5th October 2007

Microsoft announces new Zune, including flash models

posted by Eric C. in Consumer Electronics |

Microsoft is to released three new Zune models on November 12th. The Zune 80 is an 80GB capacity redesign of the current Zune. The new Zune is less hefty than the original and is more sleek overall. It measures 2.4″ x 4.25″ x 0.5″. The Zune 8 and Zune 4 are flash-based and are very similar in design to the Zune 80, only much smaller. Like the original Zune, all the new Zunes contain WiFi and can playback video. The new firmware will remedy a missing feature of the original Zune’s firmware and will support sync over WiFi. Syncing will occur automatically if it is within range of the host computer. Another upgrade in the new firmware is the ability to play h.264 and MPEG-4 video files. According to Zuneinsider.com, the new Zune 80 has DVD quality TV out at a resolution of 720×576 @ 25fps and 720×480 @ 30 fps without transcoding, rather than 320×240 like the Zune’s screen and like the TV out function of the original Zune. The Zune 80 also has a slightly larger screen at 3.2″, up from 3″.

The original Zune will now be called Zune 30 and will still be available along with the new Zunes. The Zune 30 will get the firmware upgrades of WiFi syncing and new video formats but will not get an upgrade on TV out. They have not announced when the new firmware will be available for the Zune 30.

Zune 8 will cost $199. Zune 4 will cost $149. They will both be available in black, green, pink and red. The Zune 80 will be $249 and will only be available in black at launch. They havn’t announced new pricing for the Zune 30, so it may stay at it’s current price of $199. The new Zunes should be available November 13th.

pictures courtesy of DailyTech and Microsoft

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