Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 04:53 PM - EverythingSo before my big leap over the pacific, I knew that I would be in the air for quite a long time, and my 20-pound laptop was not going to be a part of this trip. One, the battery only last 15-20 minutes, and two, itís freaking 20 pounds with a 17Ē wide screen! Perfect for 6 weeks of Machinima in NY, but not for passing 12 hours on a cramped plane. (777 or not, leg-room is primo at 30000 feet) So what does a guy like me do? Takes his freaking sweet 10% off any single item teacher discount, and goes shopping, thatís what!
I wanted something that might be able to play some sweet videos Iíve downloaded off the internet tubes, something that could definitely play my entire average-sized mp3 collection, and it needed to be good for the entire plane ride. Oh, and the most important bit could probably be deduced from the above, but it had to be affordable. VERY AFFORDABLE!
Options? iPod video! Yaaaayyy! Itís so sleek, so sexy, so manly, so Apple! *looks at price tag
Booooooo! Itís for girly men! Only a sissy would need anything like that any way. Out of the way I am shopping here! *Pushes Apple rep aside
Enter the SanDisk Sansa e260 4gig model. Small, sleek, and holy crap, it has all of my desired features! Didnít know SanDisk made anything larger than those little pocket mp3 players my kid bro uses. But here it is. Very iPod inspired design, no doubt about it, but thatís okay, itís a good design. At under 200 bucks before my discount, I impulse purchased that sucker and never looked back.
Features that Iíve used so far:
Mp3 playback: Awesome! Using slew of collection browsing options as pre-defined by your WMP playlist, you can sort over to your favorite song, artist, or genre with ease. It also has some EQ settings, with stock headphones on a plane, I just left the EQ off, but I imagine that with powered speakers and a sub, the EQ would work wonders. It also came pre-loaded with some music, some of which was really good. I donít have a full list, because I only discovered them after I had already loaded it with my own. Anyway, as an mp3 player, this little guy rocks. When youíre jamming hard to Blink between Classic Queen moments, the menu can lag. The music never stops or slows, but if you go nuts with the circle and pressing menu options all at once, it does need a moment here and there to catch up. This wonít happen often, but I was able to repeat it on command. Nothing that demotes the abilities of the player, but still a small annoyance, like shards of TP on your shoe. (The shoe still works, just unsightly!)
FM Radio: Well. It can play Dallas radio, thatís not much, but itís nifty. You can also record the radio, so youíll never miss those fancy audio ads that drove you to mp3 in the first place. Reception was okay, didnít mess with recording, so I cannot comment on that playback.
Video: It will convert nearly any file you toss at her into whatever formant the e200 needs, and it doesnít take too long at all! (Granted Iím converting with a fairly high-end PC) I loaded up some fan-subs and a few Machinima films. Play back is nice and smooth, but the screen is small so unless your fan-subs use monster font sizes, you will not be able to read it. Also, if your film is large, it will cut it up into segments, but the transition is nearly seamless during viewing. Fake Science looked and sounded awesome, this toy is coming with me on every trip just so I can show off my work on it.
It has a picture gallery feature, but I have not used it yet. I will update this review when I do.
Battery life: 20 hours. No lie. I used it non-stop on both flights coming and going to Tokyo on single charge with 5 days between, and the battery still read Ĺ when I got home. Each flight is rougly 12 hours.
Bottom line: Buddy likes his Sansa e260 4gig model, and if youíre a windows guy like me who doesnít need the hole in your wallet the video iPod leaves, then this is the gadget for you! Keep in mind the smallish screen makes play-back with subs worthless, and the tendency for the menu to slug when youíre jamming away, and youíre left with one impressive little toy.
Pictures and a full-feature review soon.