iPod Nano

Second-generation iPod Nano is arguably more stylish than its predecessor

Like the first iteration of the iPod Nano, the 4GB second-generation Nano (US$199 as of January 9) is small. It weighs 1.4 ounces and measures roughly a quarter-inch thick--thin and light enough to be barely noticeable sitting in your shirt pocket. Its brushed metal case with rounded edges is arguably more stylish than the plastic case of the first-generation model.

Apple's signature scroll wheel has been shrunk to Nano-size proportions, but the wheel's smaller size doesn't impair navigation of the intuitive menus. The new Nano is better for viewing photos and video because it has a brighter screen than the first-generation model. Still, at just 1.5 inches, the screen isn't well suited for extended viewing.

What sets the Nano apart from its competitors is its high audio quality. In our tests, the Nano delivered great overall sound quality, earning a score of Superior. It reached the loudest level before reaching 1 percent distortion, and our test equipment measured a very high signal-to-noise ratio, meaning that the player introduces little hum or hiss into its audio. Also, its frequency response (how well it reproduced tones across an audio spectrum from 20 Hz to 20 kHz) was above the average. Though Apple's earbuds are better than those provided with many competing players, getting the most of the Nano's fidelity will require a better set. (Our tests measure the signal coming out of the headphone jack, not from the earbuds.)

Like other iPods, the Nano lacks some features that are common on competing players, such as a built-in microphone for voice recording, and an FM tuner. To make recordings, you'll need an optional dock or other accessory with a line-in jack because the Nano lacks one. The optional US$49 iPod Radio Remote adds FM capability.

Because the headphone jack is located on the bottom of the player, you'll likely want to place the Nano upside-down in your pocket to avoid putting strain on the connection or cable. You can charge the player from your PC through the included USB cable. The Nano lasts an estimated 14 hours on a charge.

Of course, with the Nano you're locked into using Apple's iTunes software. Though iTunes is well integrated with the iTunes Music Store, this arrangement means you can't use a music subscription service such as Napster or Rhapsody. Nonetheless, if you consider these missing capabilities extras--as Apple apparently does--this fashionable player will deliver plenty to crow about, including great audio quality and a bright, high-resolution screen.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Butterfield

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?