The problem with gaming hardware reviews is that they're so often written by boring people who focus on boring things like specifications and minute details.
Not the exciting things, like what the product can do, or what it represents, or if you should just damn well buy the thing, but the tedious stuff like why the included DDR3 SDRAM in a certain thing is just not as good as modern DDR4 SDRAM.
And I think most people don't care about that stuff. Most people want to know the following -
- a) Will this hardware run the latest wave of games well?
- b) How long will it be before I need to buy another a new one?
- c) What sort of value for money am I getting?
The answers to those questions for the iPod touch (6th generation) are -
- a) Absolutely, like a dream.
- b) It'll run most things you throw at it for about 3 years, which is pretty good.
- c) This hardware is a complete bargain, worth every penny.
If you don't want to faff about researching your next touchscreen media device, and want to go do something more life-affirming - like eating a really big cake - then you're done here, just go buy the new iPod touch. It's awesome.
For those interested as to why it's awesome, stick about.
The entry level iPod touch has 16GB of storage space, though 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB models are available. 16GB is relatively modest by today's standards, but it's still enough if you're happy to manage your storage.
With 16GB you'll be able to chuck on a bunch of music, load up on podcasts, and download either a ton of low-spec games like Candy Crush Soda Saga and Cut the Rope, or a few select top-tier core titles like Implosion and Hearthstone.
You'll still have space left to take pictures and videos of your pet rabbit doing adorable things.
You'll run all of those games effortlessly too, as this new iPod touch is pretty much an iPhone 6 (Apple's flagship tech) specification-wise.
It's got the A8 chip and M8 motion co-processor that you'll find in the top-end blower. Here are some screenshots of how good games look on it.
It comes pre-loaded with iOS 8.4 which, while not as open and customisable as Google's vanilla Android OS, is a lot less cluttered and easy to use.
The iPod touch is just under five inches high, and a shade shy of two and a half inches wide, with a four inch Retina display for clarity of image and depth of colour. It's shockingly light, at just 88 grams, and about as thin as your average biscuit.
There are two cameras, a front-facing one for FaceTime and selfies, and an eight megapixel one at the back.
It can take ultra-wide panoramic shots with ease, and has a burst mode that takes lots of photos in a row, just in case someone blinks at an inopportune time. It's a great "point and shoot", basically.
It's also solid when it comes to video. The main thing you need to know is that it'll record at 1080p HD at 30 frames per second, and has decent image stabilisation to boot.
But there are some novel extras like slow motion video at 120 FPS, and time-lapse video, that will interest amateur film tinkerers. Here's a nice picture I took of some flowers.
Finally there are the less jazzy details that, while not whizz-bang exciting, are definitely important for everyday use.
In terms of connections it has super fast Wi-Fi access and Bluetooth, it can hook up to an Apple TV, and it comes with a Lightning to USB Connector for syncing between the device and your Mac or PC.
There's a built-in speaker which does the job just fine but could be a bit louder, a 3.5mm stereo jack to plug in the included headphones (or a set of your own), and a microphone for voice memos, Siri, or other communications.
Apple claims that you'll get 40 hours of music playback on a full charge, or up to 8 hours of video, and in terms of gaming that equates to three of four hours of play with a really high end, resource-intensive, Internet-connected game.
You'll also get the likes of iMovie (a straightforward video editing suite), Pages (a powerful word processor), and GarageBand (an audio editing package) for free.
What you don't get when you buy an iPod touch over, say, an iPhone 6, is the ability to make traditional calls to people, or text message over SMS.
However, you can still use iMessage and FaceTime when you're connected to Wi-Fi. Touch ID is also not included, but for me it wasn't a huge loss, and there isn't a plug in the box either, but you can charge from your computer or buy an adapter separately.
It's also encouraging that Apple are continuing further down the path of caring about the ecological impact of the production lines of their products.
The iPod Touch comes with a Mercury and Arsenic-free display, doesn't use PVC, and the case is recyclable too. Apple's not quite at the level of something like a Fairphone yet when it comes to this stuff, but it's getting there.
And here's the thing: all of this costs just £159.
One hundred and fifty nine pounds, for what is essentially a top end piece of gaming and multimedia hardware, that's exceptionally well built, and has access to the richest and most diverse gaming platform on the planet right now.
Plus it's a good camera, an MP3, podcast, and video player, great for the web and social networking, and much more besides.
For £30 cheaper you could get an iPod nano that does far far less, or at £539 you could buy an iPhone 6 off-contract and have the added bonus of potentially being connected wherever you go.
But really, at this price the new iPod touch represents an absolute steal, and is the perfect way of getting into Apple's highly desirable ecosystem, regardless of how much of a tech head you are.