Ars Technica reviews Apple 2G iPod nano: ‘a solid upgrade’ over the original

“Only a year has passed between Apple’s introduction of the first generation of iPod nano and now. With a sizable share of the flash player market at this point, Apple revamped all of its flash players last week with a new generation of iPod nanos and iPod shuffles. The second generation iPod nano line gets a brighter screen, software updates, new headphones, new packaging, and most noticably, an entirely new enclosure made of anodized aluminum,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica.

“The new line of iPod nanos check in at 2GB and 4GB once again, with the addition of a higher-capacity model with 8GB of storage space. The available nano colors are silver, green, blue, pink, and black. The lowest-end model, the 2GB, only comes in silver with the 4 GB model being available in all colors but black,” Cheng reports. “The pricing of the 8 GB model is interesting as well—at $249, it’s now the same price as Apple’s current 30GB regular-sized iPod, which only emphasizes the theory that users who are going to buy a black 8GB nano are doing so because of form factor and aesthetics, not because of storage capacity.”

“The screen of the new nano is noticeably brighter than the older nano when compared side-by-side. The photos don’t convey the brightness difference very well, but in person there is no mistake that the new nano’s screen is brighter and sharper. On the same-sized screen, text on the screen is clearer and more easily readable than on the old nano,” Cheng reports.

Cheng reports, “I put the nano in my pocket with a bunch of keys and coins and went about my business around the house for several hours. The nano’s aluminum body showed some very light scratches after this, but none on the screen. I then put the nano into my laptop bag with more keys, coins, my cell phone, a digital camera, and a number of other random knick-knacks. I continued to go about my business, but made special effort to rustle around my bag more than usual. After several hours of riding in my backpack, the nano came out with a few more minimal scratches, but still significantly less than the first generation, plastic-cased nano would have under the same treatment. Best of all, there were still no noticable scratches on the screen. Perhaps Apple changed the plastic on the screen to something more durable?”

“When it’s all said and done, this is a solid upgrade to the 1G nano. The better battery life, an improved screen, lower price, and colored cases, means that the 2G nano gets a solid 8. We still don’t like Apple charging more for black and not including software with the iPod,” Cheng reports.

Full review with stress tests, photos, and more here.

Related articles:
iLounge reviews, dissects Apple 2G iPod nano – September 15, 2006
PC Mag Editor’s Pick: Apple’s new iPod nano – ‘’an excellent product, slim, attractive, easy to use’ – September 14, 2006
CNET Editor’s Pick: Apple’s new 2G iPod nano – ‘sure to be top choice among wide range of users’ – September 14, 2006
Apple posts new iPod nano ad online – September 12, 2006
Apple intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006

17 Comments

  1. Nobody thinks that the new Nano’s are TOO thin?

    I checked them out at Best Buy, and I feel as though I can snap the thing in half. I’m all about the colors and brighter screen, but give me something tangible that I can feel in my hands.

    When does thin become too thin? Anybody with big hands will find this Nano difficult to handle.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. Huh?
    “We still don’t like Apple charging more for black…”
    The black nano is also 8 GB, so you’re getting double the storage for an extra $50! The reason Apple only offers it in one color is probably:
    1) they expect to sell fewer so this helps them manage inventory;
    2) there are fewer 8 GB flash memory sticks available, so this helps limit demand, or;
    3) both.

  3. personally they are too retro for my tase (sooo iPod mini, of course)
    I would have prefered it if all the colours had a coloured click wheel like the black.
    the black one is so much nicer because of this.

    White click wheels for white iPods!!

  4. They are such a huge improvement – I’m glad I waited since I sold my 2nd gen 6GB mini. The 1st nanos were goofy looking, pricey and extremely scratchable. If people want something thicker, get the standard iPod (duh) for $50 more, or just buy a case to make the nano bulky.

    Of course, the whole point of an annodized aluminum chasis is that you don’t need a case anymore – unless you keep it in the same pocket as your keys or something. I’m not keeping mine in a case, just my pocket.

  5. These new nanos are awesome. They took the best elements of the old iPod mini and incorporated them into the nano’s design. These will be THE hot electronic gift for the upcoming holiday season. The PS3 will be too expensive and the Wii too disappointing to take that crown.

  6. Some speculation from Engadget (bold emphasis from me):

    “What we think we know (and are pretty sure of)

    They’ll be showing off the device by the end of next month, and will aim for a November release.
    Microsoft will buy your way out of iTunes in order to convert you to a Zune user.
    The Zune will come in multiple colors.
    Pyxis is the codename for their nano competitor which would also include video capabilities; Alexandria is the codename for the software that powers the Zune experience.
    A Microsoft portable gaming system is in the works, and will be a part of the Zune family. This device should have Xbox Live Anywhere integration. This may or may not be an Xbox co-branded portable, but is probably going to be the portable gaming / media device we’ve been hearing about for years.
    Microsoft’s ad campaign will include a Super Bowl commercial.
    The Zune will have a bevy of accessories at launch; it’ll probably be cheaper for accessory makers to develop for the Zune port than pay the Made For iPod tax.

  7. I received my 8gb nano today. I went from a 3G iPod to this and already I’m addicted. The size is incredible, can’t believe I have so many songs in such a tiny space.

    I thought I wouldn’t want to view video until I gained the ability to download Pornotube and Xtube flicks through Firefox. Thought it was a bunch of bullshit at first but it works and I’m building quite a collection. I wouldn’t mind being able to view them on the nano’s screen. I’ll be one of the first to buy the widescreen 6G but for now I’m content with extracting the sound from my skin flicks and getting off to it on the go.

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