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What is the difference between the 5th Generation iPod and the Enhanced 5th Generation iPod?
Please note that all iPod models mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued.
In outward appearance, nothing is different between the original and "enhanced" version of the Fifth Generation iPod -- both are available with white or black fronts and a chromed stainless steel back. Internally, however, the "enhanced" models have "a 60 percent brighter and more vibrant 2.5-inch color display" and the high end model has been upgraded from a 60 GB hard drive to an 80 GB hard drive. The low-end model retains the 30 GB hard drive.
The 30 GB and 80 GB "enhanced" models sell for US$249 and US$349, respectively -- US$50 less than the models replaced. Like the iPod nano (Second Generation) and iPod shuffle (Second Generation), the Fifth Generation "Enhanced" iPods ship with redesigned headphones that are designed to "stay put" without foam caps.
The Fifth Generation "Enhanced" iPods also have improved software with a new screen brightness control, an advanced search function, and additional iconography. The original Fifth Generation iPods can be updated in software to add the screen brightness control but, at least when published (see top), not the search function. All Fifth Generation iPods support the games -- classics such as Tetris and Pac Man, for example -- available for purchase for US$4.99 each through iTunes. Videos downloaded from iTunes at 640x480 resolution still play at a maximum resolution of 320x240 on all Fifth Generation iPods.
The software improvements also increase the battery life of the Fifth Generation "Enhanced" iPod for photo slideshows and video playback to 4 hours and 3.5 hours, respectively, on the 30 GB version (up from 3 hours and 2 hours, respectively) and 6 hours of photos and 6.5 hours of video on the 80 GB version (up from 4 hours and 3 hours, respectively). It is possible that this is a hardware improvement, but due to the fact that audio playback is the same on the "enhanced" models as on the originals, it seems likely that the efficiency of photo slideshows and video playback has been improved in software.
For your convenience, the modest differences between revisions are summarized below:
|5G (Original)||5G (Enhanced)|
|Hard Drive Size:||30 GB, 60 GB||30 GB, 80 GB|
|Song Capacity:||7500, 15,000 Songs||7500, 20,000 Songs|
|Battery Life (Music):||14 Hours, 20 Hours||14 Hours, 20 Hours|
|Battery Life (Photo/Video):||3/2 Hours, 4/3 Hours||4/3.5 Hours, 6/6.5 Hours|
|Price (As Introduced):||US$299, US$399||US$249, US$349|