Sometimes, I wish I worked for CNet. Or, any of the other outlets that are getting the opportunity that Donald Bell of MP3 Insider recently got. Seems that Mr. Bell was able to get about an hour of play time with the forthcoming ZuneHD and he’s walked away impressed.
By now we know most of the specs for the device and they’re very impressive. But, that said, actually getting to hear from someone who’s held and messed with it adds more info.
Speaking of Wi-Fi, the Zune’s new Web browser smokes. Not since first using the iPhone have I been this impressed with a mobile web browser. There’s no branding on the browser, but I was told it was cooked up by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team (makes sense). Page load was snappy, and pinching and reorienting pages work just like the iPhone and iPod Touch. You also get a fast on-screen keyboard with a nice little magnifier effect with each keystroke. The only bad news on the browser is that there’s no support for Flash audio and video content. So Pandora and YouTube are out, but I was able to get onto Facebook and Twitter.
I didn’t have time to go too deep with features such as video, Social, HD radio, photos and Marketplace, unfortunately. I also couldn’t shake a price out of the Zune reps, although I was reassured by the incredulous looks I got when I told them how much Sony is charging for the X-Series. I also couldn’t nail them on battery life, but it’s safe to say this is going to be a big step forward for Zune users accustomed to daily charging breaks.
I have to say that I’m hyped. I doubt I’ll be able to get my hands on a ZuneHD on day one but I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure it doesn’t take long.
Donald has a lot more to say about his time with the device so be sure and head over to read the full pre/review! Also, take time to head over and look at some of the latest pictures of the ZuneHD that were recently released.