updated 02:55 pm EST, Mon January 8, 2007
SanDisk Express and View
Storage device maker SanDisk is today announcing three new media jukeboxes that target rivals Apple, Creative, and Microsoft. The View (shown) is the company's first foray into video-specific players and adds a much larger, 4-inch widescreen LCD for viewing still photos and videos. The design stays slim (0.66 inches) and can play video for as long as 4 hours by using flash storage instead of a hard disk, according to the company. 8GB of memory is built in but can be expanded by as much as 32GB thanks to an SDHC card slot. The View will also be uniquely HD-capable and can send video as sharp as 1080i to an HDTV. Exact format support is currently unavailable but includes MP3 as well as Windows Media audio and video. The View will be released early this year for $300.
To be released soon is the Express, a basic 1GB music player that plugs directly into the USB 2.0 port of a computer rather than a separate cable. An FM tuner adds both radio listening and direct radio recording while a microSD card slot can potentially triple its capacity with an additional 2GB of storage. Battery life for music is rated at 15 hours, due in part to an energy-efficient four-line OLED screen. The Express is currently expected to ship in March for $60.
Read through for details of the Connect player with Wi-Fi and photos of all three new players.
Completing SanDisk's unveilings is the Connect. The player is SanDisk's first jukebox with Wi-Fi and outperforms Microsoft's Zune by adding multiple highly-requested features. Songs cannot be downloaded from other users, the company notes; however, recommendations for music and photos can be made for fellow Connect owners through the Web, eliminating the need to stream information locally between players. Crucially, the company adds that the Connect will have the option of purchasing and downloading songs directly from specific online stores, bypassing PCs entirely. Storage is handled by 4GB of flash memory with a microSD card slot for expansion. SanDisk is readying the player for a late March introduction at a price of $250.