Thurrott reviews Apple’s 2G iPod nano: ‘the best small-sized media player on the market today’

“Last year’s release of the iPod nano, a successor to the iPod mini, was a watershed moment for Apple Computer. An almost perfect digital device, the iPod nano took Apple style to its logical conclusion with an unbelievably small and thin form factor, a gorgeous color screen, and excellent battery life,” Paul Thurrott writes for Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows.

“Alas, the original iPod nano was not perfect. Most notably, the nano was scratch-tacular,” Thurrott writes. “Scratching aside, the nano was–and still is–a beautiful device. I liked it so much, in fact, that I also bought a white one for my wife, though by that time enough cases and other protective accessories had appeared that we didn’t need to worry about scratching it per se.”

“The new iPod nano is similar in size and shape to the previous nano, and it retains the odd, off-centered iPod Dock Connector on its bottom, next to the headphone jack. Confusingly, the new nano is available in three ‘trim’ levels, each of which comes in a few different colors. For $149, you can grab a 2 GB version in a silver case. In the middle of the lineup is a 4 GB version, which costs $199 and is available in silver, green, blue, and pink. At the top of the heap is the new 8 GB nano. This unit is available only in black and costs $249,” Thurrott writes.

“A couple of comments on the selection: First, prices are lower this time around. With the previous generation, $249 netted only 4 GB of storage, so that’s a nice improvement. Given how vocal I’ve been about Apple overcharging for iPods, I think it’s fair to now admit that iPod pricing, finally, is in line with what I’d expect for these kinds of devices,” Thurrott writes. “Second, I don’t understand why people who want to buy the most expensive nano are limited to black. I like the black nano, but I suspect a lot of people will want a more customized experience, and Apple should make all the color variations available at the high end. Obviously.”

“Thanks to the aluminum shell, the new nano is no longer scratch-happy. Yippee,” Thurrott writes. “Compared to the iPod with video, the iPod nano is smaller all around… The screen is tiny, too, as before, but is now noticeably brighter. Despite its small size, the nano’s screen is easily read thanks to its clean font and good contrast.”

“From a battery life perspective, the nano is fantastic. I haven’t done a full range of tests yet, but Apple has bumped the official single charge lifetime to 24 hours, which puts the nano on par with the best the competition has to offer. Certainly, I’ve never been able to drain the thing in even the longest listening sessions,” Thurrott writes. “The second generation iPod nano is the best small-sized portable media player on the market today… If you’re looking for a companion at the gym, while running, during a commute, or on a plane, you could do a heck of a lot worse than the iPod nano. It’s unlikely, however, that you could do any better. Highly recommended.”

Full review here.

Related articles:
Thurrott reviews Apple’s iTunes 7: ‘the best software-based media jukebox I’ve ever used’ – September 22, 2006
USA Today reviews new Apple iPod nanos, updated iPods, iTunes 7 (each earns 4 stars out of 4) – September 21, 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 intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006
Thurrott: Apple’s ‘stunning’ iPod lineup fits every need and budget – December 07, 2005
Thurrott: Apple iPod nano is almost perfect – September 23, 2005


  1. He does have a point about the colours. I can understand offering a variation such as black at a higher premium, I don’t have to like it but I can understand it. What I don’t understand is why people who want the bigger capacity, who are willing to spend more, get limited in terms of colours.

  2. MDN, thank you for making my name famous. Even though what I reveal is pretty obvious, you seem to love me as much as i love your site. The only site that publishes my articles. Thank you MDN.

    you’re the best preacher to the converted.

  3. On the color selection:

    I think that when the black nano was introduced, Apple realized that there was such a huge demand for black, that they might as well charge for it.

    Hence the black MacBook being the deluxe top-of-the-line MacBook, and more expensive.

    Supply and demand, baby. And keeping inventories in multiple colors is more expensive. They don’t want to get stuck with a bunch of green ones (ick).

    I think it’s a pretty brilliant line up.

    Aluminum is one of their signature colors, requires no coloring in fact from the raw material (I should think), and is the Model T in this line up. Want the budget iPod nano? Any color you want, so long as it’s aluminum.

    Then if you either:

    a) Are a girl
    b) Are buying the iPod as a gift for a girl

    You have to pay a reasonable premium, with which you get more storage. A very nice upsell.

    Then for all those who want just the coolest, bestest, hot-rod model (read: probably a guy), there’s black, and only black, indicating your status.

    Man, Apple has got this pricing/differentiation stuff DOWN.

  4. About the black 8Gig nano, my guess is 8gig memory chips aren’t up to speed in large quantities yet and if Thurrott doesn’t realize actually how many nanos Apple is likely to sell this holiday season. Could easily get into the 10’s of millions. If you’re shy on the memory chips, you don’t come out with a bunch of colors. If you had to choose, you put them in your single “best” selling color. Apple can easily stick the chips into the other color cases before the holiday season and garner some more press coverage in the process. It’s marketing baby.

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