Sandisk have been providing the world with flash memory for time immemorial/since 1988, so it’s a logical step to an own-brand MP3 offering. The e200 is the flagship product in this line, and is available in 2, 4 and 6 GB versions (£100, £124 and £150 respectively).
It uses flash memory, so is noticeably lightweight and slightly smaller in size than a credit card, although about 15mm thick which makes it feel slightly bulky. The memory can also be expanded using the miniSD slot.
Whilst the front has a 1.8 TFT colour screen, the back is a gunmetal grey, which is supposed to make it more durable. You would forgive it its slightly austere looks however, when you find out the battery is removable and replaceable. By the owner, no less!
Loading up music on the e200 is simple, as it appears as a drive that you can just drag and drop music into. It’s also a certified Play for Sure device, which means it’s compatible with the subscription services out there, such as Napster and Virgin Digital. When it comes to photos and videos, you have to use their Sansa Music Converter software to convert them to .mov or .jpeg files before they can be loaded on the player. In practice, this is a simple process.
So whilst getting the player ready for use is easy, it’s the controls whilst you’re using it that let it down. The click wheel looks good, thanks to the blue illumination, but it’s incredibly fiddly to use as the circle it makes is an awkward size to complete without adjusting the player in your hand. The four buttons around it are also sunk too deep into the player and too close to the wheel, making them awkward to get to.
The interface of the player also takes a bit of getting used to. Just when you think you’ve got it, you discover the button that took you back a menu when you were in the music mode doesn’t do the same thing when you’re in the picture mode. It’s a frustrating experience, trust me.
The Sansa e200 was billed at CES as another ‘iPod nano killer’ but whilst it’s got the spec, it’s the user experience that unfortunately religates it to ‘iPod nano wannabe’.