The View boasts an ultracompetitive price tag: The 8GB View goes for just $149.99, and the 16GB for only $199.99. By comparison, the Creative Zen in 8GB and 16GB capacities goes for $199.99 and $249.99, respectively. However, it must be said: The Sansa's sound does not stack up to the Zen's.
The lower-right edge of the player contains a microSD card slot capable of accepting SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards. At the time of this writing, these went up to 8GB, meaning you could potentially have a View with up to 24GB--definitely a good thing for a video player.
A proprietary USB port on the bottom of the player handles syncing and charging. In addition to standard MP3 files, the Sansa View can play back a healthy array of other digital media files. There's direct support for JPEG photos and MPEG4, WMV, and H.264 videos. On the audio side, you get support for WAV, AAC (unprotected), Audible, and both protected and unprotected WMA.
Stylewise, the Sansa View definitely falls into the understated category; its shiny black face isn't unattractive, but neither is it eye-catching. The clear coat should do a reasonable job at protecting the player from scratches, but it also creates a dimming effect on the LCD, almost as if you're looking through a very fine mesh screen.
We're taken with the mechanical scroll wheel that sits below the screen and the nifty backlit control indicators that switch their orientation depending on whether the screen is in landscape mode (for photo and video viewing) or portrait mode (for navigation and music playback). In addition to the wheel, there's a home button that alternates between the top menu and the playback screen, and a small center select button.
Sadly, there's no dedicated volume on this player, but you do get the ever-handy hold switch. Another bonus: Although SanDisk's documentation calls only for Windows support, we had no trouble attaching the View to a MacBook (running only Mac OS) and transferring audio files.
SanDisk essentially went back to the drawing board for the second iteration of the Sansa View. Rather than a screen-dominated PVP, you get an e200 with a sleeker design, a beefed-up screen, and a larger body.