The fifth generation of Apple's iPod Nano debuted to the world yesterday and it brings a whole new way to use the erstwhile media player. Positioning itself as a potential competitor in the fast-growing mini-camcorder market, it fits in a functional video camera and mic, along with the usual media playback capabilities.
If you needed one more reason to get an iPod, the new talent should offer a compelling argument. Add to it the fact that it's a sexy device (rounder corners and polished anodized aluminum finish), is extremely compact (3.6 x 1.5 x 0.24) and retains all of the features from its previous iteration. Even better, all the new trimmings come with no increase in price.
Set to make it difficult to justify carrying a Flip camcorder around, the iPod Nano 5G can record 640 x 480 videos with sound, using the camera and mic combo situated along the bottom left of the handheld's rear panel. Details of the updated device include a 2.2-inch TFT display (376 x 240 pixels), a slightly longer battery life (now handles up to five hours of video, compared to the 4G's four) and two options in storage (8GB and 16GB). Other new features include a voice recorder, an onboard pedometer (works with Nike+) and an FM tuner.
Of course, given that it's not a dedicated pocket camcorder, camera and mic placement seems a little awkward. Since I doubt it fits in any decent stabilization mechanism, it's very likely that it can only manage shoddy videos, too. I'm sure we'll hear how ably it performs soon enough.
The genre-crossing iPod Nano 5G is available now. Price is $150 for the 8GB model and $180 for the 16GB version. Now's a good time, by the way, to consider postponing buying a Flip.