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So I figured I would follow Toms’ review of Gears of War 2 with my review of the Gears of War Special Edition Zune 120gb, it just seemed very fitting to do it this way…

The Zune is of course Microsoft’s answer to the iPod as we all know, and in my time with the Zune I’ve come to love it, I’m very happy overall with the Zune, it’s very easy to use, it’s got many features, it’s well made, and of course this one is special because it’s Gears of War.

The Gears of War Edition Zune has a 120gb capacity, which should be more than enough for anyone really, and it of course comes packed with all kinds of things pertaining to Gears of War 2, including videos, stills, concept art, backgrounds, the full soundtrack and quite a bit more.

Here’s the unboxing video for you, followed by a few stills:

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Specifications:
Zune Gears of War Special Edition Zune 120GB

The eagerly-awaited sequel to one of the bestselling Xbox franchises ever is finally here. To commemorate this event, Xbox and Epic Games have joined with Zune to create this special-edition Zune player so you can take the experience with you.

Price:$279.99

The new Gears of War 2 special-edition Zune 120 has been emblazoned with the Crimson Omen etched on its back. It comes loaded with a special Gears of War 2 media collection: a huge assortment of production artwork and photos, the original game soundtrack, behind-the-scenes videos, game trailers, concept art galleries, and more. All this plus the innovative features standard in Zune, like Buy from FM, wireless sync, and wi-fi hotspot access to Zune Marketplace.

Box Content
* Gears of War 2 Special Edition Zune 120
* Headphones
* Zune Sync Cable
* Three pairs of foam earpiece covers

Preloaded Content
* Listen to the full soundtrack of the original Gears of War game, including 28 tracks from the game that started this epic saga
* Nine Gears of War videos, including gameplay, trailers, and behind-the-scenes moments with Epic Games.
* 244 different images, including game concept art, team photos,and custom Zune backgrounds.

Image Gallery:
Check out a sample of the over 200 images preloaded on this special-edition Zune, including original art from the collector’s-edition art books, behind-the-scenes photographs, Gears of War advertisements, and custom backgrounds for your Zune. Have a sneak peek at the collectible packaging that wraps it all up.

Video:
Immerse yourself in the incredible details of the world of Gears of War. Witness the aspects of its evolution, from the art that inspired the game, to a behind-the-scenes journey into the development process and the announcement of this long-awaited sequel.

Zune Backgrounds:
Customize your Zune by choosing from 13 custom backgrounds, sized perfectly to fit your screen and show every time you turn on your Zune. You can always change your background to any picture on your player.

HERE is the link to the Zune 120gb webpage where you can find more specs etc about the 120gb version of the Zune.


The first thing to do when you get your Zune is to hop over to Zune.net and get the software, once installed you’re ready to go with your Zune, just transfer your files over and you can be on your way.
The pad is your navigation device, it can be touch sensitive or it can be used like a pad you could find on a game controller, push up and things move up. On both sides of the pad is a button, the main features are ‘back’ and ‘play/pause’. The main menu just scrolls up and down, you push in on the pad to make your selection.

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Pretty much the main feature of the Zune is an mp3 or music player, and that it does very well, I used several different sets of headphones with the Zune and all sounded fine. The only gripe I could have is that there is no equalizer, but without it, the audio still sounded great with all different types of music.

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The Zune 120gb has a nice large screen on it which makes it great for watching movies, I converted one of my movies and threw it on there, it played perfectly, no problems at all. Playback was smooth, and it sounded fine.

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One of the features that I really like about the Zune is the built in FM tuner, you get tired to listening to music, so just turn on the radio. Reception was fine for me, the same as any other FM tuner in my area, no better and no worse.

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I got the new update a couple days ago and it added new games. Surprisingly the games are actually fairly cool, the graphics are very nice, and playing games is easy to do, but I found it’s easier to switch the pad to actual physical instead of touch sensitive when playing games.

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The wireless feature works very well, I had no problems connecting to my network, and the battery life seems good, I charged it once in the past week, today actually and I think I used it for about 25 hours total, with the wireless on all the time, and playing videos as well. The battery is rated for approximately 30 hours of just audio with the wireless off, so I think I got the rated time out of it.

One other small gripe I could have is that the screen picks up fingerprints easily and it’s fairly hard to get them off, it would be nice if they included some sort of screen protector with it. I have on on order right now actually, the screen though is scratch resistant glass so there’s not too much to worry about scratching it.

Here’s a video, about 10 minutes long, of a lot of stuff in the Zune, menus, movies, etc and of course my impressions and opinions as well…


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Conclusion:
The Zune 120gb itself has become my new favorite mp3 player, it’s very well made, easy to use and it’s just an all around great product. Of course being it’s a special edition Gears of War Zune makes it only that much cooler.
The Zune 120Gb, for me, is the mp3 player to own, it’s got  a huge capacity, large, gorgeous 3.2 inch display, wireless capability, FM tuner, it’s well made, it’s very easy to use and it’s got great battery life, what more could you ask for?

Pros:
Easy to use
Large capacity
Nice big screen
Very well made
Great sound quality
Good video quality

Cons:
No equalizer
Does not play all video formats easily, must convert
Ran into a bug where it resets every once in a while
Picks up fingerprints easily, should come with screen protector

Grades:  
Overall score 9 10 thumb1 Gears of War 2 Special Edition Zune 120GB
Design score 10 10 thumb1 Gears of War 2 Special Edition Zune 120GB
Performance score 9 10 thumb1 Gears of War 2 Special Edition Zune 120GB