SanDisk Sansa e100 Series
SanDisk's first MP3 player, the Digital Audio Player, amazed everyone by quickly becoming number two in market share, though still well behind Apple's iPod. According to an NDP report, the aggressively priced flash-based player had 6.2 percent of the U.S. digital audio market in February. So it's no surprise that the company's second series of players, the Sansa e100, is already a highly anticipated release. It has an updated look and feel, ships in either 512MB or 1GB models, and comes with a decent set of features. But consumers will most likely take notice of its incredible street price.
At 2.75 by 2.0 by 0.5 inches, the SanDisk Sansa e100 may not be the tiniest flash-based player (even some 5GB players are smaller), but it's very lightweight at 1.6 ounces with its single AAA battery. Despite the e100's durability, its feathery weight lends to its cheap plastic feel--glance at the buttons, and you'd think this was a promotional item.
Overall, the interface is intuitive, with its large, tactile main controller buttons, though they are not touch sensitive, despite appearances. The hold switch is on the left spine, while the right spine features the menu/power button, a handy expansion slot compatible with SD cards up to 2GB in capacity (conveniently available from SanDisk for about $180 on the street), and a dodgy scrollwheel. The original SanDisk MP3 player was more compact and pack-of-gum-like but lacked the expansion slot. The 512MB e130 ($140 list) comes in a sharp-looking blue, white, and silver body, while the 1GB e140 ($190 list) is silver and white.