Microsoft Zune HD Teardown

Following up on our slew of iPod teardowns last week, we’ve just finished taking apart the new kid on the block: the Zune HD. Microsoft has taken a long time to get to market with this device, and the hardware shows it. It’s lighter than the iPod touch, smaller in two dimensions (skinnier and shorter, but 0.4 mm thicker), claims better battery life with a smaller battery, and beat Apple to market with an OLED screen.

Zune HD teardown
The Zune HD in 9 easy-to-assemble pieces

Teardown Highlights:

  • The Zune has a Samsung-manufactured 3.3 inch OLED display. This part is likely the most expensive item on the Zune’s bill of materials, and contributes to the improved battery life.
  • The OLED screen is incredibly thin (1 mm) and seems more rugged than a traditional LCD panel.
  • We can confirm that the Zune HD does NOT have 802.11n support. Instead, it’s got a super efficient Atheros AR6002GZ 802.11g chip.
  • The Zune has an Nvidia Tegra 2600 processor, supporting OpenGL ES 2.0 and programmable pixel shaders. In a stark contrast to Apple’s relationship with Samsung, NVidia’s product page actually has a link to buy the Zune HD.
  • The battery capacity is 660 mAh. That’s about 16% less than the 789 mAh battery in the new iPod touch. However, Microsoft promises a longer run time than the touch for both music and videos. They may have pulled it off– Microsoft certainly had a lot of motivation to push for super low-power hardware solutions in this device.
  • Toshiba supplied the NAND flash in our unit, and Hynix provided the SDRAM. However, we’ve had reports that Microsoft is using a few different suppliers for these parts.