There's a new kid on the MP3 block, and just like the Zune, it's a player sporting Wi-Fi. The $250 4GB Sandisk Sansa Connect not only allows you to share your torrid musical preferences with dirty strangers on the subway, it also enables you to download unlimited Yahoo! music for $15 without the cords.
So what did the reviewers think? For this week's Frankenreview, we hit up a TON of sources (ok...10) and grabbed their best quips. Hit the jump to read what Wired, Gadgetaholic, ComputerWorld, LAPTOP, I4U, Yahoo! Tech, Crunchgear, Late to the Party and PCMag had to say about this quasi-wireless MP3 player.
(Only five of our ten use numerical scores, we weren't just being lazy...this time.)
If the Zune weren't already DOA, Sansa's Connect would totally stomp its ugly brown mug.
...tunes sounded warm, clean, and encompassing across all genres... Still, I could've done with a bit more kick on the low end.
... the Sansa Connect can display photos. However, this one kicks it up a notch (Emeril must be proud) by allowing the user to browse the photos from their Flickr account. This works flawlessly.
...the first significant rethinking of portable media players — and how we acquire digital media — since Apple Inc.'s introduction of the iPod and the iTunes online media store several years ago.
The Wi-Fi radio's range was adequate but not great. Over-the-air downloads of four-minute Yahoo subscription tracks took anywhere from 40 seconds to three minutes, depending on network variables, but Internet-radio playback was dropout-free...
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.
Don't think about this like an iPod. It's possible, but not easy, to transfer your existing music on your PC to the Sansa. You need to use Yahoo! Jukebox and connect the Sansa to your PC to move music you already own.
[Yahoo! Music] tracks are offered only through recommendations and popular music. This encourages you to rate your favorite tracks...but I can see it as being a bummer if you have a song in your head and can't get to it.
Late to the Party
Album art is shown in just about every menu, whether it is for local content, or for streaming radio stations, or for Yahoo Music Unlimited content under the "Get More Music" menu
...comes with an AC charger/adapter (our battery rundown test yielded 6 hours and 15 minutes of continuous music playback and WiFi usage, so you'll be using this a lot)...
After checking out all the reviews, the Connect looks fantastic. But my two problems with the experience are huge in my book:
1. No iTunes or Mac Support
2. Yahoo's music service cannot be searched by song
2.2" LCD screen
4GB of internal memory
WMA and MP3 support
MicroSD support for expansion
View photos via MicroSD card or via Flickr account
Supports Yahoo! Music Unliminted To Go.