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Ars Technica's iPod nano Dissection 532

Posted by Zonk
from the for-science dept.
starwindsurfer wrote to mention an Ars Technica review of the iPod nano in which they autopsy the cute little guy to find out what makes him tick. A more thorough review than the one we ran last week. From the article: "At this point we were astounded that the iPod nano was still working properly, albeit with a broken display. Because we had honestly expected the iPod nano to break by this time, we were forced to depart from our planned schedule of destruction and try and run over it with the car. Surely, we thought, it could never withstand the crushing power of German automotive engineering." Update: 09/12 14:58 GMT by Z : Changed linking words to previous article for clarity. Monday fuzziness.
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Ars Technica's iPod nano Dissection

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  • by Data Link Layer (743774) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:32AM (#13537684)
    Size of the iPod never really mattered to me, the 30 GB photo is small enough. What they should consentrate on is making it scratch proof, I can't stand so many scratches. Cases do not work so well, they still scratch and add lots of bulk.
    • by big_groo (237634) <groovis&gmail,com> on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:37AM (#13537717) Homepage
      I have scratch proof lenses in my glasses.

      They're scratched, btw. In case you were wondering.

    • by mblase (200735) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:41AM (#13537747)
      What they should consentrate on is making it scratch proof, I can't stand so many scratches. Cases do not work so well, they still scratch and add lots of bulk.

      Small, rugged, scratchproof: pick any two?

      Tell you what: if you buy an itty-bitty iPod nano and still think it's too bulky after adding a sleeve around it, I will personally come to your house and sew bigger pockets onto all your clothes.
      • by op12 (830015) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:52AM (#13537838) Homepage
        Tell you what: if you buy an itty-bitty iPod nano and still think it's too bulky after adding a sleeve around it, I will personally come to your house and sew bigger pockets onto all your clothes.

        I added the sleeve and it's still too bulky. I'll be expecting you at my house at 8am sharp tomorrow.
    • What they should consentrate on is making it scratch proof, I can't stand so many scratches I heard that they're making a diamond coated iPod that is virtually indestructible. ;)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Thanks, but I'll pass on the scratchproof thing. I have plenty of cleaner, and failing that, lots of peanut butter to get rid of scratches.

      What I would like is for them to add Firewire support to the Nano, instead of only allowing USB 2.0.
    • by DenDave (700621) * on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:53AM (#13537847)
      It looks like it is intended for the replacement market. Old ipodders are getting the jitters to replace their 5 and 10 gb models and will probably be happy with these devices are they are used to not having their entire collection on the road with them. It does sorta kill the shuffle though.. What is also interesting to note is that this is the second ipod that is USB only. Is this because they both use the same "mainboard" and adding fw would be too expensive or technically challenging? Or is apple slowly abandoning fw as the end-all of device connectors? Perhaps a sign of this to come? Intel based machines rarely if ever have a fw port and even more rare are the full-size powered connectors like we have'em on iBook/Powerbook... hrmm the mind begins to wonder whether the next generation of laptops will have fw at all!!

      Could someone out there with a intel dev box tell us whether there is a fw port on the dev box??

      Does OSX/Intel support fw???

      • by MindStalker (22827) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .reklatsdnim.> on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:13AM (#13538001) Journal
        firewire (assuming thats what you meant by fw) is the choice for digital video tranfer on apple. Apple has a lot invested in being the digital video editing platform of choice. There is no way they are going to give up on firewire. For connections to random devices that don't need the speeds of firewire, and benifit from PC connectivity, USB is the obvious choice.
      • Firewire is a MUST for video editing - all the digital video cameras I've seen may have USB ports, but the only thing that comes out the USB port are still photos. Video only comes out of the camera's Fireware port (called iLink by Sony).
      • by birdman666 (144812) <ericreid@ m a c . c om> on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:04PM (#13538468) Homepage
        I agree that the nano targets the market that is not used to carrying their entire music collection around, which is why it is replacing the mini. But I don't believe it creates a market in which the shuffle is obsolete. The $100 pricepoint that the shuffle falls under is still crucial for many people, plus it is still smaller, lighter, and very close to indestructable during normal use. Someone who own's a full size ipod might still purchase an additional shuffle, I doubt they would purchase an additional nano.

        Example: I like having my entire music collection with me when I'm walking around campus, driving in my car, etc. The size of a normal ipod isn't an issue for these activities. But for the gym (which I loathe) I need something smaller. I don't need huge capacities or a screen or a click wheel. Just something that plays enough music to get me through the 60-90 minutes of hell that is the gym three times a week. The shuffle fills this void, the nano is overkill.
      • by GweeDo (127172) on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:30PM (#13538673) Homepage
        How does the Nano kill the shuffle? I am a happy Shuffle owner that honestly wouldn't consider switching at all. I listen to music while riding my bike and running with my dog. I don't want to pull my iPod out of my pocket to switch anything. I want to plug it into my computer, hit a button that fills it with whatever music it feels like and hit play. That is it. I don't want to pick my music. I don't want to organize some playlists. I want to hit play.

        Shuffle = hit play.
    • While overall I thought the article was informative, amusing, and well-written, I don't know why Ars brings up the issue of compatibity with FireWire as a reason to downgrade the nano's score (except perhaps for Apple's perennial refusal to put more than about 3 USB ports on its machines). The throughput on USB2.0 is 480Mbps as opposed to Firewire's 400MBps, and USB compatibility is all that's really needed to make the nano work with both Macs and even older PCS (although such models might not have USB2.0,
      • by Anonymous Coward
        You can draw power from USB, and this new deviced uses it to charge the battery. The smaller 1394 plug standard doesn't supply power.

        USB2 speed is only that high in burst mode. Here's a test, get an exteral HD and move 100G to it over both USB2 and 1394. You may be surprised at the difference. The moral? Don't rely on published numbers unless you know exactly what they mean and under what conditions. You'll see why in this simple HD test.
      • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:41AM (#13538271) Homepage Journal
        I've replied elsewhere in this thread as well about USB and Firewire, but consider looking at Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com]'s review of FW vs. USB for data transfer as well (FW trumps USB, not the other way around).
        • by default luser (529332) on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:23PM (#13538626) Journal
          This review is not applicable to the current discussion.

          The discussion is about Firewire performance WITH RESPECT to the Ipod (in particular, the Nano with flash memory). Tom's review tests DESKTOP HARD DRIVES with an order of magnitude faster transfer rates than Nano.

          The benchmarks in that article show that Firewire 400 has about a 10% lead over USB 2.0 for larger, faster drives, and about a 5% lead for slower drives. Obviously, it is the slightly increased access time for USB2 which hurts it in high-performance situations...but as maximum media transfer rates go down, the small increase in access time becomes insignificant.

          Given that the Nano is a flash-based device, and couldn't hope to have a write speed faster than 4MB/s (there's no way they're offering higher-speed flash at those prices), there's little gained in offering Firewire.

          This is the kind of thing USB2 was intended for. CHEAP, UNIVERSAL connection technology that is "good enough" for most cases. Firewire 400, as popular as it has become, still cannot offer even half the total marketshare USB can. And for a device like this, where the size of the board is the limiting factor (instead of the size of the drive on other iPods), each additional feature (chipset, busses and external connector) makes the board that much larger.

          YES, Firewire 800 is freaking fast. NO, you don't need it unless you have devices on the bleeding-edge of performance. Not to mention you can hardly take advantage of it anywhere because only Powermacs and a handful of PCs support Firewire 800 speed.
          • If the iPod is the only device connected to your computer (as is the case with many users), you are 100% correct. USB2 is more than good enough.

            If, however, you have a lot of USB devices and a lot of Firewire devices in a computer room which looks like something out of Serial Experiments Lain then the more devices you can get on the Firewire bus and unplug from USB2 ports, the better.

            So the short answer is USB2 is fine for most people, which is why it makes sense for Apple to ship their iPods that way. So
    • by RapmasterT (787426) on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:04PM (#13538463)
      What they should consentrate on is making it scratch proof, I can't stand so many scratches.
      They should make the case of aluminum and hard annodize it, that would be pretty much scratchproof.


      Hell, I discovered with my calphalon cookware that if you hard annodize aluminum, and then stir-fry zucchini in it, you'll end up with an indestructable and permanent coating that could protect space shuttles during re-entry. Who the F*CK thought non-nonstick cookware was a good idea ???? :-(

  • by furiousx (909573) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:33AM (#13537686)
    also refer to the outstanding battery life?
  • by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:33AM (#13537692) Homepage
    Seriously, I find it funny how as soon as we get some new piece of technology our first instinct is to break it. Honestly think about it. I can't tell you how many things I can't wait to take apart as soon as I buy it. There has to be somehting unhealthy about this.

    Give somehting new and unknown to a bunch of apes and the first thing they do is smash it or rip it apart inquisitively.

    Guess we ain't so superior after all. :)
  • Summary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ReformedExCon (897248)
    Treat hardware really roughly and it will break.

    I am not sold on this. It is too small and costs too much. But I guess if I was driving 55 in my convertible, I'd be able to hear the playback over my car stereo crystal clear.
    • umm.. if you can find a larger flash based mp3 player that has a color screen and can show pictures, plus gets 15 hours of battery life and is less than 250 dollars, then I would like to know.
    • Re:Summary (Score:5, Funny)

      by ifwm (687373) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:30AM (#13538148) Journal
      "It is too small"

      What kind of complaint is this?

      "I can't believe how small this thing that's supposed to be small is. Can you believe they actually made this small thing so small?"

      Next you'll be comlpaining about Ferraris

      "I can't believe how fast this thing is. Why would they want to make a car that's supposed to be fast this fast? Stupid Ferrari..."
  • Good Review (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Oculus Habent (562837) * <oculus.habent@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:34AM (#13537697) Journal
    Nice to know it is so durable.

    Like another poster mentioned, it would be nice if they (any iPod, really) was more scratch-proof, but I suppose it helps drive the acessories market. :)
    • The mini was pretty scratch proof with it's solid anodized aluminum shell. Apple must not have been selling enough cases for them, so they needed to replace it with a polycarb based model. :)
  • by Chibi Merrow (226057) <mrmerrow@@@monkeyinfinity...net> on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:37AM (#13537715) Homepage Journal
    Article on the new iGadget being a failure? Check [slashdot.org].
    Apple g33k pr0n? Check [slashdot.org].

    Wow, this guy [misterbg.org] really DOES have Apple pegged... I mean, at first it was funny, but now it's just creepy...
  • Dead Cat (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:39AM (#13537732)
    If you open up a cat to see how it works, the first thing you have is a non-working cat.
  • by StarvingSE (875139) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:39AM (#13537733)
    What I don't understand is why, oh why hasn't apple incorporated an FM tuner into their iPod line yet?? Creative and iRiver have it on their models, it can't be that hard to implement. They are priced competitively as well so i can't be a cost issue.

    Seriously, for me the downside of the Nano is the lack of FM tuner. Mp3's are great, but sometimes you just want to listen to radio.

    I have been looking at getting an mp3 player for quite some time, and I thought the Nano was going to be my thing. But I will probably just wait until iRiver comes out with their clone with the FM tuner on it.
    • by mrgreen4242 (759594) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:43AM (#13537752)
      Well, personally, I don't want to listen to the radio, ever. That's why I have an iPod. I used to listen to the radio for NPR shows, but with most of the "good stuff" from NPR being available as podcasts, well, my car radio stays on "Aux Input" all the time now, and I don't own another radio reciever at all.

      I think Apple intentionally doesn't include an FM tuner on purpose, as they are theying to replace radio, not just replace CD players, with the iPod. They're doing a good job of it, too.
      • by jwinter1 (147688) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:54AM (#13537853) Homepage
        with most of the "good stuff" from NPR being available as podcasts

        Are you crazy? NPR has given up almost none of its best shows to podcasting. This American Life, Car Talk, What Do You Know?, Morning/Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, and pretty much any other of their big shows aren't podcast. There's actually very few good NPR shows available through podcasting.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:39PM (#13538734)
          Here's your NPR podcast:

          This script records your podcast. Call it record_NPR.sh
          =================
          #!/bin/bash

          PREFIX=$1
          NAME=$2
          LENGTH=$3

          if [ -z "$3" ] ; then
                echo "Usage: record_NPR.sh "
                exit
          fi

          FILE_DATE=`date`
          FILE_NAME=`date '+%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M.mp3'`
          FILE_NAME="${PREFIX}_${FILE_NAME}"

          cd /tmp/NPR
          wget -nv -O $FILE_NAME http://edtv.opb.org:8000/radio.mp3 [opb.org] > /dev/null 2>&1 &
          WPID=$!
          sleep $LENGTH; kill $WPID
          sleep 3
          tagmp3 set "%A:${NAME} %a:NPR Records" $FILE_NAME
          #update_RSS.pl "$PREFIX" "$FILE_NAME" "$FILE_DATE" "$NAME"
          echo "$NAME was recorded"
          ===================

          Stick it in your crontab, and you are done:
          ===================
          0 11 * * 5 /user/joechmo/bin/record_NPR.sh SFR "Science Friday" 2h
          0 15 * * 6 /user/joechmo/bin/record_NPR.sh PHC "Prarie Home Companion" 2h
          0 10 * * 6 /user/joechmo/bin/record_NPR.sh CTK "Car Talk" 1h
          ======================
      • by Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) * on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:30AM (#13538144)
        That's nice for you, but there are those of us that like to listen to the radio, whether its sports shows or whatever. Plus, the gym turns down the volume on the TV sets and simulcasts the audio on short-range radio so those that want to watch the news while they work out can do so without disturbing others. An FM tuner is a requirement for a lot of people I know.
      • I do - but usually only to tune in the TV audio while working out. For music, I pack in my own. While doing the bike or treadmill, there are times where it is nice to be able to tune in CNN. Wish my shuffle could do both.
    • Most airlines don't allow devices with radio tuners to be used in-flight, and I LIKE to use my iPod in-flight.

      And the radio sucks anymore.
    • It's the "analog hole" in reverse. Radio == "A way to get music on your iPod without buying it from the Apple Store(tm)" ... by intentionally eliminating that way of "leaking music" into your headphones, iPod owners are that much more of a captive audience when buying music online (since you can't effectively buy MP3's or AAC from other online vendors... instead only DRM WMA's, etc).

      This is why engineers != business people != marketing people. :^)

      --Robert
    • Because with an iPod and a good selection of songs and podcasts, FM radio is deader than an English roast beef. I own two radios...one is relegated entirely to being my alarm clock and my car stereo is used to listen to my iPod through an FM transmitter/car charger combo.

      When you think about it, the only radio stations that provide useful information that an iPod can't readily provide (ie traffic reports and weather) are AM radio stations...yet I only hear people clamoring for FM.
  • by Guano_Jim (157555) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:41AM (#13537740)
    Server's running slow with less than 60 comments, so:

    Coralized page 1 [nyud.net]

    Coralized page 2 [nyud.net]

    Coralized page 3 [nyud.net]

    Coralized page 4 [nyud.net]
  • by mattyohe (517995) <matt@yohe.gmail@com> on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:42AM (#13537748)
    That was a bit confusing on a Monday morning... You linked the words "more thorough review" to point to the less thorough review.
  • by CheddarHead (811916) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:44AM (#13537761)
    Their choices for stress tests were less than ideal. I'm never going to drop my ipod out of a moving car. What would have been good was some tests that would tend to bend the ipod rather than just impact tests. Instead of just sitting on it, put it in the back pocket of some tight jeans and sit down. For that matter, putting it in the coin pocket of some tight jeans and sitting down seems like it would put some stress on it.
  • by Schezar (249629) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:45AM (#13537770) Homepage Journal
    Just the other day, I was planning a mountain biking excursion with my flatemate. He'd never been mountain biking before, and he somehow got it into his head that bringing his Ipod Mini would be a good idea.

    I tried to convince him that he would break it via collision with rocks or maybe a tree. He claimed that it was a very durable piece of hardware.

    To demonstrate, he dropped it to the carpeted floor and bopped it with his foot...

    The display shattered.

    I think I laughed for a good half-hour. I felt bad about it, but there's nothing you can do but laugh when something so perfectly comedically timed happens.

    It wasn't all bad. He just used this as an excuse to buy the new Nano.
    • Actually made me laugh out loud. Good Jorb :)

      I love when people do dumb shit. Nothing is funnier.

      I once watched a guy claim his new 4WD Subaru could climb up a huge dirt pile. So he did it to prove it, problem was once on the crest of a pile of soft dirt your tires sink in and your screwed. He had to pay the people who had the dirt pile to dig out dirt around it slowly so it eventually could be driven out.

      I also watched a guy at an airport with one of those Panasonic Toughbooks stand on top of it (while clo
      • by Loether (769074)
        In high school I was showing off my new car alarm to my buddy. I said see you just barely hit it and the alarm goes off. I lightly hit it... no effect. I hit it a little bit harder... and dented the car. The alarm never went off. He laughed his ass off. I didn't find it as amusing at the time.
  • Systm (Score:5, Informative)

    by AngryScot (795131) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:45AM (#13537772)
    subSystm [revision3.com] has a video if the inside of the nano for anyone who is interested
    subSystm is a short version of the full episode Systm
  • by kuwan (443684) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:47AM (#13537788) Homepage
    The article should really be entitled How to Kill an iPod nano as I think that's the real purpose of the article. It must be fun to buy the latest gadget and then find creative ways to destroy it.

    Basically the final cause of death for the iPod was to throw it up in the air as high as possible, about 40 feet, and then let it smack down on the concrete. That was the final nail in the coffin after dropping it from 9 ft., dropping it multiple times from a speeding car (10 MPH to 50 MPH) and running over it twice. Pretty durable for a little music player.
    • I question their subjective guess of the height. 40 feet is pretty goddamn high to throw something.
    • by DingerX (847589) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:05AM (#13537940) Journal
      Nah, they're playing to a solid-state, no-moving-part gizmo's strengths. Hell, on my cheap mobile phone (Motorola V171) I once was troubleshooting what ended up being poor interface design (if the PIN is entered within the first 30 seconds of the "Enter PIN" message appearing, the thing would accept it, start up, wait 10 seconds, find no network, reboot and ask for the PIN again). I had gotten to the point in the troubleshooting tree that reads:
      14) Throw phone out of Fifth-story window

      Darn thing didn't even scratch.

      I dunno about the nano, but if it's anything like similarly-shaped solid state consumer electronic devices, the weak spot is gonna be sustained torque. Take that thing, and put it in a vice to simulate supertight pants. Apply sustained forces for long periods and see if the case deforms, loosening a critical connection. Put it in one of those paint-shakers for a couple hours to simulate it being worn by a pogo-mad punkrockers.

      Blunt trauma kills, but most of my devices die from "a long illness".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:48AM (#13537792)
    --> we were forced to depart from our planned schedule of destruction and try and run over it with the car. Surely, we thought, it could never withstand the crushing power of German automotive engineering --

    Will you please please run a review on my Mother-In-Law ??? Gratitudes in advance.
  • Nerds (Score:5, Funny)

    by z0l0pht (835541) on Monday September 12, 2005 @10:59AM (#13537890)
    "For our second test, one of us held on to the iPod, jogged about 20 feet" ...which is the average distance a nerd can jog
  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:01AM (#13537912) Homepage Journal
    It will break with 100% certainty.
  • by jurt1235 (834677) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:09AM (#13537972) Homepage
    Surely, we thought, it could never withstand the crushing power of German automotive engineering.
    And it finally gets funny!
    Anyway: Thin objects tend to survive being driven over more than thicker objects. If the object is thin enough, the tire even stays in contact with the road, causing a lot less pressure on the object than you might expect.
  • by Alcimedes (398213) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:10AM (#13537976)
    Honestly, seeing as these are $100 cheaper than the next flash alternative I could find, I'm tempted to just pick up two as boot devices.

    One for my Windows machines at work, one for my Macs.

    You'd use up about 1GB for the OS, then have 3+GB free for data extraction. Throw a bunch of diagnostic utilities on there (usually a hundred megs or so at most) and you've got a kick ass clean system to test hardware with when you're troubleshooting. And since its got a batter of its own, it's not reliant on having a powered USB port.

  • iPod Nano (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Daveznet (789744) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:14AM (#13538008)
    I actually have an iPod nano and I will agree, that it really gets scratched up fairly easily, even if you keep it in a sock you still get those little scartches. It really mucks up the nice finish that it originally came with. Ive had my nano for 2 days now and it looks like Ive had it for a couple months.
  • I liked the review (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dogfriend (609723) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:18AM (#13538050)
    My reason for buying a nano was to get a flash based iPod so I could take it skiing. I have taken my 20Gb 3G iPod skiing several times, but I was always concerned about scrambling the hard drive in a badly timed fall. Also, the battery life was not good enough at low temps to last a full day of skiing. The nano should be perfect for skiing, and the Ars Technica review seems to confirm its durability.
  • by LazyBoy (128384) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:23AM (#13538079)
    It's good to see the nano hold up to so much abuse. The pictures I'd seen made it look so delicate.

    But one test I'd like to see involves trying to damage it by flexing it. Sitting on a nano laid on a wooden chair or even running over it is different from putting it in a tight pants pocket and sitting on a hard surface.

  • by Snosty (210966) on Monday September 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#13538373) Homepage
    So I bought one of these yesterday and the first place I put it was in my pocket that I also keep my keys in. Big mistake. 1 iPod Nano, less than a day old, scuffed and scratched.

    Does anyone know of any mild abrasives or similiar that can be used to polish an iPod such as a Nano back to scratch and scuff free brilliance? I'd really like to restore mine to normal and then maybe invest in a protective cover.

    Incidentally, what's Apple's problem with making it scratch proof? My mobile phone stays in my pocket constantly with my keys and has done so for a year now. It's scratched to hell all over EXCEPT for the glass over the screen. Go figure.
    • by ciurana (2603) on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:28PM (#13538666) Homepage Journal
      Greetings,

      A few years ago I learned a trick from my local Swatch store. I had scratched the face of a watch given to me as a gift; a keeper mainly for its sentimental value. The face had several scratches, some looked deep. I steeled myself to pay $50 to replace the watch's face (an $80 watch) and headed to the store.

      The clerk was very helpful and passed on one of the best tips ever: Put some toothpaste on the polycarbonate surface, rub softly with your fingers, and wipe off with a moist cotton pad or paper towel. Scratches be gone! I've used that trick on mobile phone screens as well, with excellent results.

      I hope that helps,

      E
    • novus plastic polish (Score:4, Informative)

      by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:42PM (#13538762)
      Search for it. It's used for this exactly. It's great on CDs/DVDs too.

      Your phone doesn't scratch on the display because if you look closely, the display is covered by an hard plastic insert. The rest of the case is a softer (actually more durable) plastic. Apple doesn't seem to want to insert harder plastic over the screen because it would require a bumpy frame around the display. The Mini had the harder plastic, because it was made of metal elsewhere.

      Also note that since Apple doesn't use an insert over the display, their displays show rainbows when viewed through polarized glasses due to the stresses resulting from injection molding. Again, the Mini didn't have these.

      Nobody makes large plastic things like phones scratch proof all over because "scratch proof" plastic is more brittle and much more expensive to shape. If your phone or iPod body was made of it, the keys would chip the corners off it in no time.

      Well, they don't make affordable things "scratch proof". It's usually only used in small areas like the inserts over displays on your phone. This means you don't use much of it, and making flat sheets is cheap and easy.
  • by OmniVector (569062) <see my homepage> on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:25PM (#13538636) Homepage
    Did anyone else notice that the battery is SODERED ON. You can't even replace this one if you WANT to (unless you have your own soder kit and all).
    • It's $59+$7 s/h to have Apple replace the battery. At that price, you may as well buy the Applecare contract at $59 and just figure the battery will need replacing within 2 years. They'll swap it out under warranty when it can only hold a 50% charge.
    • It's not very expensive to buy a soldering iron and a roll of solder, and I think if you're so inclined as to actually open up your nano in the first place you'd be able to solder on a new battery. The process would take all of 30 seconds to remove the old wires and attach the new ones. It's not rocket science.
    • ANCIENT WISDOM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phriedom (561200) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:34PM (#13539202)
      As the Old Wise labrats say: if you want to reduce the reliability of something, add a connector, if it is still too reliable, add sockets.
  • by Judge_Fire (411911) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:37PM (#13539231) Homepage

    The article incorrectly states that the sound quality is the same across the iPod line.

    This test and actually, just comparing by the ear, shows interesting results from a number of players:

    http://home.comcast.net/~machrone/playertest/playe rtest.htm [comcast.net]

    J
  • necropsy (Score:3, Informative)

    by binarybum (468664) on Monday September 12, 2005 @01:50PM (#13539341) Homepage
    unless other nano pods are employed by ars-technica to dissect another nanopod, this would be a necropsy, not an autopsy.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson

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