The Zune HD Puzzle: Tegra Chip, Wi-Fi, Sept. Launch? [Updated]

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Ever since Microsoft announced the Zune HD in May, details have been coming in spits and starts. Now that its release feels immanent, the rumors are flying. Today, we got one more piece of the puzzle in the form of a spy-shotted release date.

Snaps of the Zune HD’s packaging and pre-order signage reveal a release (or “pick up”) date of September 15. Microsoft reps have neither confirmed the date nor any pricing (Updated).

So then, what do we know about the Zune HD for real? First, and most importantly, it’s the first device to pack Nvidia’s Tegra chip. The processor will allow for longer battery life, faster operation, and high-def video playback – albeit on a connected HDTV, not the device’s own 16:9 OLED screen. Other capabilities include integrated Wi-Fi, HD radio streaming, onboard search, and a 3.3-inch touch screen.

The Zune HD will also feature a new flashy menu interface and is, as you can see, one slick-looking gizmo.

Update 8/13/09: So, about 24 hours post-Best-Buy-leak and 12 post-my-actual-phone-call-with-Microsoft, the mystery has ended: Microsoft officially announced Zune HD pre-orders for a September 15 launch. The HD will be available in 16 and 32GB capacities for $220 and $290, respectively.

[via Gizmodo]