One of the biggest changes to Microsoft’s portable multimedia player over its predecessor is that the Zune 2 comes equipped with what the company calls the Zune Pad. Whereas the first-generation Zune had a five-way clicking navigator, the Zune 2 features a touch-sensitive pad for menu navigation. It’s not just clicks; it recognizes gliding fingers too.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. The Zune Pad is starting to sound a lot like what Apple is doing with its click wheel and you’d be right in some respects. Instead of gliding your finger around in a circular motion, however, the Zune Pad lets you slide your finger either horizontally or vertically, as well as being able to “click” or “click and hold” each of the five directions that would normally be associated with a menu navigator.
One other thing that Microsoft has done right the Zune 2 is that when you play videos, it automatically switches to landscape mode and the controls rotate too, so what was once left-right becomes up-down.