updated 10:40 am EDT, Wed August 24, 2011
SanDisk intros tiny, Mac-ready Sansa Clip Zip
After two years' silence in the category, SanDisk returned to mini MP3 players in earnest with the Sansa Clip Zip. It stands as the first clippable Sansa with a real color screen and aims to challenge the iPod shuffle by providing the features of a full player, but at the price and size of Apple's least expensive player. Although it has just a 1.1-inch LCD, it gives an 83 percent improvement over the earlier, lower-resolution two-tone OLEDs and can display album art.
Although catering to Windows users, SanDisk promises that it works on Macs as well through drag-and-drop and is the first Clip to support AAC, letting iTunes shoppers load unprotected tracks to the Clip Zip. It also supports regular MP3s, protected and unprotected WMAs, and rarer formats like FLAC and Ogg Vorbis.
As with earlier models, it carries an FM radio and a microphone for voice recording. New to the options is a stopwatch that takes advantage of the new display. A microSDHC slot boosts the capacity beyond what SanDisk includes itself.
The Clip Zip is already shipping and comes in several colors. It starts off at $50 for a 4GB version and can be had with 8GB for $70.