The C series of Sansa players represents SanDisk's mid-range MP3 offerings, and certainly have it over their entry model M series cousins in terms of looks. Sporting an understated yet appealing black design with metallic silver trimming, the C Sansa's feature an overall superior build quality than M series players, as well as a few other noticeable extras. The overall feel is still rather plastic and low-end compared to something like an iPod Nano, but it should pass muster for most looking more for functionality than design.
The C's colour screen is the main differentiator. While the M series players only featured a monochrome screen with a blue backlight, the C series has a 64K colour screen that can display album art and photos. The resolution is on the low side, however, so don't expect the clarity of the iPod or the Creative Zen Vision M. Plus, the C series' elongated portrait screen isn't exactly ideal for viewing images.
Despite what the positioning of the SanDisk and Sansa logos on the unit would have you believe, the C is meant to be used on its side, with the screen defaulting to a landscape presentation. And while the silver control pad next to the screen looks suspiciously like a scroll wheel, it's not -- it's a four way control pad (up, down, left, right) with a confirmation button in the middle, and acts as the C's main navigation tool.
We tested the c150, the 2GB capacity model of the C series (which also comes in 1GB capacity). Its features list has everything you'd come to expect from current MP3 players (apart from the iPod that is), such as MP3, WMA and Audible audio file compatibility, voice recorder, FM tuner and recorder, and digital photo viewer. Perhaps the most impressive thing about a player at this price range is the inclusion of a colour screen, although as we've mentioned previously, it's not exactly a high quality display.