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The new Sandisk MP3 player is a ‘mini’ version of the View that we have reviewed in May. But just because it is smaller doesn’t mean that it cannot perform as well as its big brother. We check out Sandisk’s latest offering, the Sansa Fuze, and see how its features and functions add up.


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The Fuze comes in different colours (black, blue, pink, and red) and capacities (2, 4, or 8GB) to suit anyone’s preference. Users can also expand the memory by up to 8GB (as of this time) by purchasing a microSDHC card – which is perfect for storing more photos, videos, and music files unto the device.

The Sansa Fuze shares a similar layout with the View – the screen takes up half of the player, while the thumbwheel, select button, and home button can be found right below it. The unit’s microphone and microSD card slot can be found on the left spine, while the hold and power button can be found on the right spine. In addition, the 3.5mm headphone jack and proprietary connector port are both found at the bottom of the player.

The unit can be charged via USB and can also be powered up using an AC or car adapter (sold separately). The home screen comes with six main icons (Music, Videos, Photos, FM Radio, Voice, and Settings) that make the unit less complicated to use and browse.

Users can transfer music from their computer to the Fuze using the drag-and-drop method or by using music management software like Windows Media Player. The unit supports MP3, WMA, secure WMA, Audible (AA), as well as audiobooks and podcasts in WMA and MP3 format. It is also compatible with MPEG-4 videos (saved as AVI) for video on-the-go and can even display JPEG files saved on the hard drive or memory card.

 


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Sansa even offers a Media Converter, which can be downloaded from the company’s website, to convert and auto transfer video/photo files to the Sansa device, convert photos (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, GIF, PCX, TGA) and videos (MPEG 1, AVI, dat, DVR-MS, MOV, QT, MP4, asf, wmv, 3gp/3gpp2, DivX (ver 6.0)), display file properties for selected video/photo, preview files before conversion, video trim, edit photos, and transfer videos to the Sansa Media converter.

Besides being able to play audio tracks (with the track title, album, artist, and artwork displayed), the unit also comes with an FM tuner built-in, which is good for users who want to have a ‘breather’ with their stored tunes.

While this MP3 player offers an equaliser with 10 settings (Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classical, Funk, Hip Hop, Dance, Full Bass, Full Treble, and Custom), the unit’s audio quality is nothing exceptional. Like its sibling, it was able to deliver highs and mids well but struggled to produce low frequency sounds.

SanDisk says that the Fuze will last up to 24 hours (audio) or 5 hours (video), which is not bad for a music player nowadays.

Overall, if you are looking for a small and simple player that offers a microSD slot for memory expansion, then the Fuze is definitely for you. The Sansa is now available with an RRP of $145, $180, and $233 for the 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB models respectively.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

SanDisk Sansa Fuze Product Specification:

Colours: Black, Pink, Red, Blue
Storage Capacity: 2, 4, 8GB
Expansion Slot: microSD/SDHC
Battery: 24 hour music playback, 5 hour movie playback
Radio: FM/40 presets
Recorder: Built-in microphone
File support:
Audio: MP3, WMA, secure WMA, Audible (AA), audiobooks and podcasts in WMA and MP3 format
Video: MPEG-4

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SanDisk Sansa Fuze | $145 (2GB), $180 (4GB), $233 (8GB) |  | www.sandisk.com

For: Small profile; Ease of use; Photo, Video, Music support; FM tuner with recording; Voice recorder; microSD card slot; Lots of options to choose from
Against: Conversion may be needed for some files
Conclusion: Sansa’s slick music player is a small wonder.

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