iPod nano, third-generation (3G) 4GB
The forthcoming release of the iPod touch complicates the larger "Which iPod should I buy?" question. But when it comes to traditional iPods, the decision has never been easier.
For those without huge iTunes libraries--or people who don't mind managing which part of their library to take with them--the nano is a clear winner. It's been improved in almost every way, to the point where it's essentially a miniaturized version of the iPod classic available for as little as $149, with all the same features and capabilities including video playback and output. (It also has the same limitations, such as an easily-scratched backside.) The only major compromises for choosing the nano are a smaller screen, a smaller Click Wheel, and less storage capacity, but in return you get smaller physical size, flash memory, and a lower price tag. Apple may call the iPod touch the "best iPod yet," but for many people, that award just may go to this Saltine-cracker-sized player.
- Very good sound quality, excellent battery life
- All the features of the iPod classic—including video playback, video output, and games—in a smaller, less-expensive, and flash-memory-based player
- Bright, clear screen
- Improved user interface
- Includes three new games
- Incompatible with some existing dock-connector accessories
- Can’t use previously-purchased games
- Shiny back surface not as rugged as anodized metal of previous version
- New visuals-heavy interface slowed by album art
- Cover Flow performance limited