SanDisk Sansa c100 review: SanDisk Sansa c100

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.7
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 5.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The affordable SanDisk Sansa c100 series boasts a simple and effective control interface; a small but handy color LCD that displays photos and album art; extra features such as an FM tuner, voice recording, and photo support; and compatibility with Audible and WMA subscription services.

The Bad The SanDisk Sansa c100 series utilizes a proprietary USB cable and has poor battery life for a AAA unit. It also offers poor voice and FM recordings, and you can hear a tiny click when you start a track.

The Bottom Line The SanDisk Sansa c100 series gives you a decent set of features for a decent price, but don't expect great battery life.

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SanDisk's Sansa c100 series

Just like that, SanDisk is the number-two seller of MP3 players in the United States, thanks in part to its strategy of offering lots of features at a budget price. Some of SanDisk's latest releases at CES include the high-end Sansa e200 series and the more basic Sansa c100 series. The polished c100 series--which reminds us a bit of a stockier Cowon iAudio U3--comes in 1GB (Sansa c140; $120) and 2GB (Sansa c150; $150) sizes and features a small 1.2-inch, 65,000-color screen. Outside of subpar battery life and poor recording performance, the SanDisk Sansa c100 series is a good overall value with a decent set of features.

Both models in the c100 series look identical, measure 3.1 by 1.4 by 0.9 inches, and weigh 1.6 ounces. Although aimed at the budget crowd, the SanDisk Sansa c100 offers a 1.25-inch-diagonal, 65,000-color screen with support for JPEG photos and album art. Of course, this tiny wide-screen unit is much too small to take photos seriously, and you must convert pictures before viewing, using the included Sansa Media Converter application. On a positive note, its album-art display and simple icon-based menu system lend the otherwise bland c100 a hint of luxury.


The tiny color screen is nice for navigation but not so much for photos. Album art (shown) is a nice touch, though.

Based loosely on the m200 series, the SanDisk Sansa c100 has an updated tactile five-way controller, as well as dedicated menu and volume buttons. The menu button, which also serves as a Back button, is critical to the c100's ease of navigation. The side opposite the volume buttons includes a hold switch and a pinhole microphone. The headphone jack is on top, and the proprietary USB port is on the bottom. The back of the unit houses a AAA battery. Overall, the unit has a cheap plastic feel like its predecessor, but as the SanDisk faithful often voice, build quality often does not make (or break) the MP3 player, especially an affordable one. However, we balk at the proprietary USB port; the m200 series has a standard mini-USB port.


The Sansa c100 series next to the older Sansa m200 series.

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Where to Buy See all prices

SanDisk Sansa c150 (2GB)

Part Number: SDMX5-2048-A18 Released: Aug 31, 2005
Low Price: $89.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Aug 31, 2005
  • Built-in Display LCD
  • Tuner Bands FM
  • Run Time (Up To) 15 hour(s)
  • Capacity 2 GB
  • Color Black
  • Weight 0.1 lbs
  • Supported Digital Audio Standards Audible
  • Installed Size 2 GB
  • Diagonal Size 1.21" m
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type digital player / radio