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 or 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 to reflect that 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 does a lot more than its predecessors.

Like every iPod, the third generation iPod nano of course stores and plays music very well. This model offers both 4GB and 8GB of storage. While this won’t contain most music libraries, it handily holds thousands of 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 case and video support.

This nano is square where earlier models were rectangular.

The change, which makes the nano thinner and lighter than ever before, is designed to accommodate the larger screen.

This nano also adds a 2-inch screen. The screen 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 1GB, the lack of storage space on the device will also cause some consternation.

The Bottom Line

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

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