When Apple comes up with new upgrades on any of its product releases, it is safe to assume that the enhancements are likely to be more than just surface tweaks. With the fourth generation of the iPod Touch on the market, consumers can be assured of the sleekest design yet, complete with a HD camcorder and an awe-worthy Retina Display that is quickly becoming distinctly Apple.

Design

While the basic design remains essentially the same, the Touch is significantly thinner with a flat back that boasts a camera and a miniscule microphone. Barely 3.6 ounces, this is also the lightest release, barely discernible in your pocket. The camera itself is a vast improvement and is primarily intended to serve as an HD camcorder, although clicking still images is still possible. Placed just right along the back, the rear shooter makes capturing shots easier even when the device is held naturally. While the front-facing camera serves well for self-shots and video calls, the rear camera may not actually shoot print-worthy images.

Features

Each iPod Touch release makes nearly as much news as an iPhone upgrade, and not without reason either. The iPod Touch 4, for instance, features the same A4 processor and Retina Display screen as the iPhone, along with an impressive three-axis gyro sensor. While the fourth-gen Touch does not bring voice call features or 3G and GPS capabilities, it still offers improvements from past models, with a better camera and an integrated mic that was previously missing. The microphone add-on not only makes Face-Time video calling possible without additional accessories but also works in sync with Voice Memos apps and other VOIP tools offered by third party developers.

iCloud Integration

Aside from in-built enhancements, the latest iOS 5 should offer even more user-focused improvements such as iCloud sync and unified messaging apps. Consumers who choose not to upgrade can still enjoy a prime media experience that does rival some of the most competent smartphone releases.

While the iPod Touch isn’t technically a phone and therefore not comparable to the iPhone, it is still a device that meets all the standards one can experience out of a tablet albeit its smaller screen size. With several storage options ranging from a meager 8 GB to 64 GB, the fourth release of iPod Touch is slimmer with a better processor and camera, making it as worthwhile an investment as the latest iPhone or Android release.

Beware of knockoff brands posing as official Apple iPod product. According to the BBB, knockoff companies are coming out of the woodwork more and more every day. It’s important that you can identify the real thing versus a fake.

For total protection of your iPod touch make sure to get an iPod warranty from Consumer Priority Service to protect your investment from accidents such as drops & spills.