I made a trip to the Apple store yesterday to take a look at the new video iPod. I wanted to put up a quicky review of it.
There weren't many of the new iPods on display to play with at the Apple store. I had to find an Apple store employee who had one in his hand in order to play with it. I got to take a look at both the 30GB and the 60GB iPods. While they didn't have any out for demoing yet, they did have quite a few for sale. The box for the iPods is now a flat, black box. It's no longer the big cube box. I would say that you could easily stack three of these new flat iPod boxes in in the space of one of the old cube boxes. No doubt this is an attempt to reduce storage/shipping costs by shrinking the packaging.
The first thing you notice when you look at it is just how BIG the screen is now. The screen has increased in size from a 2 inch square to a 2.5 inch square. This new, larger screen is placed on an iPod that is the same size as the old iPod. This means that the gap around the screen is also much smaller. This also lends to the impression that the screen is that much bigger. The resolution on this screen has also increased from 160x160 to 320x240. This screen strikes me as the biggest benefit of the new iPod. The resolution is much higher, the screen is much bigger, and the number of colors the screen is able to display are much higher. This means that album art will be much more clear and colorful, photos will be bigger and more colorful and videos will look quite good.
The other, visible change on the front is that the click wheel is a little bit smaller. The difference is only about 2-3 millimeters between the older one and the newer one. The thing is, the much bigger screen makes the click wheel look alot smaller than it really is. This kind of makes the new iPod look a little out of proportion.
Another difference is that the front of the iPod is now flat, with a clear plastic layer on top of it. The back is still the old curved, crome back. This curved back and flat front also give it a bit of an out of proportion look.
As for video playback, it's pretty decent, but not perfect. My only complaint on the video playback is that when you pick a video to play, there is a pause of a couple of seconds before the video starts playing. Once it does start playing , the video playback seems good.
There is also a very basic little case that the iPod comes with (FINALLY!). This is only a very basic little vinyl sleeve that you slide the iPod into when you have it in your pocket. There is no way to access the click wheel or see the screen while it's in the case. A nice start, but it certainly won't put the iPod case makers out of business.
As for the thickness of the new iPod, it's quite an improvement. I had been considering upgrading my 40GB monocrome iPod to the 60GB iPod color, but the thing was WAY to thick for my tastes. The new 60GB iPod is significantly thinner than the older one. It's even thinner than my 40GB iPod. When my 40GB iPod dies, I'm seriously considering buying that 60GB iPod now.