Home' LAPTOP Magazine : November 2010 Contents ENTERTAINMENT
colors---blue, lime green, pink, silver, yellow,
and Product (Red). While the clip is sturdy, we
wouldn't recommend attaching it to the thin hem
of your shirt, especially if you plan on exercising;
its boxy shape causes it to flop around more than
the last- or current-generation shuffle.
The bright but small display remained responsive
even when our hands became sweaty. While the
screen doesn't automatically reorient itself when
you move the player in your hand, you can use two
fingers to manually rotate the display. Sadly, the
headphone cord is too long and could get tangled
while working out. Also, the buttons were awkward
and tough to access when on our clothes.
The nano's interface looks like a watered-down
version of iOS. The 240 x 240-pixel screen has room
for four icons per page, and there are four home
screens. You can see which track is currently playing
as well as choose among playlists and albums, or
view your entire collection by artist or song title.
To pause music or select a specific track, you
have to press the Sleep/ Wake button to activate
the display and then tap around. Or you can use
Apple's convenient shake-to-shuffle feature by
shaking the nano twice. How long can you rock
out? Apple claims the battery lasts for 24 hours
of music playback.
Like other iPods, the nano works with iTunes,
which means your music has to have a home
there, even if you didn't buy it from the iTunes
store. For most songs, the median volume level
was loud enough. Plus, the built-in FM radio was
As the previous-generation nano, this player
supports the Nike + iPod Sports Kit ($29 for adapter),
an app-connected feature that comes embedded
in the larger iPod touch. Using this small Sports Kit
peripheral, which plugs into the 30-pin connector
and works with select sensor-enabled Nike sneakers,
users can track things such as speed, distance, time,
and calories burned. You can also record workouts
and plug the sensor into certain cardio machines
at the gym.
Although the new nano drops some features
users may have been fond of---video recording
and playback---the revamped device ushers in a
touch-based user interface that feels fresh and is
easy to use. We highly recommend it for music
lovers who want something light that they can clip
to their clothing while on the go.
Responsive multitouch display
Supports Nike + iPod Sports Kit
Sturdy clip for attaching to clothes & bags
Long battery life
No video playback or recording
Small volume buttons
Headphone cord could be shorter
Boxier than the iPod shuffle
$299 (32 GB)
Apple markets the iPod touch as a
great mobile gaming device---and
it is---but it's much more than that.
There's no slicker handheld for surfing the web on
the go and downloading hundreds of thousands
of apps. The latest edition of Apple's flagship PMP
sports a sharper Retina Display, snappy A4 proces-
sor, and FaceTime, nearly erasing the differences
between the iPod touch and iPhone 4.
At 3.6 ounces and 0.28 inches thick, the latest
iPod touch is 15 percent thinner and 12 percent
lighter than the third-gen touch. The gorgeous 3.5-
inch display (all 960 x 640 pixels of it)dominates
the front. This screen is sharp, but the iPhone 4's
panel has better viewing angles. A VGA camera
for FaceTime calls is above the display.
While the home button is easy to
press, we wish the same could be said
for the black Sleep/Wake and volume
buttons. The design is so razor-thin that
they are difficult to find by feel. The
back is where you'll find the second
camera and mic.
Our iPod touch came loaded with
32GB of memory, but all versions of the
device(8 and 64GB) feature Apple's
fast A4 processor. In our testing, the
device rarely flinched as we surfed
the web, played way too many games
of Angry Birds, and watched a rented
episode of Glee. While not booming,
the bottom-mounted speaker on the
iPod touch was loud enough for
The icon-driven multitouch user
interface iOS continues to be the most
intuitive we've encountered. Apple has
also added several welcome features
with iOS 4.1 on the iPod touch, including FaceTime
(for making video calls with iPod touch and iPhone
4 owners) and Game Center (a social network à la
Xbox Live with matchmaking and leaderboards).
As the first iPod touch with a camera and cam-
corder, this device produces much better looking
videos than it does still shots. That's because Apple
equipped the touch with a sensor that records 720p
footage but only 960 x 720-pixel photos.
With 250,000 apps and counting, no other
pocket-size player even approaches the iPod
touch's vast library of selections. Apple tends to
promote games over
every other category with
this device, which makes
sense given that nine out
of the ten choices in the
App Store as of press
time were games.
The iPod touch comes
with Ping, a music-
based social network
that lets you follow
famous artists and
connect with other
from the iPod touch.
For example, on Katy
Perry's page she
posted updates of
on tour ("Au revoir,
Paris") and shared
that "Firework" was the track she was most proud
of on her latest album. And right within Ping you
can buy the single for $1.29; clever marketing
indeed. We hope Apple finds a way to get a deal
done with Facebook so it's easier to find friends.
As of press time the easiest way to
find other people to follow was by
entering their e-mail addresses.
When we followed someone, her
profile automatically appeared on
our iPod touch, and we could see
what albums and songs she liked.
One click away from Ping in the
iTunes app is Videos, where you'll
find current Hollywood flicks for rent
(usually at $4.99). What's new with iOS
4.1 is that you can now rent certain TV
shows---from Disney/ABC and Fox---
for 99 cents each for 48 hours. Too
bad you have to dig to find this rental
option. A rented episode of Glee, in
standard definition, took about 7.5
minutes to download over Wi-Fi.
While we prefer the iPhone 4's
design and sharper still camera, the
new iPod touch's Retina Display,
FaceTime functionality, and 720p
video recording make this device a worthy suc-
cessor to the third-generation iPod touch. It's also
a great choice for anyone looking to buy the best
app phone sans phone.
Fast A4 processor
Sharp Retina Display
Superb gameplay gets social with Game Time
720p video recording
FaceTime calling capability
Low-resolution still camera
Narrower viewing angles than iPhone 4
Pricier than predecessor
L APTOP | November 2010
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iPOD ON FILM
See the latest touch in action.
See p. 6 for more info on how to use this code with your cell phone.
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