When the Apple released the first generation iPod nano, we picked one up as soon as it hit our local store. Heck, I still have the promo poster hanging on the wall of my office — “1,000 songs. Impossibly small.” It has been a great machine that my kids have loved stealing just about anytime we get in the car for a road trip. Along comes the 2nd generation nano, revamped with a brighter screen, updated software, new headphones, new packaging, and new anodized aluminum colors which are entirely reminiscent of the long time favorite iPod mini.
The nano comes in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB versions in silver (2GB only), blue, green, pink and black (8GB only) colors. More info and specs at Apple.com
The new nano comes in an all new packaging, which is actually pretty cool.
I haven’t been able to bring myself to toss out the packaging yet, wondering if we should make our own dock out of it as was recently seen on flickr. Inside the case, the nano is cleverly tucked into the plastic frame, with headphones and product information below. The nano comes with a USB 2.0 cable (for transferring music and charging your device), an iPod dock adapter, and the new version of the trademark iPod headphones. If you do not have iTunes 7.0 installed, you will need to download and install it, as Apple is no longer including the install CD with the nano.
I picked out the bright green version, since our local Mac store had run of the green versions of the ipod Mini the last time I tried to buy one, and since I already have the black version of the original nano. The new nano essentially looks like a smaller, sleeker version of the iPod Mini with a color screen. The new size is ideal for slipping into your pocket, or into into any number of carrying cases that are widely available. Compared to the previous version, it is a hair thinner than before, and the new rounded edges lend to a slimmer feeling device.
Up And Running
The new nano works like any other recent iPod, with the familiar click wheel controlling all menu functions. These newest iPods also contain a Search function in the Music section which allows you to search through your music by letter, which is a handy tool. Copying over songs is fast over the USB 2.0 connection, and filling up the 4GB nano with a library of songs only takes a few moments.
After an initial charge, I filled up the nano with music, set it to repeat all and let it take off playing through songs. Throughout the test period I hit the menu to check if it was still playing, but other than that let it do it’s thing. The nano ran for just about 23 hrs, from one afternoon to the next, which is darn near the 24 hr battery life that Apple states on their site. The previous nanos would run between 12-14 hrs on a charge.
In comparison to the previous model, the screen is definitely brighter. I can’t tell if it’s a full 40% brighter, but it is also sharper than the previous model despite the recent reports that iPod screens have the worst screens on portable MP3 players.
The 2nd gen nano is a super cool device. If my kids would let it leave their sight, it might even become my favorite player, surpassing even the iPod with video. It’s the right combination of size, function, and personality to make it one of my favorite new gadgets.