I had really high hopes for getting a sweet red 32 GB Zune HD, but when I looked at the Zune Originals site and saw the magenta/pink preview image, I immediately disliked the colour. I checked it on my colour-corrected monitor, then on another monitor, and it had the same awful lipstick-at-a-rave colour on both. Yuck! And the blue custom? Rather than a bold, vibrant royal blue, it looked like a couple of shades darker than baby blue - again, not compelling. Well, it looks like the renders aren't very accurate, because in the photo above, Paul Thurrott shows us the three Zune Originals colours. They're not quite the colours I'd have hoped for, but they definitely look better than the renders on the Zune Originals site. I suppose part of the problem is that they're not plastic shells, so the colours are going to end up looking different...still, I'm less excited about the Zune Originals than I once was. And what's with there being no 32 GB Zune HD in black from Zune Originals? Black, the default, non-offensive colour that is a great fall-back colour if you don't like any of the other options? Not offered. I think that's a big mistake on Microsoft's part.
And maybe I'm just cranky from having to stay up late last night, but I'm not finding the customizations compelling this time around. The Zune team removed all of the "tattoo" designs offered with previous generation Zunes (which is what I got on my red Zune 80), so your only options are the artist series, MLS series, or Xbox series. The artist series might be cool for some people, but as I looked through every image, only one or two were even remotely interesting - most were too over the top for my taste. MLS? I'm not a sports guy - other than MMA - so that's a fail for me. And the Xbox series? The Gears of War 2 logo looks slick, but I haven't played any of the other games more than a few minutes so wouldn't want them stamped on my Zune.
I can't help but feel disappointed in this initial release of Zune Originals - between the iffy colours and the lack of cool tattoo options, this doesn't seem like a great start for making cool-looking customized Zunes.
UPDATE: Looks like the Zune HD will be available in black, 32 GB, eventually. Weird that it's not available at launch though!