CNET Editor’s Choice: Apple fifth-gen updated iPod – ‘best, most attractive iPod to date’

“At Apple’s September 12 media event, Steve Jobs jumped right into introducing an updated fifth-generation iPod. Not a tremendous surprise here, as we believed the sixth-generation ‘true video iPod’ would not be announced until later in the year or even early in 2007. Underneath the familiar and still-scratch-prone polycarbonate and metal skin of the updated iPod (a.k.a. the 5.5 generation, or 5.5G) lies a more mature iPod, many steps wiser and more able than its one-year-old predecessor. The iPod gains many incremental improvements, including a brighter screen and better video battery life, but probably the most appealing aspect is the tantalizing price points of $249 for the 30GB version and $349 for the huge 80GB version (available in both white and black). While it may still not fully address the needs of a new population of iTunes movie watchers, the updated iPod is the best one to date,” James Kim reports for CNET Reviews.

“In unofficial testing, the 80GB version was able to play back a wide-screen iTunes movie (with brightness at default) more than three times, and very close to 6.5 hours. That’s pretty impressive. Video, too, looks nicer on a brighter screen,” Kim reports. “While the 6G ‘true video’ iPod will still be a figment of the tech world’s imagination (check back at Macworld ’07), the enhanced 5G iPod looks more attractive than ever with its incremental updates. It looks the same as the original (accessory companies breathe a collective sigh), but under the hood, you have an iPod that makes the original 5G iPod look rusty.”

Kim reports, “Pricing is a huge aspect here; $249 for the 30GB iPod, as far as I know, is the best price for a 30GB player I’ve ever seen. And for another $100, you get 80GB! Nice job there, Apple. For me personally, the gapless playback and better battery life make the iPod the most attractive one to date, and it’s certainly a better value than the similarly priced but much smaller 8GB Nano.”

Much more in the full review here.

Related articles:
Analyst: iPod video tear-down suggests high Apple margins, future ‘true iPod Video’ – September 15, 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 debuts new iPod in 30GB and 80GB with Hollywood movies, games and new lower price – September 12, 2006
Apple intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006
Apple unveils new iPod shuffle: world’s smallest digital music player – September 12, 2006

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