NVIDIA sent me this Zune HD to review recently so I could check out the first consumer electronics device to use the NVIDIA Tegra processor. Tegra combines a low power ARM-based CPU with high performance NVDIA graphics capabilities. The end result is a portable media player that can run for 8 hours on a while watching video or more than 30 hours while listening to music. But it also has the oomph to handle 720p H.264 and WMV video playback.
Unfortunately the Zune’s 480 x 272 pixel display can’t actually show all the graphic detail available in those 720p videos. But being able to copy your media collection to a portable device without first transcoding your videos and changing the display resolutions is pretty awesome.
The Zune HD can also play some pretty stunning looking video games, although I really wish there were more apps available in the Zune Marketplace. The hardware definitely could definitely give the iPod Touch a run for its money. But without better support for 3rd party apps, it might be tough to make a case for purchasing this $219 media player over an iPod Touch.
Fortunately you don’t have to worry about that, because I’m giving one away for free. The Zune HD that’s up for grabs is the same one I’ve been testing for the past few weeks. It has the NVIDIA logo laser-etched on the back, and it’s served me well on two 13 hour plane rides.
This contest is open to readers across the globe, although some features of the Zune software such as the Zune Pass subscription media service, are only available in the US. Make sure to read the official contest rules before entering.
The contest will end at 12:01AM Eastern on Wednesday, December 9th.