Familiar with the iPod Touch? Of course you are. So what's the point of a new review when we've already awarded it five stars and placed it at the pinnacle of our Top 10?

Well, being a well-informed Stuff.tv reader, you'll be aware that since the January software upgrade the Touch does a whole lot more than it used to. This new version also has a whopping 32GB of flash memory to store your music, movies and photos on. More than justifies a recount, don't you think?

Flashier than ever

The extra storage doesn't bulk up the player any and while £330 might seem like a lot, flash memory costs a lot. That's the price of making a device that offers enough storage for a large music collection but remains this skinny and skip-free.

As always, the 32GB Touch uses the stunning touchscreen interface straight off the iPhone. If you haven't used it, you've missed out: fingertip pokes, strokes and pinches constitute the most intuitive input method since point-and-click.

Typing is also handled brilliantly with the virtual keyboard. It's no substitute for mechanical buttons, but its error correction and accuracy are a credit to Apple's programmers.

iPhone - Phone = Touch

But we're here for the 32GB iPod Touch's new functionality – and we have to say, it's all very welcome. Mail, Google Maps, Weather, Stocks and Notes from the iPhone bolster the original roster of Safari web browser, YouTube video streaming client, Calendar, Contacts, Clock and Calculator.

Actually, scratch that – we don't have any stocks (and a large portion of the iPod Touch's potential buying base won't give a monkeys how the FTSE's looking).

In any case, the Mail and Maps clients are a superb upgrade. Along with the full-fat, unfettered web access that is available through Safari, they elevate the Touch so far above its Zune and Archos media playing contemporaries that they're mere dots on the ground below.

Fortunately, the upgrade is available to all Touch owners for £12.99 – a worthy investment, we'd say, especially for Maps' surprisingly accurate location-based route finding (which is both impressive to watch and extremely useful).

Another neat upgrade is Web Clips. These are visual representations of website bookmarks that sit on the Touch's home screen. Once you've used them, you'll wonder how you coped without, and when you've filled your first home screen the Touch will give you another to plaster with tiny web pages.

Talented performer

All well and good, but it's a garnish to the meat and potatoes of media playback. Fortunately, the 32GB Touch is also very impressive in this respect.

Use the stunning cover flow interface to choose a tune to listen to and you'll be greeted by super-clear, expansive sound, with only the tiniest hint of sibilance. And that's us being picky because this thing costs £330.

While it's no match for the likes of Archos' 605, video on the 32GB Touch's 3.5in widescreen display is also excellent. The Touch has enough poke to power slick hi-res video playback and the screen is bright and colourful, though fingertip oil smears can cause visibility issues. Give it a wipe, eh?

We do have misgivings, though. We’re not convinced the iPod Touch has the wide appeal of the likes of the Nano and Zune 8 because it’s more slab-like and awkward to control. And it’s not ideal for anyone who wants their whole music collection in their pocket – that’ll be the iPod Classic.

But the Touch is beautifully built from aluminium and glass and it performs very well, and while it's seriously pricey, its 32GB of flash memory means it's right on the money. Factor in the new functionality and you have a seriously impressive media player – and a whole lot more besides.


Stuff says... 

Apple iPod Touch 32GB review

It's not cheap, but boy, it's good. The 32GB Touch is the best all-round media player money can buy - and more