Small size, big music, low price. The new iPod shuffle ditches the stick-of-gum form for a glorified binder-clip design. It's a change we applaud - measuring 1.07 by 1.62 by 0.41 inches, the sleek, aluminum-encased iPod shuffle is a tiny technological treasure.
As inspiration for the new iPod nano, Apple looked to an iPod of the past - the iPod mini. With its brightly colored aluminum casing, the second-generation iPod nano looks like a mini iPod mini, available in silver (2GB or 4GB); pink, green, and blue (4GB); and black (8GB). The new case is a vast improvement over the first-gen nano's easily scratched veneer. We carried it around in a bag for a week - crashing up against keys, coins, a camera, and other potential finish-wreckers - and it didn't pick up a single mark. Svelte at 3.5 by 1.6 by 0.26 inches and 1.41 ounces, it's even slimmer and lighter than the first iPod nano, and sturdy enough to survive being sat on by a 280-pound reviews editor when it was in his back pocket.
Both its software and its screen are brighter. Although it wasn't "completely remastered," as was the iPod nano, the flagship 5G iPod received a sprucing up in its latest incarnation. It shares the same software upgrades as the iPod nano, and its larger screen and larger capacity make the interface's search improvements more welcome than on the nano. Also on the software side is the addition of games (reviewed on p66), which can run on older 5G video-capable iPods, too.