The Sansa View is Scandisk’s flagship flash MP3 player with the ability to playback video on its 240x320 64k color screen. What makes the Sansa View interesting is its high capacity flash memory along with memory expansion putting it in close rivalry to hard drive based players. The other thing going for the View is the “bang for the buck” factor. It may not be a high end player, but it is one of the best values on the market.
Scandisk’s Sansa View video player innovates beyond the typical video loading procedure, making it easy for consumers to transfer videos natively using widely available software. Most popular formats are supported via embedded player functionality, or via a one-time software download of the Sansa Media Converter which quickly transcends numerous video files, including DivX. Consumers can purchase and insert one of Scandisk’s microSD/MicroSDHC cards to play up to 24GB of music, video and photos on their Sansa View. In addition, the microSD card allows users to easily move their content to a cell phone or other mobile device.
The View is quick to start up. Control is provided by a clickable scrolling wheel with context-sensitive blue icons appearing at various points to guide you through the menu. On a Samsung player these ephemeral icons would themselves be buttons, but on the View they're merely benevolent guides leading you to your destination in an intuitive manner.
Scandisk has plenty of experience creating portable A/V devices, so the View isn't much of a surprise--it was only a matter of time. This player doesn't really bring anything new to the table, though it is attractive and fairly compact for a PVP. The relatively low capacity is an immediate concern--8GB really isn't that much--but there is an SD-card expansion slot for adding more memory. The player also offers A/V out for viewing content on a TV, and it supports slide shows. A user-removable, rechargeable battery and support for subscription WMA tracks round out the features.
Style-wise, 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. Luckily, the display gets very bright, so visibility is not really an issue. However, I should note that, although the text for all the menus is black, the lettering on the playback screen is white, which may present a problem for certain people. Along with track info, this screen also displays album art and can be set to show one of the following: time elapsed/remaining, a graphic equalizer, full-screen cover art, or the song that's on deck.
* 2.4" LCD, 320 x 240 resolutions
* Video support: MPEG4, WMW, h.264 (at 30 fps)
* Only JPEG image support
* MicroSDHC slot
* FM Tuner
* Voice recorder
* Models: 8 GB - $149, 16 GB - $199 32 GB - $350
* Battery life: audio - 30 hours, video - 6 hours