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by Mike Zazaian September 17, 2006 - 12:17pm, 2 Comments

A brown Zune

Microsoft’s upcoming Zune multimedia player will have some substantial battery life despite its 3-inch LCD screen.

Microsoft has sacrificed portability in favor a whopping 3-inch QVGA LCD screen and WiFi connectivity in its upcoming Zune portable media player. Battery life on the Zune, however, won’t be in short supply, despite the electrical demands of the device.

According to Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff, the upcoming Zune will be capable of playing 12 hours of music playback at 128Kbps or 3.5 hours of video with its wireless capabilities disabled. Figures for wireless-enabled playback times are not yet available. While impressive for a player of this size, the Zune’s battery life doesn’t quite stand up to that of Apple’s new 30GB and 80GB iPods. With the 30GB iPod weighing in at 14 and 4 for music and video playback hours, and the 80GB version packing an unprecedented 20 and 6, Zune’s battery life alone won’t win it any buyers.

But Micrsoft seems to be taking a different approach than Apple with the Zune. Rather than attacking the iPod head on by trying to out-slim and and underweigh it, Microsoft is providing a median between the iPod and personal video players such as those put out by Archos. Perhaps they believe that in being five years late to the party Zune is in a better position to claim market share as a niche-oriented device rather than a direct iPod competitor. Either that or Zune project manager Jim Allard, who also headed up development of Xbox Live, completely missed the boat on this one. Either way, the Zune is sure to make some waves when it’s released this coming holiday season.

[via engadget]