Zune HD will start at $220, says Amazon

The Zune HD will be cheaper than the iPod touch, unless Apple decides to apply last-minute price cuts before the launch. Zune HD listings have popped up on Amazon, and they suggest the 16GB version of the touch-screen media player will cost $219.99—roughly nine bucks cheaper than the 8GB iPod touch.

Amazon also lists a 32GB version of the Zune HD for $289.99, and that’s about $9 cheaper than the 16GB iPod touch. (In case you’re wondering, Apple charges $399 for the 32GB iPod touch right now.) These Amazon listings aren’t really functional, though. The overview page showing both Zune HD models says "Available for Pre-oder," but clicking the actual links leads to error pages. Perhaps these weren’t meant to go up just yet.

In other Zune HD news, the folks at CNet News have posted several screenshots of the device’s web browser in action. Apparently, the software will have a pop-over on-screen keyboard, landscape and portrait display modes, and Bing search—big surprise there.

Microsoft revealed the Zune HD’s specs back in May, and we later learned that the device will feature an Nvidia Tegra system-on-a-chip. Officially, Microsoft says we can expect the Zune HD this fall. Unofficially, sources like Neowin predict a September launch time frame. Undercutting the iPod touch could let Microsoft steal some sales away from Apple, although as far as we know, Microsoft doesn’t have an answer to the App Store yet.

Comments closed
    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Logically I would want something that does what I want it to do best. If other functions are there that I don’t care about at all they only u[

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    You voiced a complaint that with a single device once you run out of battery you had no other device. My solution to this problem, from your point of view as I took it, is to carry an extra battery. Personally I don’t have issues with keeping my devices charged and ready to go so I don’t see that solution ever effecting me but for a very rare situation.

    Cameras have been added to phones without hurting the previous functions in any way. Media players can be added with hurting the previous functions (in many ways that 3.5mm jack helps a ton). Sure the camera isn’t so great but who expected it to be? It still increased the value of said device and many people find it to be quite usable (not me!). Media players may not be comparable to dedicated players but many people find them usable as well. So, what we have here is a device with three functions. A phone, a camera, and a media player. One main function, two side functions. Compare this to a device with only phone and which one would you like to have? Logically you want the three function device because its phone functionality is just as good but it also has some great “just in case features.”

    This is an example of *great* convergence. We have a enhanced device that has relatively maintained a similar price point. We can still purchase a dedicated camera. We can still purchase a dedicated media player. We may no longer find phones that are solely phones but there is good reason for that. Solely phone devices simply don’t make any sense. They’re hardly any cheaper (because they would be in the minority, and thanks to production scale…) and you can simply ignore those extra functions.

    Your statement about iPod sound quality doesn’t make much sense. They’re very popular devices in audiophile circles, and those who want better yet quality have made devices to do so. Using the docking port for audio out is rather common in audiophile rigs. One must wonder why they simply don’t use another device…

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    ‘It just makes sense…’ Why? Just because it can be done? With no regard to whether there is a quality compromise? Things are not as simple as ‘x+y+z=just as good function’ and that goes for hardware as well as software such as interfaces on devices.

    *I guess it’s true, talking with older folks they see younger folks as having much less regard for paying for and demanding quality. I just hope that those of us who do prefer to choose the best tool for a given task aren’t squeezed out by the economics of convergence but I worry that is the way things will go.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    First paragraph – Uh, YOU said that a solution to batteries is carry an extra battery but that invalidates YOUR prior claim that it’s better to have a single device instead of multiple ones.

    At least you’re no longer trying to say my preference or opinion is wrong, that was where you went too far. All I’m saying is that if there is convergence it needs to be without compromise versus a contemporary more focused device. Add a crappy camera FOR FREE to a device WITHOUT compromising other functions? Fine, if possible, but economics and the need to maximize profit make that’s hard to do. One can go way waay back in electronics, well before the computer age, and see how convergence is as often a compromise as it is an ‘as-good all in one’ solution.

    p.s. iPods have pretty mediocre at best audio playback quality so are a compromise in that area.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    And do you think your device is the best at everything it does? btw I find it a little wierd and scary that you’re channeling your devices thoughts.

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    g[<...phone + PDA makes sense because the phone is a communciations device and you want to communicate with contacts in your PDA and so on, but what does music playback have to do with phones and a PDA?<]g Well, music playback typically comes from a small, electronic device with storage, a processor, and software in your pocket. Phone and PDA functionality come from the same thing. It just makes sense to consolidate....

    • A_Pickle
    • 13 years ago

    My phone/mp3-player/pda disagrees with you.

    • swaaye
    • 13 years ago

    According to the RIO Karma specs, it can play FLAC and OGG. Cool.

    With the kind of storage capacities we have around these days, I have a hard time seeing why lossless audio encoding isn’t the only way to go.

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    You made the comment about if the device runs out of battery life you’re out of luck. I would imagine if some one is willing to carry multiple devices then they’d likely also be willing to carry a battery for a single device. So I really don’t see that as a valid concern for a single device for some one supporting multiple devices.

    I do believe there are certain devices and platforms that simply do not belong together in a single device. However, phones and media players are not one of those for me. I also believe with support of open platforms we won’t have much to worry about.

    What products are you fear full of convergence? You talked about media players but frankly I find the best media players to be the iPhone/iPod Touch and the Zune HD. Both heavily converged products. The best mobile browsing experience is also on those devices. The Zune HD is certainly more media centric right now but I would gladly welcome if Microsoft would dump Windows Mobile development and instead build on the Zune platform for phones.

    I find that fragmentation has given us some pretty poor products as of late. Where convergence has lead to a lot of polish.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    What am I ignoring? Carrying multiple batteries is an answer to carrying multiple devices? Your assumption that convergence won’t create more lock-in and lock-down?

    I guess I just like to get the best solution and not compromise when possible, others are happy with mediocre shit if it means they can have one rather than two devices. If others want conversion devices that compromise as you say yourself that’s fine for them and I’m not saying their preference is wrong but there’s no reason to dismiss i[

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    When it comes across as you ignoring reasonable solutions or circumstances… yeah.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Sorry, I forgot this is the internet so my opinion, when stated as such and also ceding that other preferences available as options is fine, is still wrong.

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    You act as if those questions have existed for a very long time. We have software that is only available on one platform that you would want on another. We have phones that you would want but are only available for a specific carrier. Further convergence isn’t going to make those types of questions any worse to be honest.

    Ever hear of a back up battery? Instead of taking two devices take a single device and a back up battery. Even the iPhone has battery packs that just slip on the body.

    Device juggling is a ugly thing. It’s just as ugly as any harm logical convergence could harm. Most people will gladly take a slightly inferior phone or media play back on a device if it means they only have to carry a single device. You might be a exception but some of your faults of the convergence don’t make much sense (the battery) or assume closed platforms (which is a bigger worry than convergence).

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    It’s not just about hardware though. Say some time in the future want a certain phone that’s on a certain network because of features, usability or service but I much prefer certain things about a different music player (possibly a different phone in convergence-lover heaven?) I’d end up getting two ‘converged’ devices? Or like I said elsewhere what if my ‘all-in-one’ breaks down somehow, runs out of battery, whatever,I lose all functions.

    It’s fine if jacks-of-all-trades are out there but to converge at the cost of having few to no more focused function devices is what worries me.

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    That really only makes sense when you have a real hardware barrier to cross. The difference in hardware here is a high quality sound chip and a 3.5mm jack… most quality phones are basically there already. Smart phones that have strong media capabilities make 100% sense.

    The Zune HD has some of the best interface design I’ve seen in a while. Between it and the Xbox 360 I am really upset they’re holding on so tightly to the Windows paradigm. They clearly have highly talented people who can make incredibly friendly designs.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 13 years ago

    Heh, I still have my RIO Karma and have yet to find a MP3 player that can match it’s sound quality. Cowon iAudio U5 comes very close.

    I will be a very sad man when it dies.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Yeah maybe if you compare a converged device to a more focused one from a few years ago but the more dedicated device will presuambly advance too. I mean, we’ll see and all but I’m still not a fan of things that go beyond what I see as logical convergence – phone + PDA makes sense because the phone is a communciations device and you want to communicate with contacts in your PDA and so on, but what does music playback have to do with phones and a PDA? Another problem with extreme convergence is that if something goes wrong with the converged device you lose i[

    • swaaye
    • 13 years ago

    I still have a Creative Zen Xtra from 2003. 🙂 I read that the sound quality is superior to most other players.

    I kinda wish one of these things would support FLAC.

    • xtalentx
    • 13 years ago

    I think technology will allow a small hand held device to be master of everything soon enough. There are devices out there that already do what I want and do it all very well. I don’t want to dump $500.00 on them just yet.

    I will wait to the products to mature just a little more (2 – 3 years) then make my move. Until then I will deal with a pocket full of electronics.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Anywho I’m glad I snagged a 120GB Zune since large HD players are dying out and it will be some time before flash capacities are price competitive. I do wish it had web browsing since it’s got WiFi but oh well, the audio playback is great. I’ve got it about 1/2 full with V0 ‘256kbps’ VBR mp3s and while that’s quite not all my music it means I’ve got space to add more rather than having to choose what to load.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    meh, I know people like conversion but I have to disagree. It makes sense to put some things together like a phone and PDA but when you converge too many things you end up with compromises somewhere – jack of all trades and master of none.

    • adisor19
    • 13 years ago

    I’d say it looks almost on par with the browsing experience on the iPhone/iPhone 3G. It actually seems to have some lag when the user pinches and moves the page around. At the end of the day, ARM11 is still and ARM11 no matter how powerfull the 3D nvidia graphics part is.

    Compared with the iPhone 3GS though, it gets smoked. Cortex A8 FTW.

    Adi

    • xtalentx
    • 13 years ago

    I wish they would make one with a phone option. I only want to carry one device around with me. You can be dam sure that one device won’t be an apple product too!

    Music, Phone, Camera and email all in one – please.

    • ironoutsider
    • 13 years ago

    I find it aesthetically pleasing. Not sure if i’ll buy one. Might stop buying food again to buy one of these though.

    • sweatshopking
    • 13 years ago

    this thing looks sweet. i never had much of an attraction to apps anyway. all i do is rock the F out and want to check my email when the wife is on the comp. so this thing would be the balls. i like the almost half price for same sized ipod.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 13 years ago
    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 13 years ago

    edit: old site doesn’t work well with Youtube

    • ltcommander.data
    • 13 years ago

    The Zune HD is supposed to compete against the iPod Touch, which is also only WiFi. Although I believe the Zune HD will only have a browser (yay IE6), and won’t have an App Store, at least not initially.

    • ltcommander.data
    • 13 years ago

    Apple usually releases upgrades at existing price points which means that the current $229 8GB 2nd Gen iPod Touch will likely be replaced with a 16GB 3rd gen model with the hardware refresh from the iPhone 3G S while maintaining the $229 price point. A $229 16GB 3rd Gen iPod Touch against a $199 16GB 3rd Gen iPhone would be completely consistent with the previous $229 8GB 2nd Gen iPod Touch against the previous $199 8GB 2nd Gen iPhone. If I’m not mistaken, Apple is one of the biggest users of flash memory with locked in prices for future deliveries, so component cost is certainly not a problem for them.

    I don’t suppose there has been any Tegra GeForce vs. PowerVR SGX benchmarks yet? The ARM A8 like in the iPhone 3G S would of course be faster than the ARM11 in the Tegra.

    • potatochobit
    • 13 years ago

    these only connnect to wifi right? kind of useless without 3G.

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