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MP3 players come in all shapes and sizes, and when you’re buying one you’ve got many great choices from several companies. Believe it or not MP3 players have been around for a long time, not just since Apple introduced the iPod as many people out there might think. Geeks.com has supplied me with one of their portable MP3 players for review, they carry several brands at lower prices than other sites out there, making them a great choice for shopping online. I’ve personally bought many, many, many things from them over the years and have never had a problem.

Today for review I’ve got the Sandisk Sansa Connect 4gb Mp3 player from Geeks.com, it’s a ‘white’ box’ so there’s not original, fancy packaging, but the product inside is in new condition. The Sansa Connect is a small MP3 player that’s easy to use, and it’s inexpensive as well, coming in at under $40. The main reason that it’s priced so low is not only because it’s an older product but because it’s limited in functionality. What I mean by this is that normally the Sansa Connect comes with Wi-Fi built into it, the one I have for review today does not, the Wi-Fi enabled ones do cost a bit more. There is a little secret though that I can share with you, you can easily enable Wi-Fi functionality with just a firmware upgrade so you get a full functioning Sansa Connect for about $20 less than one that comes with it already enabled. So read on to learn more about this great little MP3 Player from Sandisk…

As I mentioned this is a whit box product, so I didn’t include a picture of a white box..

Included with the Sansa Connect is a power supply, USB cable, earbuds, earbud extension, carrying pouch and literature.

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The Sansa Connect is small but it does have a nice large screen and it feels well made.

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On the bottom is the sync port, while the left side has a volume button, the top has the power button and a sliding lock, and the right side has the microSD slot. A nice included feature is that there’s a speaker built-in so you don’t always have to use the earbuds like most players.

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On the front, below the screen is where you’ll find two buttons and the navigation dial with a center button. It’s not touch enabled like the iPod is, but it just spins.

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Specifications:

SanDisk Sansa Connect 4GB USB 2.0 MP4/MP3 w/2.2″ LCD (Black)

Maximize your listening pleasure with this portable SanDisk Sansa Connect SDMX8-N-4096K MP3 Player!

The Sansa Connect features a 4 GB capacity that can store up to 1000 MP3 songs or 675 secure WMA songs. It also comes with a bright 2.2-inch color TFT screen and allows you to view photos and videos! Need more storage space No problem! Add more with its microSD expansion card slot!

This Sansa Connect features Thumbwheel controls for easy navigation to your music, videos and photos. With the built-in speaker, you can enjoy your music without using the headphones! 

Features/Specifications:
General Features:
-Shiny Black design
-4 GB capacity
-2.2-inch color TFT screen
-USB 2.0
-Plays MP3, AAC, WMA and secure WMA music files
-Plays videos and Photos
-Store up to 100 MP3 songs (64 hours of music) or 675 secure WMA songs (45 hours of music)
-microSD expansion card slot
-Thumbwheel controls
-Built-in speakers
-Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery

Controls:
-Power/charging light
-Hold switch
-Home menu
-Left button
-Right button
-Volume up
-Volume down
-Select

Unit Dimensions:
-3.5 x 2 x 0.5-inches (H x W x D,approximate)


When you first turn on the Sansa Connect you’re greeted with the Sandisk logo and then a loading screen where each symbol fills in, loading does take quite a while, much longer than other players I’ve got on hand.

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The interface is colorful and the graphics are nice actually. The navigation menu is on the bottom and you scroll through them to select where you want to go. The basics are Music Library, Settings and Pictures and Videos.

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Once you update the firmware though another option appears for Internet Radio:

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Connecting to the internet is easily, the Sansa connected to my Wi-Fi with no problems and it will save your information so you don’t have to enter you key every time you use it.

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Under music you’ll find the basic stuff, Artists, Genres, Playlists, Songs, Albums and A Shuffle All option as well. It does not automatically add album covers though, so you’re stuck with the default graphics until you manually add them.

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Under Pictures and Videos you’ll find Photo Library, Flickr Photos and Video Library. .

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Under settings you’ll find options for Audio, Display, Info, Music, WiFi and a Reset Option.

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I did run into a problem though while transferring files to the Sansa Connect, and that was under Windows Vista X64, it kept dropping the connection on me for some reason, the files would just stop and the player would disappear from My Computer. It worked fine though under Windows Xp, everything transferred with no problems.

The Built-in speaker is a nice touch, I wish many other players would include them, it’s nice to be able to listen to music without having to use the headphones all of the time. The sound quality of the speaker is surprisingly good for how small it is and it can be loud.

Using the Sansa Connect is easy, navigation is easy and apart from the Vista problem, getting your files on the player is easy as well. It might not have a touch sensitive pad, but it’s actually nicer than the touch enabled type of navigation because it works every time, and doesn’t misinterpret your movements like a touch enabled pad can do at times.


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Conclusion:

The Sansa Connect is nice little inexpensive MP3 player that can be further enhanced with just a firmware upgrade. This version does not come with Wi-Fi enabled but just updating the firmware fixes that, and makes it much more usable and enables more features.

The Sansa Connect is easy to use, has a good battery life and the included speaker is a nice touch.

9

Pros:
+Easy to use
+Firmware upgradeable
+Built-in speaker
+Seems well made
+Small and portable
+Decent sound
+Storage is expandable with microsSD card
+Can easily enable wireless functionality

Cons:
-Small storage
-Problem transferring files while using Vista

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10