Cnet recently spent some quality time with the Zune HD, and the initial reaction is good. (As a reminder: We're watching the soon-to-be-released Zune HD pretty closely for the following reasons: 1. We're still looking for a bit of convergence between the Zune and Windows Mobile, hopefully starting with WM7. 2. The browser is based on a "flavor" of IE6 mobile. 3. Tegra processor. 4. OLED screen. 5. It's some very cool poop from Microsoft.)
Let's focus on No. 2 for a second. (Yeah, we just said No. 2 and cool poop in the same post. Go ahead. ... We'll wait.)
Says Donald Bell:
Speaking of Wi-Fi, the Zune's new Web browser smokes. Not since first using the iPhone have I been this impressed with a mobile web browser. There's no branding on the browser, but I was told it was cooked up by Microsoft's Internet Explorer team (makes sense). Page load was snappy, and pinching and reorienting pages work just like the iPhone and iPod Touch. You also get a fast on-screen keyboard with a nice little magnifier effect with each keystroke. The only bad news on the browser is that there's no support for Flash audio and video content. So Pandora and YouTube are out, but I was able to get onto Facebook and Twitter.
Read his full hands-on here. Bell also raves about the quality of the Zune HD as a digital audio player and is quite keen on the screen.
Now we're throwing out some pretty big "ifs" here, especially seeing as how the Zune HD has only been in a few, select hands. But if indeed the browser is that good, and indeed the media side of the device is that good, and indeed Microsoft is melding the Zune with Windows Mobile in some fashion, then we all should have a lot to look forward to.