Microsoft’s Zune HD comes out on top

For those of us still riding the train of rebellion when it comes to Apple, Microsoft has released the long awaited Zune HD. We now have plausible reason to gloat.

Though I have never been a fan of Apple, I must admit that I always thought Microsoft was lacking in its intelligence department when it came to its response to Apple’s iPod, the Zune.

Even after Apple released the feature packed touch-screen iTouch, Microsoft had the audacity to release a Zune with a track-pad, no application ability and limited Internet interactivity.

The Zune HD is impressive because it is sexy, feature-rich and debuts a number of features. This player is only .35 inches thick and weighs nearly nothing.

Joshua Topolsky, a gadget reviewer for wrote, “It sometimes felt a bit light in the hand.”

The device’s face houses a 3.3 inches organic light emitting diode (OLED) widescreen display and a home button. There’s a Zune adapter port, and headphone jack to the bottom and a power-sleep button on the top.

While the stunning appearance and impressive OLED display is enough to get and keep some people’s attention, the real juice is all on the inside.

Microsoft managed to pack this thing with enough to surpass everything in the market, to include the fastest and latest iPod from Apple.

We begin with the Tegra APX 2600, an HD video and graphics performance oriented chip that does not cripple the battery life. Then there is the 65-nanometer central processing unit featuring eight separate cores, including a standalone 3-D graphics-processing unit, a 600megahertz ARM11 component, a synthesizable processor and HD encoders and decoders.

What does all that mean? “Well, presumably…Zune HD is capable of some pretty fierce graphics performance,” Topolsky wrote.

Microsoft did something that Apple should have done a long time ago: adding HD video out from the device. You can have up to 720p HD video so that you can watch a video from your Zune directly to the TV in great quality.

I pride myself in being able to say that I never converted along with the rest of the world into “apple-ism.”

Attractive as they are, I never got into the iPhone, the iTouch, the iMac or any of the rest of their hardware. Apple has this tendency, at least in my opinion, to be cult-like.

All of their devices can only work with other devices and there is an eerie sense of exclusivity that I’d rather not become a part of with their devices.

Unlike iTunes, where you have to purchase each of your tracks for use, you can join the “Zune social” and get a Zune pass, which allows you to get an unlimited number of music downloads for $15 a month.

That is the price of a compact disc. So for $15, you can fill your Zune, regardless of the capacity. If that is not enough of a selling point, then I’m not sure what is.

The Zune HD costs $219.99 and can be purchased at