Gift Guide: The 5th Generation iPod Touch

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Short Version

Apple’s iPod touch is arguably among the last of a dying breed, being a standalone media player that isn’t also a phone. But just because you’re among a species on the verge of extinction doesn’t mean you can’t shine, and the 5th generation iPod touch brings a lot of goodness to the table for a connected mobile device that can’t call anyone.

Long Version

Features:

  • Thin (~20 percent thinner than iPhone 5), weighs just 88 grams
  • Crazy loop strap thing for wristband, or your cellphone charm, if that’s how you roll
  • Much-improved camera

Info:

  • 4-inch Retina display
  • Available: Now (Ships in 1-3 business days)
  • MSRP: Starts at $299
  • Product page

The iPod touch is…

… still easily the best media player out there, and now a much more capable mobile gaming device thanks to the introduction of the dual-core A5 chip that powers it. And with the new, super thin design, it’s actually the most portable iPod touch, despite the screen size increase.

Buy the iPod touch for…

… kids, or anyone who wants a dedicated media and game player that’s more portable than the similarly priced iPad mini. Also good for users who are on Android or BlackBerry for their primary phone, but want to test the waters of Apple’s iOS ecosystem. Apple knows full well that the audience for dedicated media players is dwindling, but this iPod touch was tailor-made for the niche audiences to whom it still appeals.

Because…

… the design is so impressive, I actually find myself wishing this was the latest iPhone from time to time. It isn’t without its drawbacks: the ultra-thin case meant Apple had to leave out the ambient light sensor that adjusts screen brightness automatically, which is a shame because Apple devices are among the few that get this feature right. But honestly, if you’re looking for a media player, and you also want a ton of great apps, there’s really no contest here.