X

Photos: Apple's updated 5.5G iPod

Though it wasn't the true video iPod that we all expected (and wanted), the updated iPod adds some excellent software and performance updates. Features such as gapless playback, instant search, and enhanced games, plus stronger battery life and a brighter backlight, give this one-year-old form factor some fresh legs coming into the holiday season, one that will include competition from Microsoft, Creative, Archos, and Toshiba. Apple's getting the most it can get from the so-called 5.5G iPod, which now starts at $249 for the 30GB version; the 80GB is $349.

CNET Reviews staff

See full bio

32069546-2-440-0.jpg
1 of 12 CNET Networks
The enhanced iPod (80GB, black shown here) includes better video battery life, a brighter screen, gapless playback, instant search, and several other new features. Nothing revolutionary here (some features are even "borrowed" from its competitors), but it's a very solid upgrade.
32069546-2-440-PALM.jpg
2 of 12 CNET Networks

At 4.1 by 2.4 by 0.43 inches and 4.8 ounces, the 30GB iPod is definitely one of the world's sleekest high-capacity players. To many users, the thicker (0.55 inches) and heavier (5.5 ounces) 80GB version actually feels more comfortable in the hand.

32069546-2-440-POCKET.jpg
3 of 12 CNET Networks
At $249 for the 30GB version and $349 for the 80GB version, the iPod is genuinely a deal. It has forced Creative to lower the prices of its heralded Zen Vision:M, and others will follow. It's important to point out, though, that the street prices for the iPod competitors are often lower than $250.
32069546-2-440-DT3.jpg
4 of 12 CNET Networks
The 80GB iPod next to the 30GB Toshiba Gigabeat S (the Gigabeat S also comes in 60GB). The Gigabeat S is a supercompact music and video player that resides in the Windows Media ecosystem.
32069546-2-440-DT1.jpg
5 of 12 CNET Networks
The new iPod gets the same bundled accessories as its predecessor--not much.
32069546-2-440-BUTTONS.jpg
6 of 12 CNET Networks
The Click Wheel is still the iPod's best physical asset.
32069546-2-440-BK.jpg
7 of 12 CNET Networks
The 5.5G iPod possesses the same scratch-prone body as its predecessor. This is definitely one player that needs a case (and luckily for iPod owners, there are thousands of cases available). The updated Nano and the shrunken Shuffle are skinned in durable alumnium; is the aluminum iPod far behind?
32069546-2-440-FT.jpg
8 of 12 CNET Networks
In addition to music, video, photo, and PIM features, the updated iPod features enhanced games. The screen is now 60 percent brighter than its predecessor, and you can adjust brightness from within the movie playback screen.
31920360-2-440-0.jpg
9 of 12 Apple
Early summer 2006, Apple released the 5G update to the U2 Special Edition iPod. Many saw this model as the last of this particular form factor, until the updated iPod arrived on September 12. Will we see updated versions of these as well?
32069546-2-440-LT.jpg
10 of 12 CNET Networks
Both the 30GB and the 80GB versions of the iPod are dimensionally identical to their respective predecessors. Now you can get 80GB (shown here) in the same body as the old 60GB, and it costs $50 less at $349.
11 of 12 CNET Networks
Apple's improved the iPod screen's brightness, video battery life has been pumped up, and now you can fill it with iTunes movies. But the 2.5-inch screen is just too small for lengthy viewings.
12 of 12 CNET Networks
The 30GB 5G iPod next to the 20GB 4G iPod. Is a wide-screen iPod next?

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

93 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
2023 Toyota BZ4X Is a Smooth, Comfortable Electric SUV

More Galleries

2023 Toyota BZ4X Is a Smooth, Comfortable Electric SUV

33 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
2022 Audi E-Tron GT Looks Super Cool In Tactical Green

More Galleries

2022 Audi E-Tron GT Looks Super Cool In Tactical Green

40 Photos
55 weird objects seen on Mars, explained

More Galleries

55 weird objects seen on Mars, explained

57 Photos