The second-generation (2G) Nano shuns simple white and steps out in a metallic color parade, with shiny silver available in the 2GB and 4GB flavors; bright pink, green, and blue offered in 4GB; and somber black taking the 8GB version. The body casing itself is rather like a minified Mini shell: it's seamless anodized aluminum, which means the 2G Nano is not only less scratch-prone than its predecessor, but also more durable in general. As with the old Nano, the 2G features the much praised iPod Clickwheel, which serves as the player's only controls (other than the hold switch on the top). Above the Clickwheel is the rather small (1.5-inch) color display, which is 40 percent brighter than that of its predecessor, and the bottom edge of the player houses the headphone jack and proprietary dock connector. A larger screen would have been a welcome improvement, but the benefit is the uniformity of screen size and overall dimensions (the 2G is just a hair thinner and taller than the previous Nano: 3.56 by 1.6 by 0.26 inches): all the made-for-Nano accessories should work fine with the new model.
As with other iPods, the 2G Nano is a snap to navigate, though the Clickwheel may take a little getting used to for first-time users, especially those used to other MP3 player controls. The Main Menu includes selections for Music, Photos, Extras, Settings, and Shuffle Songs--this last is particularly handy. Music is conveniently sorted by Playlists, Artists, Albums, and so on. And if you can't remember who a particular song or album falls under, you can use the new Search function (found in the Music submenu).