Microsoft Gives Zune HD Prices, Availability Info

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Redmond, Wash. - Microsoft confirmed pricing and ship dates of its first touchscreen Zune portable media player.

The black 16GB Zune HD will carry an estimated everyday price of $219.99 and a platinum 32GB version at $289.99 became available to consumers today for preordering and will be available for in-store purchase on Sept. 15.

The Zune HD will be available in 16GB and 32GB versions at expected everyday retails of $219.99 and $289.99, respectively.

Online preorders can be made starting today at the Zune Web site and the online stores of Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart. Preorders can be made in person on Aug. 16 in select Best Buy stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The Zune HD is Microsoft's first Zune with touchscreen, full Web browser, HD Radio and HD video storage. Like its predecessor, it offers Wi-Fi to download and stream music directly from the Zune Web site.

Zune HD will come with 3.3-inch 16:9 OLED multitouch touchscreen with 480 by 272 resolution and an interface that lets users flick through songs, movies and other content. The device stores 720p HD video, which can be output to a TV display via planned docking stations that incorporate HDMI output. Although 720p video files play on the device, it is downscaled to fit the Zune display.

With the incorporation of multicast HD Radio reception, the Zune HD features tagging of songs heard on HD Radio or the embedded analog FM tuner for later purchase from the Zune Web site.

The video capabilities are powered by the NVIDIA Tegra low-power HD processor.


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