Unboxing Apple's 4G iPod

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Date: Thursday, July 22nd, 2004, 07:49
Category: Archive

iPod 4G boxI’m sitting here listening to Vapor Trails and I figure I can hang in there long enough to provide a few details. From high atop the Chicago skyline at the south end of the Magnificent Mile, here are my first impressions of the latest offering. The iPod’s packaging has gone full color, using the images and pastels of the latest ‘silhouette’ commercials. Read More for the full story and 16 unboxing images…


iPod 4G boxI’m sitting here listening to Vapor Trails and I figure I can hang in there long enough to provide a few details. From high atop the Chicago skyline at the south end of the Magnificent Mile, here are my first impressions of the latest offering. The iPod’s packaging has gone full color, using the images and pastels of the latest ‘silhouette’ commercials.
The display looks much better to me. It’s brighter, and the color is more pleasing to the eye. The text is noticeably “navy” blue and the backlight is a nice light shade of ‘sky’. Even before I compared my two iPods side by side I noticed a difference. I could see it right away when I examined the display models at the Chicago Apple Store. I haven’t seen it in sunlight yet.
It doesn’t feel any thinner or lighter than my 3G 15GB but when you lay them on a flat surface you can definitely see that the 4G is thinner. Form-fitting cases are a bit less snug.
The scroll wheel is a monstrous improvement. I couldn’t even begin to overstate this. It’s the main reason I’m selling my 3G iPod. I really had difficulty getting used to the 3G buttons. This latest wheel has come ‘full circle’ – if you’ll pardon the expression. Press the wheel on its north, south, east or west edges and you’re rewarded with a nice responsive click that you can pull off in total darkness. The wheel is perfectly flush with the body of the iPod and you really can’t feel where it begins and ends, but it’s not hard to hit the general area that you’re looking for when you hold the iPod normally. I tried it next to a mini and I much prefer the feel of the new iPod. It’s larger and the click feels more decisive. The mini has a smooth finish on the wheel whereas the 4G iPod’s wheel surface is flat like your favorite car paint primer. Ever so slightly textured. It makes for a nice scrolling experience!
All the whiners out there who want the exact same feature set made available to them for older models can rest assured that there are no ground breaking new features in the OS. Yeah, you can now play an audio book faster or slower but how critical is that? The only other new feature that I can see is the setting that allows you to turn the iPod’s clicker sound on and off – both in its external ‘speaker’ and in your headphones. Pretty cool I guess.

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Captions of the unboxing pictures can be found here.

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