At 3.1 inches by 1.8 inches by 0.3 inch, the Fuze is only a bit bigger than the Clip overall, and it comes in the same color options: black (2GB, 4GB), blue, pink, red (all 4GB), and silver (8GB).
Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:SanDisk
The Fuze offers a few other attributes of note, most of which add value to the player. The only one that does not is the proprietary syncing port built into the bottom of the device--we'd much prefer it if SanDisk stuck to mini USB.
On either side of the Fuze, you'll find a power/hold switch and a microSD card slot for adding more memory. It accepts high-capacity cards, which are available at up to 12GB as of press time. If that still doesn't provide enough music for you, there's an FM tuner.
On the audio side, the Fuze offers support for MP3, WMA, secure WMA, WAV, Audible, and Overdrive. The player operates on the Rhapsody DNA platform, so it supports not only subscription content from the service, but also Rhapsody Channels, which are essentially Internet radio on the go.
The Fuze is no slouch in the sound quality department. The player offers reasonable--though not super thumping--bass response; nice, rich mids with smooth vocals; and an impressive amount of high-end detail. Across genres, we were greeted with clear, solid sound.
SanDisk thought up the perfect name for the Fuze, because the player really resembles a Sansa Clip and a Sansa View blended together. The build is more like that of the View, with a clickable scroll wheel, a shiny, plastic face, and a smooth, metal backside. The Fuze seems more durable and high-quality than early Sansa models.
The icon-driven main menu is nice enough to look at, and the device is very easy to navigate, with music organized into playlist, artist, album, and so on. Yet, as with other Sansa models we've come across, the inner menus are dull and, while we appreciate the option to at least change the wallpaper color, we'd love to be able to set a favorite photo as a backdrop or otherwise tweak the look and feel to our personal preferences.