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CNET First Look
Sansa Fuze+The Sansa Fuze+ portable media player from SanDisk offers music, photos, videos, radio, podcasts, and voice recording, at a price that's hard to resist.
Hey, I'm Donald Bell and today we're taking a first look at the Sansa Fuze+. This is a new portable media player from SanDisk available in five colors and three capacities--4, 8, and 16 gigabytes. Priced to fly out the doors at $79, $89, and $119. Like the original Sansa Fuze from 2008, the Fuze+ handles music, videos, photos, radio, podcasts, voice recording, and microSD memory card media. The screen is bigger now--2.5 inches up from 2. The navigation is handled using a capacitive touch control now instead of the click wheel and the connection to your computer is now handled by a generic micro USB cable instead of the proprietary connection on the old version. There's also a headphone jack on the bottom, volume control on the side, and a power button at the top. Aside from the cosmetic differences, there's also a lot of welcome changes happening under the hood. The Fuze+ is now one of the first Sansa players to supported unprotected AAC audio which is a huge deal if you've been getting your music through the iTunes store. You also get support for MP3, FLAC, Ogg, WAV, WMA, Audible and subscription music files so all the bases are covered. Another bit of good news for those looking for an inexpensive MP3 player that will work with an iTunes library is the support for H.264 or MPEG-4 videos. You also get WMV compatibility and SanDisk provides free software that will optimize videos and photos for the Fuze including any videos captured using a Flip camera. I feel the audio quality is decent here for the price but you're not gonna get an extensive suite of EQ or sound enhancement settings like a Sony or a Samsung player. A pair of earbuds come included as well as a pouch and a USB cable. The bottom line, if you're on a budget or if you're looking for a no-frills media player that will work with most of the unprotected content from an iTunes library, the Sansa Fuze+ is a solid value. The design won't turn any heads but, for as little as $80, you really can't go wrong. That's the SanDisk Sansa Fuze+. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.