Zune-alicious: The Unboxing

My 30GB Zune is here…so let’s unbox this eagerly anticipated digital music player together!

Amazon packing materials – nothing too exciting here…

Tossed in the bottom of the box, in a simple clear sleeve, the object of much controversy and discussion awaits.

The box only measures 5.25″ tall x 5.5″ wide x 2.25″ deep.

The box reads:
Includes 30GB Zune digital media player, earphones, sync cable, manuals, and disc.

System Specifications:
Computer running Windows XP SP2 or later, Internet access (high speed recommended; 200MB free hard drive space, USB port (USB 2.0 recommended, CD Drive).


The box side with the seal must be broken before opening…

The heavy paper brown outer sleeve slides off to reveal the inner treasure chest – which reads, “Welcome to the social,” obviously a direct reference to the sharing capabilities of the player.

Breaking the seal on the lower right of the box allows a flap to free…

…which when lifted reveals the clear plastic wrapped Zune!

But wait…there’s more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lifting the flaps on either side of the Zune reveals two flaps that when lifted reveal compartments holding the earphones (left) and the sync & charge cable (right).

Next, we’ll open the backside of the box…

…which is where some other goodies are hidden. There is an installation disc, a 14-day free pass to use Zune Pass (a monthly flat fee service which allows access to millions of songs), a product guide, a quick start guide, annnnnd

a very nice microfiber bag that will not only keep the Zune from getting scratches, it should also work well for wiping down the Zunes screen should it get mucked up by fingerprints. ๐Ÿ˜›

The earphones and the sync & charge cable… everything is nicely branded and tastefully done.

The earphones, while I haven’t tried them out so I couldn’t tell you if they sound any good, do have one interesting property out of the box – their backs are magnetized! They will cling to each other which may help keep them neatly together. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Zune… I ordered black, which as you can see has a blue effect sandwiched between its layers. The result is very niiiiice! (said in my best Borat voice) ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Zune measures 4.45″ tall x 2.5″ wide x 0.65″ thick, and it weighs 5.7 ounces.

The material from which is it composed has a wonderful texture that does not show fingerprints. Here you can see the hold slider and the headphone jack.

The sync & charge port is on the bottom, and the controls on the front include a back button, a control pad, and a play/pause button. The control pad clicks – it doesn’t follow your sliding finger.

…and a friendly message from the folks at Microsoft – nice touch! ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s it for now. I have installed the software and the Zune is now charging. It’s time for me to restart my computer.

Any questions? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

19 Comments on "Zune-alicious: The Unboxing"

  1. I dont see any screws… is it buttoned up the same as a iPod?

  2. How was your installation experience? I have heard people complaining about that.

    And Allen there’s an dissection posted here

    Apparently a credit card can open up the player.

  3. Nzo – thanks, I was just about to post that link!

    I have captured screenshots of the entire installation process, that will be my next post on the subject. It is a bit lengthier of a process than I expected, but nothing completely unreasonable.

  4. “Welcome to the social”?!

    One of the few marketing blurbs I think would be better represented in leetspeak: “Welcome 2 teh social”

    For some reason it reminds me of a Hong Kong soccer movie with terrible but hilarious English subtitles: “Kick the soccer!”

  5. The whole vibe I got while opening the box was good, though – I will say that. Everything is very nicely done, and the “Welcome to the social” and the “Hello from Seattle” bits were friendly touches where none were expected; kinda different and enjoyable. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Love those magnetized earphone backs; very ? dare I say it? ? Cupertino-ish.


  7. LOL, those dissection pics make taking it apart look too easy. Thats interesting that they used a Toshiba 1.8-inch Hard Disk Drive…

  8. Oh, here the specs for the hard drive…

  9. Allen: Not too surprising, really, since the Zune is really just a cosmetically modified Toshiba Gigabeat…
    Nzo: Great link! I hadn’t seen anyone post the dissection anywhere else yet.

    Frankly, I’m surprised that it’s so much thicker than the iPod… I guess they have to chalk it down to the huge logic board and all-plastic case, because the 5/5.5 gen iPod uses a half length board with fewer components, a flatter battery (though possibly displacing the same volume), and other space-saving measures.

  10. karrock, don’t forget that the Zune also has a wiFi radio buit in – that probably takes up some room. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wishful thinking? Tell me about the sync connector – it looks like an iPod connector. Do you think it will actually work with iPod accessories?

  12. Ha, only in a perfect world. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Major wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it have been nice?! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Here’s “Bunnie’s” Zune dismantling — they took some macro shots of various components, including its tiny WiFi module.


    Slashdot effect in full force, so YMMV on accessing the website…

  14. Oooh – thanks for the link! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Me again…

    Bunnie’s “Zune Guts” is available in Google’s cache, but there were a lot more comments the last time I was able to load his website…

  16. One quickie question Judie… How come some of my comments post immediately and other times it seems like they go through an approval/moderation process? Couldn’t spot any rhyme or reason from what I’ve posted so far…

  17. I have to approve everyone’s first post (to catch spam), but after that they should all go though immediately – unless there are more than two external links in the comment (also to catch spam).

    Any other post delays are just be wordpress fun and the internet gods. ๐Ÿ˜›

  18. Guess my one post is lost to the Internet godz then… Something along the lines of:

    I was able to get to Bunnie’s website before the slashdot hordes, so I posted his photos up on flickr while I still had them in my browser’s cache. Of special interest is the jumbo-sized photo of the logic board, if anyone wants to play “name that integrated circuit!” like the visitors to his blog have.


    Andrew “Bunnie” Huang has an electronics engineering background (PhD from MIT!) and is perhaps best known for reverse engineering the XBOX, so perhaps he’s taking a swing at the dark corners of the mysterious Zune… (Cue ominous music)

  19. Found this gem in Google’s cache too — for some reason it doesn’t exist on their current website!

    BleedingEdgeTV GearLive’s Zune Disassembly Video

    Gear Live’s photo gallery of the Zune’s dissection is also offline now… Should we start the Microsoft conspiracy theories now…? ;o)

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