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Topic: Comments, Pics and Observations from a 5G User

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Old 09-14-2007, 05:34 PM
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Exclamation Comments, Pics and Observations from a 5G User

Picked up my touch today at the Aspen Grove Apple store in Littleton, Colorado.

I was rather concerned about the audio quality and screen quality after what I have read here and at ilounge.

These are my initial impressions of the iPod Touch as well as a series of photos that demonstrates a few things.

The Flash drive is very, very slow. I immediately synchronized the Touch with a 12GB music playlist, 300MB of Photos and a single 500MB movie. The entire synch took around an hour from a USB 2.0 port. It's hard to say how much of an impact this will have for day to day use, but for those who will frequently be changing out large playlists it's definitely something to be aware of.

The construction of the device, as previously noted, is very good. There's a black metal bezel around it and it's extremely thin. As can be seen in the photos below it makes my 30GB 5G iPod look like a tank.

The operation of the device is just like the iPhone. Using the Touch interface makes it almost painful to pick up and use the 5G iPod.

For sound quality comparisons I used my very high end Shure E4C headphones (these babies go for about $200, so they cost about half as much as the iPod does) and I listened to the Blue October track "Into the Ocean". This track was LAME VBR encoded with APS presets, so the sound quality is quite good.

The sound from the Touch is definitely not nearly as robust as the sound from the 5G iPod. The Touch sounds thin and 'tinny'. Chords in the song don't reverberate, and there is a lack of depth in the audio. Additionally at 50% volume there is some noticeable background noise coming from the device which noticeably dissapears when the device is shut off with the power switch.

This is a big disappointment for me, as I expected a flash device to deliver sound quality at least as good as my 5G hard drive based iPod if not better. Sound from the Touch is not bad it actually sounds 'ok' but definitely not as good as previous generation iPods.

Next I checked the screen performance with photos and video. In photos I noticed immediately that anything dark lost all definition. Kind of like an LCD TV with a very bad contrast ratio. Bright, colorful photos looked good, but anything darker (like wedding pictures which had the tuxedos in the shot) looked completely blocky. This is definitely a sympton of the LCD and is not something that I believe can be fixed in firmware.

I loaded up the movie Kill Bill Volume 1. This movie was encoded directly from DVD with Handbrake at 400kbps and iPhone presets. On my PC this movie looks great. Very good color, black reproduction, etc. On the Touch it looks pretty mediocre. There is very bad black reproduction. I took some pictures of the fight scene at the end of the movie which takes place in a Japanese Garden to give some reference to what I am talking about.

All in all this device is a "B-" effort from Apple. $400 for a 16GB iPod with mediocre audio performance and a poor quality screen is not what I expected. Now I have to decide if I am going to take it back to the Apple store in a week or two for a refund (minus the hefty Apple restocking fee) or if I will 'touch it out' with the shortcomings to enjoy the new interface and wi-fi until a successor comes out later on next year.

I would advise anyone to be very careful about buying this from Apple. You might not be very happy and Apple will not give you your money back without a restocking fee. You are probably better off buying from a retailer with a good return policy (Amazon, etc) and waiting an extra couple of weeks. At this point noone can say that this is an "A" effort from Apple.










Last edited by Gunner; 09-14-2007 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:38 PM
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Great Picutures, this review is much appreciated...THANKS !



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Old 09-14-2007, 05:40 PM
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Thank you very much Gunner. I am now glad that I canceled my preorder. Excellent pictures and a very solid review from a 5G owner like myself.

I'll wait until the first update and see what pans out with these LCD issues. I work for a company that makes LCD's and that looks like our first gen LCD's 4 years ago. Wonder where these screens are coming from....
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:49 PM
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Yeah I have an iPod Touch and I also have those awful black colors losing all definition and starting to glow.

Going to go for an exchange tomorrow at the Apple Store.
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:50 PM
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Hmmm. I thought my screen was bad but yours looks even worse.



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Old 09-14-2007, 05:54 PM
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thx for the review, hopefully the synch problems gets fixed if not then
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:14 PM
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Dude, I registered just to thank you for being the first one on the internet to take some decent F*ing pictures of this problem. I can't believe how terrible those blacks become with such a slight angle change - I mean it has to be less than 5 degrees correct? Reminds me of the el-cheapo LCD on my 5 year old HP PDA. I wouldn't pay $200 for that, let alone $400. Just canceled my preorder.

Looks like this is definitely a time to wait for Apple to work out the production issues.. how this got through quality control though.. holy ####. What is Apple thinking??

But yeah thanks again for the review.

Edit: You know when I look at this again, I have to assume this is a manufacturing defect. It looks like some AR coating issue to me. No way Apple ships out millions of devices that look like this.. still, definitely a wait and see unless you live next door to an Apple store.

Last edited by wangbadan; 09-14-2007 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:24 PM
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Gunner you just saved some people $400. Thank you!! Please spread this honest review around. We've had enough of the BS PCMag-style "reviews" that are just trumped up marketing advertisements.

Oh and let me be the first to recommend you title this review "Is Apple Losing Their Touch?"
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:50 PM
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Yeah, this is definitely the issue everyone is having. I know that there are good units out there. Hopefully it won't be too hard to get a good replacement. Altogether, disappointing, though.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:52 PM
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Thank god I haven't bought one yet. The return policy here in Sweden is terrible. If you buy something, open the package and use it, it's not possible to return it.

Damn I'm disappointed 400 dollars and device isn't perfect. Now I have to wait for apple to fix the problems.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:54 PM
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I can only guess that this will be fixed on future shipments. The screen problems is as bad as the cracking/discoloring on the macbooks a while back.
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:57 PM
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Perhaps the reason why orders have been going to the Apple Stores are all the beta versions that they needed to sell off. Perhaps by reading user feedback from those that bought it from the Apple store, they can made adjustments to the device so that those that pre-ordered will get the real final version of the device with no screen problems, etc.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexis
Perhaps the reason why orders have been going to the Apple Stores are all the beta versions that they needed to sell off. Perhaps by reading user feedback from those that bought it from the Apple store, they can made adjustments to the device so that those that pre-ordered will get the real final version of the device with no screen problems, etc.
I think that's a bit optimistic. Typically a manufacturer would be pumping out thousands of devices a day and would have done an enormous production run before the first device shipped out.

It seems more like they got a huge batch of poor quality panels from one of their suppliers and shipped them anyway.

Now the question is, will Apple fess up to this and offer no fuss exchanges for those of us who got these units, or will they want us to send them in for repair or claim "that's just the way it is with the Touch".

I was going to go in to the local Apple store and chat with the Store Manager to see what he thought he could do for me in the way of holding an exchange unit for me, etc.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:17 PM
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I'm calling to cancel my order right now. The video image is about the equivalent of my Dell Axim 51V, it looks like they used a PDA screen on this, the Axim also suffers from a very narrow viewing angle that causes what your seeing. This not how the Iphone looks. The quality of video on it is amazing. I'll be sticking with my Cowon A2 , which in my Opinion looks alot better than the Touch. Too Bad. Bad Screen, Bad Audio quality, what's left.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:35 PM
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WOW thank you so much!!

Well, this does it for me, I will NOT be going for a Touch. Any media device for $400 has to be perfect, and the touch is far from it.

Being a first year college student, I had originally planned to buy a touch (and take advantage of the other features), and also a cheap phone. But seeing as how Apple purposely "crippled" the touch to keep iPhone sales going, I must admit that they have succeded.

I'm going to buy an iPhone instead. It's just so much better and, since I need a cellphone as well, the iPhone is good I guess and all of the features that are NOT on the Touch will be very valuable for me.

Well Apple, your evil plan to improve iPhone sales have succeded. Congratulations.
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Topic: Comments, Pics and Observations from a 5G User

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