Update: Microsoft has updated their previous figures to a more admirable 33 hours of music playback and 8.5 hours of video, with Wi-Fi off. Charge time is approximately 3 hours. I've officially stopped fuming.
Microsoft has finally come out with its battery life estimates for the Zune HD, and the numbers may surprise you. With Wi-Fi turned off, the
Zune HD is expected to deliver
24 hours of music and 4 hours of video.
The numbers aren't shabby, but they're not great--and certainly nothing that will make Apple tremble. In fact, last year's flagship Zune--the Zune 120--was rated at 30 hours of audio and 4 hours of video. The second-generation iPod Touch, by comparison, boasts 36 hours of audio playback and 6 hours of video.
What happened, Microsoft? The Zune HD is packing a power-conserving OLED screen and one of the most impressive and efficient mobile processors on the market.
OK, at this point I know I need to file this post in the "unhinged rant" category, but this is genuinely disappointing. For Microsoft's sake, let's pray we're looking at a typo (Update: it was!), because when Apple drops a new iPod Touch in September, you can bet its battery life won't be going backwards.