“Remarkably, the latest iPod nano looks almost identical to its predecessor, but this player packs so much more into its small frame: A video camera, an FM tuner (a first for iPods!), a pedometer for joggers, and a larger screen,” Tim Gideon reports for PC Magazine. “Priced at $149 for 8GB and at $179 for 16GB ($20 less than last year’s 16GB player), this nano is more affordable and capable than any other similarly priced player out there, so it’s our latest Editors’ Choice.”
Gideon reports, “The big news here is the inclusion of a video camera, a mic, and a built-in speaker on the back panel… Adding a video recorder to the nano without increasing the size of the device is an impressive feat. And the camera makes good use of the nano’s accelerometer; you can switch between landscape and portrait mode while filming. There’s no question that a built-in videocam makes the slim iPod nano a far more attractive option than a (relatively) bulky, single-purpose, standard-definition handheld video camera, such as the $140 Pure Digital Flip Mino or the $100 Creative Vado. You’re not going to get HD, but despite its low resolution (VGA, 640 by 480 at 30fps), video captured with the nano is crisp and vibrant and rivals footage from the Mino or the Vado. And it looks and sounds better than video from the iPhone 3GS.”
Gideon reports, “The built-in mic doesn’t provide stellar audio, but high-quality audio and video aren’t the point; you just want to be able to quickly capture a moment and store it without carrying an extra device. The nano does this quite well, organizing your videos by date on a scrollable list under the Video menu. Once imported using iPhoto, sharing your video via Facebook or uploading it to YouTube is a snap… The fact that no other portable media player offers a built-in video camera negates many of its shortcomings.”
Gideon reports, “Nothing else in this price range comes close to its ease-of-use and graceful design. The video camera is merely a bonus. Sure, I wish it captured still images, and that the earbuds sounded better, and that you could do more with radio recordings, but these are minor gripes. Apple has once again improved on a fantastic product. Simply put, you won’t find another player with a video camera, and even if you take that variable out of the equation, given its other features, the iPod nano would remain our Editors’ Choice for portable media players in the $100-200 price range.”
Read the full review here.