- 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
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.