the 1:30-2hr adventure I would have had to embark if I would have decided on going to my "local" participating Best Buy. Consider yourself very lucky.

That aside, thinking how much we've heard about the Zune HD, I was very happy to see almost everything you mentioned to be little things I had not heard through other channels (e.g. headphones-gate being cleared up for me, this concept of "notifications," the details on playlist creation, and the packaging). But, what about the color options? Does Platinum look sleeker in person? Or does Black reign in appearance?
 
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:57 PM
Adam Krebs
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The guy mentioned that the HD can sync wirelessly with the 360. He mentioned this several times, but I didn't presss him on it. The keyboard doesn't have corrective input, apparently because of the many ways of spelling odd band names.

And Alber: I live in the city, so it was just a pain to hike myself out there by car. The black was clearly better looking, but the platinum honestly didn't look as bad as I'd expect. I asked about the Originals, but the guy didn't seem to know about them. He speculated on a mid-year refresh, but no solid basis for it.

I'm really leaning toward a red or blue Originals but I'm not sure I like the tint that much. It's a tough decision but hopefully we'll see some more on this soon. And the screen honestly looks amazing.
 
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:28 AM
photoman
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Default I tried The HD!

Well I went to Philadelphia and played with the HD and I love it. Its smaller in person and the platinum color is nice. I had my own headphones to hear the SQ and it sounded richer than the prevous zunes. Very responsive and the screen was brilliant. Now just to wait for 3 weeks or so.
 
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:35 AM
Phillip Dyson
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I went about 30 minutes to see it.
I was a little disappointed in the "preview".

They four dummy models and one hooked up to a TV. I was hoping to get a hands on with the actual device. I will say that it is thinner than I expected. As to being lighter, I can't really say since I was only able to hold the dummy's.
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2009, 01:56 AM
photoman
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WOW! The rep let me play with it a lot. That's a shame!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Dyson View Post
I went about 30 minutes to see it.
I was a little disappointed in the "preview".

They four dummy models and one hooked up to a TV. I was hoping to get a hands on with the actual device. I will say that it is thinner than I expected. As to being lighter, I can't really say since I was only able to hold the dummy's.
 
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:40 AM
Kacey Green
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Did the presenter mention if regular sync is any faster or more rigorous?

I'm getting tired of having to format my device once a quarter to get all the songs rated "Don't Like" off the device.

The re-sync takes about a week of normal use & syncing before I feel like I'm not missing anything from the library (though I am, there are always about 1600 songs that don't move over due to some sort of complaining about marketplace the device does).


As far as I can recall the nearest participating BestBuy is in Atlanta, over4 hours in the car ... I'll wait, I finally created some autoplaylists, Zune Software is still giving Zune Device full messages, I've removed over 200 tracks and it keeps filling up.
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  #10  
Old 08-23-2009, 04:17 AM
villian247
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Cool Update

I have been keeping track of the Zune HD but have failed to notice any one mention if there will be any update to the 1st and 2nd gen zunes. I mean I know that there will have to be differences in the way you control the zune but will the GUI be updated on the older zunes? I hope I am making sense.
 
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