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Mossberg likes the iPod Touch, at least while it lasts

As usual, Walt Mossberg has nice things to say about an iPod, but dings Apple for poor battery life and some issues with the touch screen.

Apple pulled off a nifty reinvention of the iPod with the iPod Touch, but it better work on improving its battery life in future models, according to gadget guru Walt Mossberg.

The iPod Touch carries over many of the design attributes that Mossberg and others loved about the iPhone, but the personal technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal found a few flaws he felt compelled to point out. Overall, the newest iPod is "elegant and capable," but Mossberg was puzzled by poor battery life.

The new iPod Touch captivated gadget guru Walt Mossberg, but its battery life didn't. Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

"For all its beauty and functionality, the Touch has some quirks and downsides. It's the first iPod model I've ever tested that fell significantly short, in my tests, of Apple's battery-life claims," Mossberg wrote. Usually, his tests show that Apple applies conservative ratings to the battery life for its iPods, but that wasn't the case this time around.

Mossberg also noted that Apple has confirmed that a small number of iPod Touches were shipped with defective screens, and the company is working to fix the issue. Mossberg's unit worked fine, as did the one reviewed by CNET's Donald Bell a few days before Mossberg's came online, but some early iPod Touch customers have noted problems with displaying dark images, and it appears Apple is accepting returns.