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Features & Specs
At first glance the Sansa Connect shares a strong family resemblance to the other Sansa players with the glossy black case and round nav dial. The bump on the top left side of the Sansa Connect hides the WiFi antenna. The screen is a nice 2.2 inch TFT with full and vivid colors.
The Sansa Connect is designed to be used with the Yahoo! Music service, which is a subscription based or purchase based service. Most of the functions of the Sansa Connect are centered around using the WiFi connectivity to transfer music from Yahoo! Music to the Connect while on the go. This requires a valid subscription to Yahoo! Music Unlimited to Go. Without a subscription you won’t be able to download music to the Sansa Connect on the go via WiFi. Another really cool feature is the ability to stream LAUNCHcast internet radio via WiFi directly from the web. You can also browse the top Flickr images right on the Sansa Connect.
Storage wise the Sansa Connect has 4GB of flash built in plus a Micro SD card slot for further expansion. An internal speaker allows you to listen to the music without needing ear buds or external speakers. While the sound from the internal speaker is a bit hollow it works well and sounds acceptable. Recharging the internal battery can be done via USB while syncing the Sansa Connect or you can recharge it from the wall with an included AC adapter.
When you are in WiFi range the Sansa Connect can detect any nearby WiFi networks and allows you to choose which you want to access if there are multiple. The Connect can handle wireless networks that use pre-shared keys for security. What the Sansa Connect can’t handle is wireless networks that don’t broadcast the SSID. My home network doesn’t broadcast the SSID and there is no method of manually entering a SSID. To connect I had to turn on SSID broadcast and then was able to enter my key without issue. I wish the Sansa Connect would allow the manual entry of SSIDs.
Sansa Connect in Use
The screen of the Sansa Connect is very bright and has great color reproduction. Looking at Flickr photos is really cool thanks to the quality display. The menus of the Sansa Connect also look very cool and colorful. Navigation is easy and intuitive, even if the nav wheel is a bit sensitive. I found myself passing the selection I wanted frequently. I like the ability to get new music from the Yahoo! Music based on top songs and recommendations from my personal rankings of albums and songs. With these songs there is no need to connect the Sansa to your PC to transfer the music, you can download them anywhere WiFi is available.
The Yahoo! Music service had a better selection of the rock, metal and alternative music I prefer than the Rhapsody service I used with the previous Sansa player I reviewed. If you have friends that are using Sansa Connect players you can see what they are listening too and hear the tune yourself. Your friends can also send you music recommendations as well.
The Sansa Connect is sized well for portability and fits easily into a pocket or purse. SanDisk also includes a lanyard and a protective case to keep the Sansa Connect safe. Battery life is good, I was able to listen for about six hours straight swapping between music, photos and streaming radio over WiFi and still had about ¼ of the battery left at the end of the day. The MSRP for the Sansa Connect is $249.99 and it is available now.
The Sansa Connect is just about everything a WiFi enabled PMP could be. Streaming internet radio is really cool, though you give up the ability to get FM stations. Overall the SanDisk Sansa is what I hoped the Zune would be, good job SanDisk.
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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