SanDisk has been increasing the variety of it’s Sansa media player line for some time now. At the recent CES, they announced a 4Gb flavor of their Sansa Clip mp3 player. The Clip was designed to compete against the tiny iPod models out there, but at a much less expensive price point.
The Clip features an attached clip which allows it to be very mobile. You can clip it to an armband, pocket, or belt with ease, and it is sturdy enough to hold on even while working out. Controlling the unit is done through a fairly generic 4 way control pad with center button. It does the job just fine and we had no trouble navigating the Clip’s GUI.
SanDisk has provided a lot of value into the model, and this is shown not only in the FM receiver allowing you to tune into your favorite stations (even while on the 11th floor of your CES hotel), but to also act as a voice recorder. This provides a level of usefulness many students will appreciate as how many times have you needed to remind yourself to study a certain chapter or even write down a phone number but not had your notebook handy? Not anymore, just record those digits! In addition to recording sound, the Clip allows you to record from the FM tuner! These extra bits of functionality really tip the scales in SanDisk’s favor when comparing this $79 dollar 4gb unit against Apple’s 4Gb iPod Nano at $149 dollars. Speaking of that comparison, it is important to note that the Clip was not designed to play video and does not do so.
SanDisk seems to not only add alot of functionality into it’s Sansa units, but also tries to give each unit a particular ‘edge’. With the Connect, it was the streaming internet radio through Yahoo LAUNCHcast. With the Clip, it is an association with Audible.com, the huge online audio book store. Audible is providing a special deal for Clip owners, and the Clip has a special audio book category in it’s menu system.
One small grip isn’t really with the device itself, but in the fact that SanDisk did not include a soft-cloth storage pouch in the box like they did with the View and Connect. They probably assumed they did not need to with the addition of the attached clip, but a person has to store it eventually.
Conclusion: SanDisk’s Sansa Clip mp3 player provides a ton of features including built-in clip, FM tuner, voice/FM recording capability, and audio book specialization to make it one very strong oponent in the ‘tiny’ media player race. Even though it does not play video or come with a soft-cloth storage pouch, it’s $79 dollar price tag more than make up for it. We highly recommend this device for people looking to play music or hear their favorite book on the go.