Apple iPod Nano (2011) First Take

CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell gives his first impressions of the 2011 Apple iPod Nano.

Apple's latest iPod Nano goes on sale today with a new, lower price $129 (8GB), $149 (8GB), and a few extra software tweaks. Nothing about the iPod's design or hardware features has changed from last year's model, including the seven available colors.

Really, the difference comes down to the software, which is available as a free update to anyone who purchased the 2010 iPod Nano. The new touch-screen software offers 16 new clock face designs, improving its appeal as a high-tech timepiece, as well as a new navigation interface with larger touch-screen icons. Those who prefer the original interface, which grouped apps together in a grid of four, can switch back using an easily accessible menu setting.

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But the most substantial improvement to the iPod Nano is the built-in support for the Nike+ fitness-tracking software. Instead of the basic pedometer included on the original Nano, users can now take advantage of Nike's advanced walking and running programs, right out of the box, with no additional accessories required. Connect it back to your computer, and a tab within your iPod summary panel will allow you to sync your fitness data up with the Nike+ Web site. It's a nice addition, especially considering the new low price.

That said, we live in a world now where you can pick up a SanDisk Sansa Clip for $30, and match it with a more-advanced fitness-tracking tool like the $99 Fitbit . Still, if you're fitness fanatic who's a sucker for simplicity, the Nano remains a good value.

 

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