Launched at the Beat goes on event in San Francisco and then televised around the world, Apple has announced a new iPod nano: the iPod nano. But should you drop everything and run out and buy one? We managed to get our hands on one at the London event in the BBC Television Centre.



Think of the comedy act Little and Large and you start to get the image in your mind of what the new iPod nano looks like compared to the old iPod nano. It's as if Apple got an old nano and then stamped on it, making it shorter and fatter at the same time.

About half the height of the previous iPod nano, the new iPod nano features a wider 2-inch screen, the same memory and now a full metal body.

Yes we know what you are thinking, the previous, or current nano before the 5 September had a full metal body didn't it? Well sorry to say, it didn't, that hold button; it was plastic. And so it gives Apple the chance to now say "Full Metal Cover". It's all in the detail you see.

So a new fatter, wider nano has been released, alongside a slightly tweaked menu interface that splits the screen in half to you get a teaser of what you are looking for on the right of the screen and the menu that you know on the left. Like the iPod, touch, iPhone and iPod classic, you get CoverFlow to be able to flick through your album covers easily, alongside the ability to play video and view images in addition to the music functions.

Briefly watching video (we watched Lost and Desperate Housewives) on the device looks harder than looking for a needle in a haystack. It might be a glossy high resolution screen (for those interested it's 320 x 240) but I still wouldn't want to watch anything for any time on it: even most mobile phones have a bigger screen.

Verdict

The nano for us has always been an in between product for people that don't want the simplicity of the Shuffle or the size of the original iPod. This device does nothing to win me over in my first look.



Compared to the Creative Zen with its 2.5-inch screen, built in FM radio, the nano is clearly the weaker of the two.

Get past the hyperbole and it's just an average MP3 player.

The iPod classic will be out in the next couple of weeks.