Well, I've had my Zune for a couple weeks now (something like that). First impressions:
- The "black" one is a nice charcoal color with blue accents. I like it a little better than the black iPods.
- The screen is great.
- The UI is overall good; it's very similar to my old Portable Media Center, and I like it a little better than the iPod UI.
- The Zune software is pretty good.
- The charging cable and the PC sync cable is... the same cable! If you want to use the AC adapter, you plug the sync cable into the adapter's USB port.
- I got it at a discount.
- The wireless sharing is kind of neat.
- I love the fact that I can customize the device's wallpaper.
- It's nearly impossible to operate the device when it's in your pocket. I could control everything about my previous player when it was in my pocket, but the Zune has a near-smooth surface with iPod-like buttons you can't easily operate when not looking at the device, and certainly not through the fabric of your pants. This is the worst downside in my opinion.
- The battery life is abysmal—just a few hours per charge, even with wireless sharing off. My old player had bad battery life too, but this one was advertised at 9. I'm going to do a test this weekend, and if it's half as bad as it appears to be, I'll go bonk some heads.
- The Zune software is pretty much exactly the same as Windows Media Player, but it's not. They're separate apps with almost identical features, but separate libraries.
- Capacity is low—only 30GB.
Overall, I can't say I really recommend for or against the device versus the iPod, though that is, in a way, praise. I think it's a fine iPod alternative, but the iPod has all the accessories in the world, and if you aren't getting a company discount on the Zune, it seems there's little reason to go for one. The Zune software is nicer than iTunes, and the wireless sharing feature is cool, but realistically, you're not going to be sharing too many songs with all of those other Zune owners you're constantly running into. If it were priced just a little bit lower, I'd have gone for the 80GB iPod instead, and been able to carry all of my music with me... but 30GB at least allows a pretty sizeable subset.