Palm-size nano Leading up to Apple's grand unveiling of its refreshed iPod line, the chatter was all about the so-called "phat" iPod nano. Turns out the "phat" nano is anything but: Sure, it's wider than the previous slim Nano stick; but its form is actually svelte, stylish, and lightweight. The new nano is packed with more capabilities - namely, video playback and casual gaming - than its music-only predecessor. Plus, it carries a rated battery life of 24 hours for audio, and 5 hours for video; that's about enough to get you through the first two installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
How far we've come? In early 2005, the second-generation 6GB Apple iPod mini, shown at left, shipped. That model sported a 1.67-inch monochrome display, weighed 3.6 ounces, and measured 3.6 inches by 2 inches by 0.5 inch. At the time, its size was considered fairly compact. Fast-forward to a time more than two years later, and you get the new iPod nano (the first nano replaced the mini in Apple's lineup), shown at right. The tiny nano is a marvel, with a 2-inch colour screen and less than half the weight and depth of the mini. The nano weighs just 1.7 ounces, and measures 2.8 inches by 2.1 inches by 0.26 inch.
Stack o' colours The new nano comes in 4GB and 8GB capacities, and carries an attractive price (£99 and £129, respectively). The nano ships in five colours: The 4GB model comes only in silver, while the 8GB model is available in five colors: metallic teal, metallic pale green, silver, black, and Apple's socially conscious (Product) Red. Notice the nano's remarkably slim profile in this view: It's scarcely more than a quarter-inch thick.
iPod touch The iPhone's most innovative features grace the iPod touch: the 3.5-inch multitouch display for slide-and-glide and pinch-and-squeeze navigation; Cover Flow music navigation; an accelerometer that automatically detects the device's position and orients the screen accordingly; integrated YouTube; 802.11b/g wireless; and the full-on graphics of the Safari Web browser. Even better, it packs all these things into a device that's lighter and thinner than the iPhone - the Touch is just 0.3 inch thick. The UK price is £199 for the 8GB model, and £269 for the 16GB model. The Apple UK store has set a date of 28 September for shipping.
Choose your headphones The iPod touch uses a standard 3.5mm headset jack, which means that you can use the headphones of your choice with this model--no adapters required. In contrast, the iPhone has its headset jack inset into the unit and requires the use of an awkward dongle to accommodate any headphone other than the one the unit ships with. You may want to choose your own headset for all the music you'll be listening to: Apple rates the touch for up to 22 hours of audio play, or 5 hours of video play.