Pricing and Availability
The Zune HD is available in the U.S. only right now, but we do hear that Microsoft has plans to release this new product to the world in early to mid-2010. In the U.S. the 16GB model will run you around $219.99 with Newegg shifting it for exactly that. This price is excellent as it is only $20 more than an 8GB iPod Touch. Apple does not have a 16GB version of the iPod Touch available, so there is no direct comparison. The 32GB Platinum Zune HD is only $289.99 at Newegg. This is $10 less than the 32GB iPod Touch. On both fronts this makes the Zune HD a better value choice in terms of Dollars and Cents. Unfortunately when you look at overall value, Apple still has it with a larger store of apps and media. The points system used by the Zune Desktop software hurts here.
Conversely, Microsoft does have the upper hand with the Zune Pass. This subscription based music service is a much better deal than iTunes.
The Zune HD dock is a $90 luxury that we cannot really recommend at the time. Yes, it allows you to run 720p video out to your HD TV, but at a time when 1080p is the standard it is of little real value. If Microsoft would remove the fixed cables, reduce the price and allow for control of the player without the need to be connected to a monitor/TV, it would be a much more attractive product.