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SanDisk Sansa Video Players -- Fuze and View

SanDisk has made a nice business expanding from its roots in flash memory with its SanDisk Sansa line of MP3 music and now video players. With lower prices for larger capacity, it's quite feasible to use memory-based players for video clips -- like the Apple iPod nano, with 4 GB for $149 and 8 GB for $199, playing 340 x 240 videos on a 2-inch screen in an amazingly thin design.

Meanwhile, SanDisk has developed a common look across the Sansa line, with clean black designs with rounded edges and blue highlights -- including a thumbwheel controller framed by a glowing blue circle. The older Sansa e200 from way back in 2006 has been joined by the larger-capacity Sansa View and the new smaller Sansa Fuze. The new players are thinner, with a simpler thumbwheel and button, and support higher-capacity microSDHC cards.

SanDisk Sansa e200 - 2 GB $99, 4 $119, 8 GB $149
    1.8" screen, QCIF+
    3.50 x 1.70 x 0.52”, 2.6 oz / 20 hours music

SanDisk Sansa Fuze - 2 GB $79, 4 GB $99, 8 GB $129
    1.9" screen, 220 x 176
    3.1 x 1.9 x 0.3 in., 2.1 oz / 24 hours music, 5 hours video

SanDisk Sansa View - 8 GB $149, 16 GB $199, 32 GB, $349
    2.4" screen, 320 x 240
    4.29 x 1.95 x 0.35", 2.9 oz / 35 hours music, 7 hours video

The View's screen has a portrait layout, great for scrolling though long menus when you have a large library of clips or lots of photo thumbnails, and with plenty of room to show song information with the album art. But when you display photos and videos the screen flips to landscape orientation so you can hold the player on its side for wide-screen images -- and the backlit button icons cleverly switch orientation to match.

These players all include a built-in microphone, FM tuner, and voice/FM recorder. And they all include a card slot for additional removable storage --1 or 2 GB microSD cards ($19 and $29), plus the newer players add 4 to 8 GB with the new microSDHC cards ($49 and $139).

The newer players directly support JPEG photos; various forms of MPEG-4 video; and MP3, WMA, secure WMA, WAV, and Audible audio; plus subscription music from sources including Rhapsody. The Sansa View also plays H.264 and WMV videos. While the older e200 used the Sansa Media Converter application to transfer photos and videos, you can transfer media to the View by simple drag and drop (if already in supported formats), or through media management software including Windows Media Player (to include album art and convert formats as needed).

See my Portable Media Players Gallery for more information on portable players, from music to video, flash memory to hard disk, tiny to widescreen.

    Find the Sansa Fuze and Sansa View on Amazon.com

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