Poor Battery Life May Doom Zune


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c|net's lengthy test of the 80GB Zune reports that Wi-Fi - among other factors - results in lackluster battery performance from the Microsoft MP3 player.

The Zune managed only 22.5 hours of battery life playing audio only with Wi-Fi switched off, a far cry from Microsoft's claim of 30 hours. With Wi-Fi on, that figure dropped to 18.5 hours. In order to eke out more battery life from a single charge, Microsoft also deleted a feature from the original Zune - the built-in audio equalizer.

By contrast, the 80GB iPod Classic lasted 45 hours in the same c|net test.

The review argues that Zune is now truly 'competitive' with iPod, and the biggest problem it faces is the stigma associated with Zune 1.0.

Analysis: Battery life is arguably one of a music/video player's most important attributes. After all, what point is there taking one on a long-haul flight if it doesn't go the distance, particularly with video playback? Constantly recharging is also a bug-bear. It's notable that when Apple's 3G and 4G iPods were behind many of their competitors on playing hours, Apple made a concerted effort to improve battery life, resulting in significant gains, particularly with the 5G/5.5G 80GB iPods.