New Nano vs. New Zune: Fight!

Microsoft’s preemptive strike against Apple yesterday may not have the star power of the Stevenote (Jack Johnson?), but it did make the Zune even more competitive. As of this moment, the li’l Zune and iPod Nano have the same capacities and same pricing. So unless you’re already committed to buying one or the other, you may want to look at their capabilities before dropping those bills. Chart to follow.

Examine this handy chart, then read below before flaming, you Appleheads.

*Zune Marketplace update coming next week and iTunes 8 just out. We’ll have a comparison next week.

If I’m honest, the Zune really has a lot up on the Nano. The radio is great and you can tag songs for immediate download or queue them for later. You can download songs on the go, and the entire Social aspect is actually pretty cool if you ever see anyone with one. Updates actually provide new functionality and are free and back-compatible. The community is nice as well.

On the other hand, the Nano is inarguably smaller and has a slightly larger screen (albeit with the same resolution). Its accelerometer is a bit pointless if you ask me, but I’m sure they’ll use it for something good. The click wheel is familiar but not necessarily superior to the Zune pad, which I find more comfortable at that size.

Unless you really need that Apple cachet, I think it’s pretty much plain that the baby Zune is a better device at the $200 level. Same goes for the Zune 120 and the iPod Classic at $250. The Touch is a different beast altogether so I’m leaving that out.