Portable player gone wild

If you don’t have a portable media player today, you’re definitely missing out. Considering the history of portable music from the Walkman to the iPod, portable media is here to stay. Current generation media players act not only as music players, but as storage, personal dictation machines, and even as video players.

The only direction left is ultra-ultra portable, and maybe a high-definition TV tuner.

The Sansa e270 is the newest release in the Sandisk line of portable media players. This particular model has an FM tuner, a SD memory card slot and 6 Gb of storage. The manufacturer claims it can store about 1,500 to 3,000 MB-worth of MP3 or WMA files. The screen is a colour 1.8-inch display with easy-to-use features and navigation. The battery
is lithium Ion, and is also user-replaceable. The e270 has a scratch-resistant metal alloy back for added durability. This unit supports Microsoft’s PlaysForSure format, a standard Microsoft has developed to ensure compatibility with media players and Microsoft Windows Media Player software. The Sansa also includes media-converting software to ensure you can use your files on this device. It connects to the PC using a USB-to-standard Multipin connector, and supports USB version 2.0. It comes with a one-year warranty.

Included in the package are ear-bud-type earphones, a lanyard, a USB-to-Multi Pin cable, instructions, and a 30-day invitation to Rhapsody Music
Subscription service.

Navigating the menus and using the thumb wheel takes some getting used to. The button inside the thumb wheel acts as the select button. To use the thumb wheel itself, you have to rotate it. Once you have highlighted the menu choice, use the centre button to select. The built-in recorder is handy for taking notes and recording FM broadcasts. Then, once you have your Sansa e270 connected to the PC, you can upload to your computer. Again, great for taking notes!

The display is vivid and bright, great in low-light situations. The lighted thumb wheel is an added bonus. The sound of the ear-buds is quite nice. You can also adjust the settings, using the built-in equalizer (EQ) in case you want more low-end bass or high-end treble. There are also some quick and easy EQ presets.

The player is thicker and heavier than the average media player. This seems to have something to do with letting the user replace the battery, and, of course, with the metal backing. The headphone connector is also metal, which makes for a more dependable and durable connection to the ear-buds. Once connected to the PC, you may not be able to access this device until you install the included software, and make some changes to the e270’s settings. The supported data transfer protocols between the device and the PC include MTP (Microsoft Transfer Protocol) and MSC (Mass Storage Class). MTP mode allows this device to bear the Microsoft PlaysForSure logo. If you intend on making any changes to any of the e270 settings, you have to disconnect from the PC. The Sansa e270 controls are completely locked during PC synchronization.

  • Product name and manufacturer: Sandisk Sansa e270

  • Price (MSRP) for this particular model: $269 US – can be found for less money

  • Additional information: Sansa e270

  • Rating: 4/5

  • Comment: The e270 is a solid (but heavy) little media player. The SD memory card slot and built-in recorder are nice additions. Truly a handy multi-purpose multi-media device.