RealMoney.com’s Holiday Gadget Gift Guide: buy Apple iPod, avoid Microsoft Zune

“As the holiday season is now officially upon us, it’s time to scout out the best gifts. To help you with that, I’ve compiled a list of the five best holiday gadget gifts, and I’ll tell you about three products to avoid,” Cody Willard writes for RealMoney.com. “So without further ado, here is my 2006 Gadget Gift Guide.”

The Ones to Buy:
Nintendo Wii: US$249
Apple iPod Shuffle: $79: Though not offering anything groundbreaking, Apple’s latest iPod Shuffle does not disappoint. It’s a barebones option for those looking for a compact, easy-to-use music player. The appeal of the newly designed iPod shuffle relies on the one thing Apple has consistently delivered over the past five years: its “cool” factor. While there was nothing wrong with the original Shuffle, Apple got the new one right by completely redesigning its look and feel. The biggest addition is a simple clip that allows consumers to “wear” their music.
Slingbox Pro: $249.99
Garmin nüvi 360: $749.99
Palm Treo 680: $199 (with two-year Cingular contract), $399 (any GSM service provider)
MacDailyNews Note: We’re waiting for a better smart phone. wink

The Ones to Avoid:
Microsoft Zune
Helio
Delphi Nav200 GPS Navigator

Full article here.

For the fun of it, here’s yet another snippet of a lovely Zune review, this time from today’s Playlist:

Christopher Breen writes, “Can you imagine any other company whose corporate culture would allow it to release such a flawed product? What do you suppose would happen to an auto company that produced a car with no steering wheel or seats that spontaneously exploded after three uses or three days? Heads would (and should) roll. At Microsoft? Nothing. Instead, the company claims to be happy with the device and insists that it will sell 1 million units by July of next year. Unless Microsoft quickly turns this product around in a big way or starts tossing Zunes into boxes of breakfast cereal, even this modest estimate suggests to me that not enough people at Microsoft have taken the time to actually use the Zune.”

“Seen from afar the Zune has mounds of potential. It offers a screen bigger than the iPod (and one that can be viewed horizontally as well as vertically), it features a unique system for sharing files wirelessly, and you can choose to fill it from a library of millions of tracks if you opt for the Zune Marketplace’s subscription service. Get a little closer, however, and you discover a product and ecosystem akin to the main thoroughfare of a Hollywood movie set. The buildings seem to be there, but look behind their faces and you find half-finished, rickety structures held together by two-by-fours, wire, and duct tape,” Breen writes. “Welcome to the disgraceful.”

Full review here.

Related articles:
Microsoft expects to sell 1 million Zunes by June – December 06, 2006
Ballmer: ‘Zune halo effect’ will help Windows Vista – December 06, 2006
Microsoft Zune plummets to 5th place in U.S. digital media player market share with 2.1 percent – December 04, 2006
Analysts: Microsoft needs to ‘rethink’ as interest in Zune fades fast – December 01, 2006
Enderle on Apple iPod vs. Microsoft Zune – November 30, 2006
The Channel Checkers: 81% recommend Apple iPod – November 30, 2006
NPD: Microsoft Zune hits 9% in US market share in first week, takes #2 spot from SanDisk [UPDATED] – November 29, 2006
Microsoft says Zune sales in line with their expectations – November 29, 2006
Newsflash: analyst says Apple iPod beating Microsoft Zune – November 28, 2006
Thurrott reviews Microsoft Zune: ‘a joke, a travesty, I can’t imagine what they were thinking’ – November 28, 2006
Apple iPod clearly immune to Zune – November 27, 2006
Zune reinforces Microsoft’s dorky image, pushes people toward Apple iPods, Macs – November 27, 2006
Ihnatko: Microsoft Zune experience about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face – November 24, 2006
TheStreet.com: It’s not looking good for Microsoft’s Zune; bad press may taint brand for years – November 24, 2006
Amazon’s bestselling MP3 players list chronicles Microsoft Zune dud – November 20, 2006
Bill Gates: Apple iPod ‘phenomenal, unbelievable, fantastic’ – November 16, 2006
Cramer’s Mad Money: Microsoft’s Zune is pathetic; Vista may cause people to turn to Apple Mac – November 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune selling like snotcakes – November 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune incompatible with Windows Vista – November 14, 2006
Dvorak: ‘If anything is doomed to failure, it’s Microsoft’s Zune’ – November 14, 2006
Ballmer: Zune’s Wi-Fi will help Microsoft challenge Apple’s iPod+iTunes – November 14, 2006
CNN ridicules Microsoft’s Zune while gushing over Apple’s new iPod shuffle – November 14, 2006
Engadget: Microsoft’s Zune software: ‘It sucks’ – November 13, 2006
Early Microsoft Zune customer greeted with Zune ‘Installation Error’ – November 13, 2006
Zuned: What’s the ‘deal’ with Microsoft Points? – November 12, 2006
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Apple has no need to worry about Microsoft’s cumbersome, chunkier Zune – November 11, 2006
BusinessWeek: ‘By this time next year, Microsoft’s Zune will be considered a dismal failure’ – November 10, 2006
USA Today’s Baig: Microsoft Zune is no Apple iPod – November 09, 2006
Forbes: Microsoft’s Zune stinks; like ‘Microsoft Bob,’ only more embarrassing – November 09, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue: Zune should come in green to match Microsoft’s iPod envy – November 09, 2006
Mossberg: MS Zune has ‘too many compromises, missing features’ vs. ‘thin, sleek, elegant’ Apple iPod – November 09, 2006
Microsoft to pay Universal for every Zune sold – November 09, 2006
Analysts: Microsoft Zune may end up being a flop – November 08, 2006
Are 58% of iPod owners really thinking of a Zune switch? – November 08, 2006
Survey: 58% of iPod owners planning another MP3 player purchase will consider Microsoft’s Zune – November 01, 2006
Zune is from Microsoft, but Microsoft doesn’t want anybody to know about it – November 07, 2006
Microsoft Zune to be US-only, no firm plans to launch anywhere else globally – November 03, 2006
Five Microsoft Zune TV commercials – November 02, 2006
JupiterResearch: Apple’s iPod will dominate for foreseeable future; Microsoft’s Zune insignificant – October 25, 2006
Ellen DeGeneres Show gives away Microsoft Zunes, studio audience goes berserk – October 23, 2006
More Microsoft Zune myths explored – October 20, 2006
Five more Microsoft Zune myths – October 18, 2006
Microsoft Zune intensifies chaos in Apple iPod+iTunes also-ran market – October 16, 2006
Newsweek Q&A: Apple CEO Steve Jobs discusses iPod’s impact, Microsoft’s Zune, and more – October 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Ballmer: Zune device not money loser, wishes Apple’s 30GB iPod was $299 instead of $249 – October 11, 2006
Microsoft’s consumer electronics track record: long string of failures – October 11, 2006
MP3.com founder: ‘Zune will be an expensive failure for Microsoft because consumers aren’t stupid’ – October 06, 2006
Microsoft fails to secure key Zune domains – October 04, 2006
Microsoft rigs Zune with tricky pricing and proprietary money schemes – October 03, 2006
Why Microsoft’s Zune won’t kill Apple’s iPod – October 03, 2006
10 Apple iPod vs. Microsoft Zune myths – October 02, 2006
Analyst: Zune could lead to ‘civil war’ between Microsoft and Windows Media partners – September 29, 2006
Thurrott on Microsoft’s Zune: ‘The makings of a disaster, what the heck are these people thinking?’ – September 29, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune’s as good as dead on arrival – September 28, 2006
Microsoft sets 30GB Zune price at $249.99 – September 28, 2006
How Microsoft’s Zune can kill Apple’s iPod – September 21, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune insanity – September 21, 2006
The Microsoft Zune 1.0 dud – September 20, 2006
Microsoft’s underwhelming Zune a ‘viral DRM’ device – September 18, 2006
SanDisk teams with RealNetworks against new common foe: Microsoft Zune – September 18, 2006
Creative does Apple’s dirty work by immediately attacking Microsoft’s Zune – September 17, 2006
Motley Fool’s Jayson: Microsoft’s ‘just plain ugly’ Zune a meager offering, not an iPod killer – September 15, 2006
What’s in a name? ‘Zune’ a French-Canadian euphemism for penis or vagina – September 15, 2006
Crave at CNET: ‘Microsoft Zune, all the excitement that brown can bring’ – September 15, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune underwhelms – September 15, 2006
Enderle: Microsoft Zune ‘a design mistake’ – September 15, 2006
Microsoft hypocrisy exposed with Zune: What ever happened to ‘choice?’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune with fake scroll wheel ‘hardly an Apple iPod killer’ – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft Zune won’t spoil Apple’s biggest iPod Christmas ever – September 14, 2006
Microsoft unveils Zune 30GB player, Zune Marketplace; declines to disclose prices – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft’s Zune an ‘underwhelming’ repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat; no threat to Apple iPod – August 30, 2006
Microsoft confirms brick-like Zune to be made by Toshiba – August 25, 2006
Microsoft Zune is chunky brick made by Toshiba – August 25, 2006
Microsoft to sell single Zune model this fall, rumors of Wi-Fi capability were greatly exaggerated – August 10, 2006
Microsoft to spend hundreds of millions, several years on Zune trying to catch Apple iPod+iTunes – July 27, 2006
Zune: Apple cannot lose. Microsoft cannot win. – July 26, 2006
Opinion: More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Microsoft pulls plug on Zune – July 25, 2006

22 Comments

  1. Funny, funny Chris Breen and funny, funny Andy Ihnatko are good pals, so they have resonant senses of humor. Two peas in a pod, telling it like it is.
    Gotta love ’em both, bless their little hearts!

    “Welcome to the disgraceful”

    Priceless, just priceless!

    MDN MW: southern
    as in

    “Looks like sales of Zunes are goin’ south Ernest!!

  2. Pickup A Zune (if you can get one out of the lock down displays. play with the scroll “buttons”

    Then pick up an ipod, and play with the scroll wheel for a second. Then go back to the Zune and try it again..

    It’s beyond me how anyone would even consider paying comparable money for a Zune after comparing just the scroll wheel to an iPod’s

    Cheap junky kludgy plasticky feel zune vs. pure velvet and a marvel of design form and function on the Apple.

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