We've moved on from speculation and rumors, and now we finally have the cold hard facts regarding the Zune HD. And if you're anything like us, then you're eagerly anticipating the release of this PMP. Of course, nothing has really changed regarding the physical specs, but we now know the battery life, as well as the vide0 capabilities of this device.
Here's what the Zune HD has for battery life:
Battery: Music, up to 24 hours (wireless off); video, up to 4 hours2
Charge Time: 3 hours; 2 hours to 90 percent
And as for video:
Video Support: Windows Media Video (WMV) (.wmv) – Main and Simple Profile, CBR or VBR, up to 3.0 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD WMV files at device sync.
MPEG-4 (MP4/M4V) (.mp4) Part 2 video3– Simple Profile up to 2.5 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD MPEG-4 files at device sync.
H.264 video – Baseline Profile up to 2.5 Mbps peak video bit rate; 720 pixels x 480 pixels up to 30 frames per second (or 720 pixels x 576 pixels up to 25 frames per second). Zune software will transcode HD H.264 files at device sync.
DVR-MS4 – Zune software will transcode at time of sync.
So it doesn't take long at all for the Zune HD to charge up, and it looks like as long as you're not trapsing around with your WiFi on, trying to find new music, this thing will last you a good day with continuous play, even if it is a little bit on the low side. The video support is pretty robust, and with that 72op-out feature, we're thinking everyone should be taking advantage of it.
Update: It looks like ArsTechnica got ahold of Microsoft in hopes to get a comment about the lower-than-expected battery life, and this is what they got:
"Battery life was tested by Zune in August 2009 using preproduction hardware and device software. Battery tests are conducted with specific Zune units. Actual results may vary. Audio content used was WMA 128 Kbps. Video content used was 320x240 WMV9 500 Kbps total bit rate. Batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually hold less charge. Battery life and the number of charge cycles vary by use and settings. See www.zune.net/batteries for more information."
As it turns out, it looks like the Zune HD (still without WiFi) will last you around 33 hours continuous playback of music, and about 8.5 hours of video playback. The charge time is 3 hours while charging via a USB/PC connection, and two hours through the A/C charger.