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iPod Touch official review: Still awesome

CNET's Donald Bell offers his official review of the third-generation Apple iPod Touch.

Comparison shot of the iPod Touch, third-generation.
Another little detail Apple forgot to mention about the third-generation Touch: The screen quality has improved. Donald Bell/CNET

OK, I know a lot of you out there are beside yourselves with disappointment over the fact that Apple neglected to grace its latest iPod Touch with a video camera. I feel your pain. As a tech journalist and gadget nerd, I'd love nothing more than to gush about how the iPod Touch can record your toddler in HD or bring augmented reality to apps and games. Well, it can't.

It's annoying when wishes don't come true. To objectively write my review, I had to go though all my stages of grief. I stood on the roof of CNET and shouted, "I forgive you, Steve, for not giving the iPod Touch a camera." Well, not really--but I thought about it.

The truth is, the iPod Touch is still the best portable media player out there. No other product is going to give you games, e-mail, Voice Control, video rentals, Bluetooth, Internet radio, YouTube, podcasts, music downloads, video downloads, app downloads, voice memos, and the nearly limitless extensibility provided through apps (including subscription music) and third-party hardware. If you can't find something to love about the iPod Touch, you've seriously have a screw loose.

So, here's my full review of the third-generation iPod Touch. If it looks like the same score I gave last year, you're right...sort of. My score for the 8GB model is a half-star lower to reflect the fact that it lacks the same capabilities as the 32GB and 64GB models. Also take note that I haven't handed down an Editors' Choice award. It still might happen, but I want to see the full extent of what Zune and Archos are cooking up before I start handing out ribbons.

Are you still irate over Apple's unspectacular refresh of the iPod Touch and the unrealized potential of a Touch camera? Pour your pain into the comments section. Just be sure to read my affectionate Zune HD posts before calling me out as some kind of Apple-loving, commie, OK?