How It Looks:
First up - size. No matter what anyone tries to tell you, size does matter. In this case, the increase in screen size of the iPod to 4 inches makes a fair bit of difference. Folks who have the 4th gen iPod touch know that the so-called "retina" display was a big improvement over the previous screen type, and the increase in size for the 5th gen device is another leap forward. The screen is crisp, clear, and displays everything from web pages to apps to music album covers equally well. More screen real estate also means more rows of icons (or folders if you prefer) and while iOS is long past the point of feeling stale, you can't fault the hardware for this issue. It does its job, and quite well.
How It Feels:
The first thing that struck me when I checked out the 5th gen iPod touch in stores was how incredibly light it felt. Almost unnaturally so. I mean...it weighs damn near nothing. Apple's website claims a weight of 3.10oz...I'm not sure what exactly to compares that too, but the device falls into what I would call the "super light" category. Its only 0.24 inches think (thin?) and this, combined with the ultra light weight, make it an easy device to pocket for long periods of time. The inclusion of the new proprietary "Lightning" dock connector has enabled Apple to reduce the weight and size of the device, and while I might comment that the change seems more like a blatant cash grab towards new accessories, no one can deny the hardware benefits of making the change.
How It Works:
Well...its a music player, right? So it should play music...and that it does my friends. For what it is, it suits my needs exactly - nothing less, and actually a little something more. Having had the 32GB version of the iPod touch previously, my biggest concern was space - the 64GB version eliminates that concern and then some. With over 2200 songs, about a dozen TV shows/music vidoes, and 6 full length movies on it, I still have over 30GB of space free. Enough for a few more movies (which I watch on occasion while I'm out and about), TV shows, or any amount of music. When it comes to portable media devices, storage is king and more is always better. The included dual core A5 processor makes transitions between apps and scrolling through home screens fluid and easy and it's as responsive as I would have expected a device manufactured by Apple to be.
|Photo courtesy of Apple.com|
The Final Word:
I guess what it all boils down to for me was a simple question - do the features of the 5th generation iPod touch make it worth my while to replace my currently "working just fine" 3rd gen iPod touch? At the end of the day, the answer was "yes" - and I'm not just saying that because I didn't end up having to pay for it myself. The reduction in weight is a benefit at workout time, the inclusion of front & rear cameras makes communicating and connecting with the world easier than ever, and the upgrade to a 4 inch "retina" display makes everything look better. Should the average consumer look to get the newest version of Apple's music player...that's a harder questions to answer. If you want the best, you are going to pay for it, with the retail price of the device ranging from $299 to $399 - not an insignificant sum. If you can afford the expense, you will get a device and an experience you won't regret.