The new 8GB Zune Red is a sexy little MP3 player – certainly better than many competitive players on the market. The screen is very nice (a little small) and has great color rendering and smooth action. The FM radio is a sweet feature, especially for those of us who easily tire of our private music collection. The 8GB Zune also plays video quite well, making it a decent player for watching tiny videos on the go. The fact that it looks strikingly similar to the just-retired 2nd Generation Apple iPod nano is bound to be a matter of derision from many Apple fans. The wireless sync feature is awesome and finally, the sound quality of the Zune is pretty darn impressive… so long as you use your own headphones.
The new Zunes have sleek, scratch resistant plastic faces with a distinctive glossy finish. The Zune Red is really bright red, like deep red fingernail polish. There’s also a pink Zune (think Pepto Bismol), a sleek black version and a queasy, pea-soup green model. The back sides of all the flash-based Zunes have a matte aluminum that makes them virtually fingerprint resistant. This matte finish is so much better than the grease, scratch and fingerprint craving silvery backsides of the iPod. Microsoft should be commended for this positive feature.