The new iPods, from the traveller’s perspective

The world has been buzzing about the new iPods released by Apple last week and while they are no doubt good devices from the music fan’s angle, just how good are they for the traveller who likes to keep their music handy while traversing all sorts of terrain? Well, we took a closer look at the new iPod threesome purely from the travel perspective and here are our conclusions.

iPod touch

The most powerful of all the three iPods launched remains the (relatively) poor person’s “iPhone without a phone.” It has now got the iPhone’s amazing retina display and the ability to record and edit HD video as well as make video calls. Throw in the thousands of apps and the ability to play some pretty good games, read books and watch films on it, and forty hours of battery life while playing music and you have a very formidable device. Our only quibble is that it seems a bit on the bigger side, seems a tad fragile and that its still camera honestly sucks. In terms of price – Rs 15,400 (8GB), Rs. 19,900 (32GB) and Rs. 25,900 (64GB) – seem a bit on the higher side. A very good option for those who love to shoot and share videos quickly (you will need Wi-Fi connectivity for the videos), but that apart, a bit of a premium thing for a traveller. You might as well spend some more and get the iPhone.

Travel quotient: 75% (very good, but not really made for travel)

iPod nano

The surprise pack of the trio of devices unveiled by Jobs, the nano has undergone a complete metamorphosis. It is now almost square shaped (1.48 x 1.61 inches) and weighs a featherlight 21 grammes. And it is now a totally touchscreen device with a 1.5 inch display and a clip that lets you attach it to your clothing. That touchscreen supports multi-touch (so you can pinch to zoom in and out) and is made of anodised aluminum. It has also got an FM Radio, a pedometer and 24 hours of battery life with music playing. Yes, it has lost the abiloity to play and record video, but it is incredibly light, looks devastatingly good (it comes in silver, graphite, blue, green, orange and pink),  can be clipped on and has a very decent display to view pictures and tweak music. With price tags of Rs 10,700 for the 8GB model and Rs 12,700 for the 16 GB one, we really think the Nano is perfect for travelling. In fact, there are rumours that many people plan to wear on their wrists just like a wristwatch. Coolness!

Travel quotient: 90% (almost perfect for travel)

iPod shuffle

In terms of specs, the shuffle might be the most ‘umble of all the iPods unveiled by Steve Jobs last week, but for the music loving traveller who is packing light, it remains perhaps the best option of the lot. The buttons that it had lost last time are back on its surface, allowing you to move back and forth in your music collection. Yes, it has only 2Gb storage, but then it weighs a miserly 12 grammes, serves up upto fifteen hours of battery life and can be clipped on to your clothing just like the nano. And if you are going to squeal about the absence of a display, well, we will just say that it makes the device more rugged and less likely to break or scratch. If you love music on your travels, this is the iPod for you. And no, we are not saying that just because it costs a measly Rs 3,200. And while it comes in silver, blue, green, orange and pink, we would recommend going with the silver!

Travel quotient: 100% (perfect for travellers who love their music, and only music love)

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