Apple iPod Nano

Apple iPod Nano
-- The fourth generation, 8GB, silver

Product summary
Apple iPod Nano

The good: The fourth-generation iPod Nano is more attractive and colorful than its predecessor and includes Apple's new Genius playlist tool, a tilt sensor, and accessibility features for the visually impaired.

The bad: To use the new Nano, you must upgrade to Apple's iTunes 8 software with its laundry list of hardware requirements; the rounded screen invites glare; sound quality is only average.

The bottom line: The fourth-generation iPod Nano is easy on the eyes and the wallet, and you can't beat its hardware and user interface design. Just be sure to give iTunes 8 a spin before committing.

Device type: Digital player; Flash memory installed: 8 GB; Digital player supported digital audio standards: WAV, AIFF, Audible, MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless;

Price range: $149.00 - $149.99

Specification, review, problems
The Nano 4G feels impossibly light and thin, with a seamless metal construction that prevents it from snapping like a twig. A slightly curved design gives the Nano 4G the essence of an airplane wing, repeating the rounded design themes of Apple's iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod Touch. Compared with the short, squarish design of last year's Nano, the long, tapered body of the fourth-generation Nano is more comfortable to grasp.

Curved glass now covers the iPod Nano's screen, giving it better resilience against scratches--in theory. The curve of the glass screen lies flush with the slight curve of the Nano's body, and although the glass is inherently glossy and reflective, we didn't notice a diminished viewing quality compared with last year's Nano.

The shape may have softened, but the dimensions of the fourth-generation Nano are nearly identical to the second-generation version, measuring 3.5 inches tall by 1.6 inches wide by 0.25 inch thick at its center--the thinnest iPod yet. The Nano's 2-inch screen size remains unchanged from the previous model, as well as its 1-inch wide scroll wheel control. Headphone and dock connections are located on the bottom of the 4G Nano, and a sliding hold switch makes a reappearance on top of the player (another throwback to the second-generation design).

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