Select chapter: 

SanDisk Sansa e280 review | MP3 player functions

Published on: Saturday, September 13th 2008                   Written by: Martijn Kooijman - Photography by: Mark Peters

SanDisk Sansa e280 MP3 player test

SanDisk Sansa e280 MP3 player test

LCD screen of the Sansa e280

The SanDisk Sansa e280 features a 1.8 TFT monitor. It's bright with a clear display and the background light is excellent. The latter offers 12 modes. Standard the light is on mode 6 which is fine. Mode 12 is beaming with a bit too much light which is hardly necessary. Even from an angle, you can still read the monitor perfectly. You can lay down the MP3 player almost vertically and still be able to view the monitor. Horizontally is a tad harder. Videos and pictures are rendered beautifully; above all, the monitor is clear and fresh; a joy to look at.

Listen to the radio on your Sansa player

Listen to the radio on your Sansa player

SanDisk Sansa radio function

The radio function of the SanDisk Sansa e280 is a nice addition and well-developed too. Auto search is possible for all the radio stations in the area, and these can in turn be stored, or you can manually search for your favourite station. Every available frequency in the area can be stored. Additionally, you can record from the radio, although the quality of the recorded sound leaves a lot to desire. There is a lot of background noise and the compression is set in such a way that you can barely hear the music. A small minus, in my opinion, is the fact you don't see which radio station you're listening to; only the frequency is displayed and not the name of the station.

 

SanDisk MP3 operation

A ll Music is sorted in a database which allows you to search on album / artist or song. This system is quite handy but it fails on one point; it does not play the albums in album sequence. This is a firmware problem which might be solved in the near future. In total there are 7 buttons on the SanDisk Sansa e280, plus 1 slide bar and 1 navigation ring. The 'OK' or 'Enter' button is positioned on the front of the MP3 player with around it the navigation ring. The play/pause button is placed above the centre 'OK' button. Next/previous song is placed on the side of the ring and the 'list options' is found at the bottom, while the on/off button sits bottom left. Furthermore, a 'record' button is placed on the left side of the MP3 player and a 'hold' slide bar on the top side. The interface is straightforward; no need to practice. There are clear icons accompanying every menu function, and the buttons are well-structured, making it easy for you to navigate through the menu, via the navigation ring. Personally, I find the ring very pleasant to work with.

SanDisk Sansa e280 review

I prefer a physical scroll wheel, such as this navigation ring, to an invisible navigation such as the iPod offers. I do understand people finding this a disadvantage because you can hear the wheel scroll. Something that does annoy slightly is the fact that the centre button and the navigation ring are kind of wobbly. It's durable and it works but when you shake the MP3 player you can hear these two operating elements make a noise.

 

SanDisk Sansa e280

SanDisk Sansa e280

Setting possibilities

The Sansa e280 offers sufficient setting possibilities for all functions. There are the more general settings, which apply to, for example, the background lighting, language and date, and every function offers its own option; music options, radio options, slide show and USB mode. Nothing is lacking. The many possibilities are well-organized; it would take serious effort to get lost here. The number of languages this MP3 player offers surprised me highly. And every language is also well translated, as far as I could tell. It's common enough for translations on MP3 devices to drop stitches here and there but not on the Sansa e280!

Watch videos and photos

Watch videos and photos

Photo viewer & Video viewer

The MP3 player features a photo viewer and video viewer. To view pictures, you can choose between a photo frame and a miniature picture; in fact, it is quite obvious; thumbnails or text. You can also opt for a slide show. Transferring pictures as well as videos is carried out through the included software (Sansa Media Converter) which works wonderfully. The pictures are clearly rendered and the slide show is a nice extra feature. The Sansa e200 series is also able to play videos in Quicktime. A movie is automatically converted with the software and immediately transferred onto the MP3 player. The video viewer is fine, although I do miss a play bar.

SanDisk music player

SanDisk music player

Voice recording

The Sansa e280 allows for recording / storing / removing voice recordings. This is what it's meant for and that's it. You can record your voice and it works, the sound is not too loud but that is not disturbing. I would not advice you to record songs with it, because the sound quality is then no more than average. This function is quite handy.

 
 
login
email address email address