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Yes, that’s a stopwatch. I have a much more sophisticated stopwatch on my wrist 24 hours a day, and it seems very out of place on the Sansa. If SanDisk had thought laterally, putting on a few features like count up and count down alarms, and music-off after a set time, they could have been on to something. As it is, this is a feature with no real use as far as I can tell.
The Sansa is not the smallest 1GB player around, though at 2.9 x 2.17 x 0.55in it is pocket friendly. It looks good from afar, but get up closer and you see its plasticy construction more plainly. I don’t mind this if the sound quality is good, but those who like high design standards might want to look elsewhere. The transparent carrying case and jogger’s armband that are supplied with the Sansa could also be useful for the active user.
Sound quality is passable to good. The supplied in-ear headset (white of course) delivers average sound quality, on which my own Sennheiser headphones improved. There is an equaliser with some presets (jazz, pop, classical, rock) and a feature called SRS WOW which variously allows you to accentuate bass, 3D sound levels, and so on. None of these options provided what I’d call superb quality sound with rich tones, though for use while travelling it’s fine.
Operating the device involves using large buttons on the front of the casing, as well as a wheel and button on the right side. The wheel feels more than a little tacky, and there are some unintuitive button combinations to get used to, but for just flicking between tracks the large front buttons are great. There’s a hold button which does a good job of avoiding inadvertent button presses when the device is in a pocket.
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