SanDisk Sansa e280 review | Software & Memory
Connect the MP3 player
You can connect the SanDisk Sansa e200 in two different ways. It offers sync mode; this allows you to manage the MP3 player with synchronization software among which the Windows Media Player. And an additional mode is available to drag music directly to your MP3 player (also called: Media Transfer Protocol of Mass Storage Class). It's very much appreciated SanDisk offer these possibilities, it makes the MP3 player available to an even larger crowd and it lets you transfer the music in exactly the way you want to. I had to get used to it though in the beginning, if you're used to 'drag 'n drop' you need to practice to transfer music to the MP3 player. It's fast, when you are transferring music to the MP3 player (independent of the selected sync mode) it's done in no-time at all. Updating the database, however, takes a bit of time even if you add just one song.
SanDisk Sansa software
Sansa Media Converter
To start with the less positive news: the software disappointed me somewhat on certain points. The included Sansa Media Converter works fine to convert pictures and videos, however, I do lack a program that lets you convert music. Certainly in the beginning, it takes some fumbling before being able to convert music and it would have been nice if SanDisk had included a sync program or a link to a suitable website, but unfortunately they didn't. Don't get me wrong, the Sansa Media Converter is a fine software program, it works, it's easy and it looks good, however; in my opinion it should be easy to bring to perfection.
Sansa e280 memory
The SanDisk e200 series comes in various versions: 2GB, 4GB and 8GB. The Sansa e280 I tested features 8GB of internal memory. Suppose the average size of your music is 3MB, then it will let you store 2500 songs. And considering the Sansa e280 features a microSD / microSDHC card slot, you can even enhance the memory with 1, 2, 4 and even 8 Gigabyte. This should suffice to store both your music and your pictures (considering an average size of 2MB, it will let you store approximately 4000 pictures) on the Sansa e280. Movies may vary in size however; it will take some hours of movies to be stored on the Sansa MP3 player before 8GB is fully used. Thanks to the 8GB internal memory and the possibilities to enhance the memory, you will never have a problem with memory capacity. And it doesn't make a difference if you store the music on the MP3 player itself or on an external microSD card; all the music is stored in one database, so no additional databases are present per storage media, just the one.
Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery
As mentioned before, the rechargeable Lithium Ion battery can be changed by the user. It has its advantages; you can purchase a second battery for those moments when you're not able to recharge the battery. The battery has a life-span of 20 hours although the intensity of use influences this life-span. When playing videos frequently, using the menu and the background light a lot, the battery will last a shorter time-span, as is the case for all MP3 players. In general, the SanDisk Sansa e280 will last for some 15 / 16 hours before it needs a recharge.
SanDisk Sansa e280 accessories
When purchasing the SanDisk Sansa e280, the following items are included; the MP3 player of course and the included earplugs, a pouch, USB cable, Sansa Media Converter software and a 'quick start guide'. Furthermore, on the SanDisk Internet site, many more accessories are available like loudspeakers, battery chargers, pouches and of course memory enhancements. Enough to start with and to keep on enhancing your set.
SanDisk MP3 manual