SanDisk C200 - EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK review

Before the stand was raided by German Police at IFA 2006 in Berlin, Germany Pocket-lint was able to get a hands on look at the company's new mini MP3 player, the SanDisk C200.

Small and compact the new player will be available in either 1GB or 2GB models and feature a Micro SD card slot for further memory expansion.

Sporting a thin profile (1.3 x 3.1 x 0.6 inches) and a design very similar to the company's Sansa e200 model, the unit features a small 1.4-inch colour LCD (128 x 98 pixels) screen, which SanDisk say is ideal for checking track details and viewing images.

Images we think will be a tad hard as the screen, although bright and crisp, is still very small, however for music details or flicking through menus it's better than not having one at all.

Music can be transferred to the unit via dragging and dropping files from the desktop and the C200 sports a USB2.0 socket for quick connection. The drag and drop feature saves the need to have to use any particular software that you may not like and is welcomed. Likewise music can be swapped out of your phone (if it sports a Micro SD card), via the Micro SD card and transferred to here. It's at this point we start to wonder why you would want the C200.

Slightly smaller than small clamshell mobiles like the Samsung D600 we can't see why, if you've signed up to using Micro SD, you wouldn't be doing so on your phone.

"This gives people a choice", we were told by a rather overzealous SanDisk spokesman. "Users can share music between the devices when they perhaps don't need to take their phone with them."

Take their phone with them? Really, when was the last time you went anywhere without your phone intentionally?

Features wise, the player sports the usual set of extras; voice recorder via a quick record button, FM radio as standard, and a removable battery with a promised life of 15 hours (although we were unable to vouch for this in our first look), making this a very attractable product against Apple's iPod Shuffle.

Similarly the SanDisk c200's price will also make this an appealing option come Christmas; it's £60 in the UK and $99 in the US.

Verdict

As a mini player the SanDisk C200 ticks all the boxes, the player is small, compact and easy to use with a clear screen so you can see what you are doing.

However with SanDisk offering its 2GB Micro SD cards at the same price, and most mobile phones coming with MP3 players built in, you can't really see why you would want another box, another set of cables and another device in your house.

It also begs the question: a Micro SD card involves a chip and a bit of plastic covering it, so why is something that includes a chip, cables, screen, buttons and everything else that goes into an MP3 player the same price? "Different markets."

Good as far as MP3 players go, however we can't really see why you would want it over your mobile phone.