3rd Generation iPod nano Review

3rd gen. iPod nano
3rd gen. iPod nano. image credit: Apple Inc.

The Good

  • Bigger screen
  • Video support
  • Slimmer case

The Bad

  • Relatively small storage capacity

The Price
US$149-$199

When Apple releases new iPod models, sometimes all the company changes is how much storage the new model offers. Other times, all they change is everything. With the third-generation iPod nano, Apple changed everything and it’s a welcome change.

The iPod nano occupies the middle ground of the iPod line-up these days—not quite as small or light as the Shuffle, but with a smaller screen and less storage capacity than the Classic and without the iPhone-style features of the iPod touch.

Nevertheless, the 3rd generation model of the nano is a fine little iPod.

The Basics

Previous nano models had been taller than they were wide and sported small screens; that's all they needed since they only played music. They were light and affordable and made for great starter iPods. While the new iPod nano is also a great starter iPod, it's much more capable than its predecessors.

Like every iPod, the third generation iPod nano stores and plays music very well. This model offers both 4 GB and 8 GB of storage. While this won’t be enough for most music libraries, it handily holds thousands of your favorite songs. The new iPod software that powers this model offers CoverFlow browsing (not hugely useful on such a small screen, but as always, very pretty) and customizable menus.

A New Design and Video Support

The major changes in the 3rd generation nano come in the exterior casing and video support.

This nano is square while earlier models were rectangular. The change, which makes the nano thinner and lighter than ever before, is designed to accommodate the larger, 2-inch screen.

The screen on this model is bigger because, for the first time, the iPod nano can play video. This generation of the nano can play videos rented or bought from the iTunes Store or converted using third-party programs.

The video is shockingly clear and sharp given the small screen and generally looks great.

Some frustration will likely ensue when watching movies with wide shots or in widescreen, and since feature-length movies tend to weigh in around 1 GB, the lack of storage space on the device will also cause some consternation.

The Bottom Line

This reinvention of the iPod nano is top-notch. If you’re not ready to spend the hundreds of dollars that an iPod Classic requires, or want a screen, or would prefer a tiny, light iPod, the 3rd generation iPod nano is the model you should check out.

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