Product Type: Sandisk MP3 players
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The Lil' Monsta of an MP3 Player
Sandisk Sansa E250 2 GB
Member Name: Coolchris330
Sandisk Sansa E250 2 GB
Advantages: Great music quality, extremely durable and a many good features
Disadvantages: Horrible for videos, default firmware is awful
The Sansa e250 was my first real MP3 player (aside from a disaster player which managed to break within the first month by leaving it in the sun), and honestly, it really helped get me into music. It's sleek if not so sophisticated, it's subtle and yet not too small to be practical, it's extendable but has a modest starting disk space and it's easy to alter the firmware (the software that provides the interface) without too much hassle. It's a great little MP3 player.
Sound Player - The sound quality of this player is fantastic, and it allows for the storage of many songs with its base storage of just two gigabytes. It can accept the usual formats with its original firmware (MP3, WMA), and more less usual ones if you choose to modify the firmware. The only niggle that I have relating to the sound is the fact that it doesn't come built in with a "play out loud" mode when there is no headphones plugged in, it just stays silent in a form of MP3 player protest until you give it something to play into.
Ease of Use - This is not Apple. It does not give you the "No, don't drag your files on, use iTunes, no NOT MediaMonkey NOT Winamp, iTunes. Now you're going to have to format your MP3 player because Winamp did it wrong you IDIOT" Apple treatment. In fact, the Sansa experience is as far from that as humanely possible, you can't use iTunes, but you can use just about any other piece of software or you can simply drag your MP3 into the audio folder in the device's hard drive if you'd prefer it. The next time it turns on, all the things that were with the MP3 you placed on the Player will appear (with lyrics and album art if you also dragged them on with it)
Recording - This MP3 player has the prominent feature of a sound recorder. That's not really much of a shock, as a lot of phones do and so do a lot of MP3 players. The surprise is that it outclasses the lot, each of my friends' phones that I had heard within an English lesson on Transcripting was muffled and incomprehensible, whereas mine was smooth to listen to and I could analyse each word as it was said, while the others struggled to understand what was even being said in some examples. You might not think you need a recording device in the MP3 player, but it's a good one at that and I'd say it's always useful to have.
Extensive - There is the ability to place an SD Card of varying sizes into the MP3 player to allow for more songs and storage. It's a brilliant idea, especially since two gigabytes for some music enthusiasts is next to nothing, and it adds limitless amounts of songs into the MP3 player (depending of course on the size of the card). You cannot, however, replace the base hard disk that it comes with.
Battery - It's not got a bad Battery Life, clocking in at about five hours, but that's not what really stands out. Again, in a move against Apple tradition, this music player allows you to remove it's battery and order a new one without sending your product off for repair with a ridiculous amount of money for ransom. It's rechargeable with a (rather annoying) lead that has an odd nobly end to it, much like that of an iPod Touch. It charges quick enough and can have you on the go again in no time.
Video - There is video playback on this MP3 player (alas no recording), but there isn't a lot of point. Without modified firmware getting it onto the MP3 player is an exercise in frustration and the screen is really too tiny to watch anything more than a few minutes of video on. Trust me, watching an entire movie on it is borderline impossible, as I discovered with the rather disappointing The Road.
Modifiable - The firmware that I keep babbling on about throughout this review is known as Rockbox, essentially a piece of software that overwrites the original software on the MP3 player and replaces it with its own. It adds a few applications that really add to the appeal of the MP3 player (Asteroids with a twisty wheel as control is brilliant) and makes it a lot easier to add video to your MP3 player as well as allows you to modify audio on the go (speed, pitch, frequency, crossfades etcetera). It's unlikely that I'd use this media player quite so much without it. It also saved me one time at school with its Scientific Calculator application.
Durability - Well, I have had it for four years now, and if that is not durability after being dropped countless times, scraped by keys (retaining a massive scratch) and smacked accidentally into a car from its headphones, I don't know what is.
Conclusion - I wouldn't even think about using this without the Rockbox firmware, but with it, it's a fantastic device that is extremely open and easy to use. I highly recommend it, but because of its default firmware I am only going to reward it a total three stars out of five, but get it anyway, you probably won't regret it.
Summary: Go and buy it now, you won't regret it (unless you leave the default firmware on it)
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