Gadget Guide: Zune HD Pushes Envelope of Portable Music & Movies

Portable media players are a dime a dozen these days, but if you want a device that’s on the cutting edge of technology, then meet the Zune HD, the latest player in Microsoft’s Zune line of digital entertainment. Just announced this week, the Zune HD takes its name from its ability to pipe high-definition videos out to your HDTV when docked—along with a built-in HD Radio tuner, which gives you crystal-clear sound far beyond FM radio. Naturally, it can also play your music, movies and other content on the go, and its sharp, vivid touchscreen lets you flip through your library quickly and easily. It can play any MP3s you currently own and also syncs up with Zune Pass, a subscription-based music plan for your PC that allows you unlimited access to stream millions of songs from the Zune Store, helps you discover new music and lets you keep 10 songs a month forever—no strings attached. The Zune HD is also Wi-Fi enabled and has a built-in Web browser, so you can stream from the Zune Store and access websites from any available wireless network. If you can get your music and movies in high definition, why wouldn’t you? Everything else is so … standard.

Prices and storage sizes for the Zune HD have not been announced yet. The player is currently set for U.S. release in the fall.