SanDisk Sansa e250 MP3 player
Has the proverbial iPod Nano beater arrived at last?
Interestingly, the Sansa e200 series appears to have been designed by MSI and it bears a striking resemblance to some of the upcoming models MSI had on display during Computex this year. MSI might not be the most experienced MP3 player designer around, but there are no major faults with the Sansa e200 series.
I have to be honest here though and mention one problem that occurred several times. Completely randomly the Sansa e250 wouldn't power on fully. The blue light of the scroll wheel would come on, but that was it. To get around this I had to hold down the power button for about ten seconds to turn the player back off again. At one stage I had this occur three times in a row, which got really annoying. Another minor issue I came across was the inability to delete voice recordings if the battery was about to run out, very strange to say the least.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like to be able to play files that I put in various folders on my MP3 player rather than having to play a certain category or artist, and this is sadly not an option in the current e200 series. You can create playlists on the fly, but this means that you have to select each track manually, which is a cumbersome procedure. Apart from this, I don't have any major complaints about the e250's functionality.
There is one minor oddity: the Sansa e250 doesn't have a manual equaliser option, even though the c150 does. This is quite poor and SanDisk should really consider adding this to its top-of-the-range player when the lesser model has it.
Beyond a longer list of features, the e250 has one other advantage over the Nano: price. The e250 can be bought online for around £110 whereas the 2GB iPod nano will set you back £129. I'll admit it's not a huge saving, but you get more functionality for less money.
The SanDisk Sansa e200 series might not be quite as stylish or as slim as the iPod Nano, but if you're after a Windows-friendly Flash-based MP3 player, it's one of the better ones out there. It's competitively priced, offers a wide range of functionality and the overall sound quality is very good. ®