When SanDisk first announced their new Sansa View Media Player at CES 2007, they had high hopes for the widescreen video player. For some reason or another, SanDisk changed their minds about the design of the Sansa View, and they canned the original design. SanDisk has now recently released the updated version of the SanDisk Sansa View MP3 player, and it has gotten pretty good reviews.
2.4" LCD display
The new design of the SanDisk Sansa View is much more “Zune-like” in the looks department. The View features a good-sized 2.4 inch LCD display with 320 x 240 resolution. The screen will automatically switch to landscape mode when a video is played. Below the display is a rubber navigational control which works very efficiently to navigate through the View's menu system.
microSD expansion slot
On the side of the Sansa View is a microSD slot which will add up to 8 GB of memory to the player. The Sansa View comes equipped with either 8 GB or 16 GB of flash memory as it is, so an additional 8 GB can provide a whopping 24 GB of total memory – not bad.
The GUI of the Sansa View is nothing special. The graphics are plain, and there aren't any special graphics or transitions used in this device's interface. Although the interface isn't much to look at, it is ultra-fast and snappy when navigating through the menu system and making selections. I would choose performance over looks any day.
The Sansa View will play just about any type of music or video format, because SanDisk provides media conversion software at their website. This software will convert any type of media format to an acceptable one for this device. The View does accept most of the popular formats such as: MP3, WAV, MPEG4, H.264, and others. The View will only accept JPEG format for photos.
Compact size: only 0.4" thick
Sound quality is decent with this device, although it does have trouble with bass response. Lower frequencies tend to distort a bit, especially with the “cheap” earbuds included with the Sansa View. This player does feature a 5-band customizable equalizer, though, so you can adjust the sound a bit.
Videos look very good as well on this player. The Sansa View displays videos in landscape mode, and it plays them back at 30 fps (frames per second). This is basically DVD speeds. So, video looks very smooth with very minimal pixelation. The 16 GB model is capable of storing up to 24 full-length movies and even more if you add memory via microSD slot.
Other features include an FM radio with 20 presets, a voice recorder, easy access to podcasts, and support for both Windows and Mac operating systems. The Sansa View is a very flexible player that supports many formats and performs very well with both music and videos. Plus, it's very easy to use and get acquainted with. It's the type player that you can figure out all of features/functions 5 minutes after you get it out of the box.
The battery life of the Sansa View is exceptional. SanDisk rates the battery life of the View at 35 hours for audio and 7 hours for video. Cnet field tests showed slightly lower battery life numbers, but still excellent nonetheless. Their tests showed 32.3 hours of audio and 5 hours of video.
I saved the best feature of the SanDisk Sansa View for last – the comparatively low price tag. The View is in direct competition with the Apple iPod Nano and the Creative Zen. The Sansa View costs less than both of these competitors, at $149 for the 8 GB model and $199 for the 16 GB model or less.
The fact that you can get most of the same features in the Sansa View that you can get in the more expensive Nano and Zen, should be a good selling point for SanDisk. The SanDisk Sansa View is not as pretty as these other MP3 Players, but it still is a very capable player with solid features and performance and best of all, an affordable price tag.
Cnet rating: 7.3 out of 10
PC Mag rating: 3.5 out of 5
My rating: 7.5 out of 10
Sources: Cnet and PC Mag
Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog