November 14, 2006 10:58am CST
THE LATEST IPOD NANO HARKS BACK TO THE much-loved iPod mini, with its aluminum casing and color options (for the 4GB model only). But it’s got a few new tricks up its sleeve, including gapless playback, a brighter screen, and a 26-hour battery. Of course, drawing the most attention is its new capacity, which ties SanDisk’s Sansa e280 at an industry-leading 8GB (though the e280 has the advantage of a microSD slot for expandable storage). Other players still have the iPod beat in terms of features, but I like the nano’s Apple Lossless and Audible support, and its dead-simple interface—now licensed from Creative—is still the one to beat. The winning feature for the iPod nano, aside from its celebrated ease of use, remains its integration with iTunes, which has been updated with some very cool capabilities. My biggest complaints with this device are that it still has no integrated FM tuner or voice recorder, but at least you can get FM radio via the optional Apple Radio Remote.