"5 stars for value, sound quality & overall versatility!"5.0 starson by mjrei1
Pros: - Absolutely unbeatable value for build quality, versatility and sound quality!
- Seamless integration of micro sd memory as if part of the built-in flash memory!
- Long battery life in music mode.
- Amazingly crisp video given the small screen size.
Cons: - Operating system a little clunky when you've got a thousand or more mp3's to search.
- Video conversion software doesn't give size and quality of video options.
Note: "Cons" are only minor and not worth overlooking this great little player.
Summary: I've owned somewhere around 10-plus mp3 players. Archos, (other) Sansa, Creative, Sony, Insignia and so on. For the money, which in my case was under $100 for the 8gb version, I have never owned a better mp3 player ever!
First and foremost, sound quality is of the utmost importance. There's nothing worse than a mediocre-sound-induced headache from a marginal quality mp3 player. That won't happen with the Sansa Fuse. The sound is crisp, clear and customizable with a built-in 5 band equalizer option.
Secondly, Sandisk has integrated expanded memory seamlessly with on-board flash memory. Add an inexpensive microsd card and you can't tell the difference between mp3's or movies on the internal memory or the microsd memory. This is a big deal. Other players I've haven't been able to shuffle in on the expansion card or can't bookmark your place in a movie from the expansion card. It may sound trivial but when the expansion memory acts like a completely seperate device it gets very tiresome very quickly and ultimately defeats the benefit of expandable memory. With the Sansa Fuse you can't detect which mp3's or videos are on the built-in memory or the expansion memory. Add a 16gb microsd memory card for about $50 and you get a total of 24gb of memory. That is ton of flash memory! 24gb gives you somewhere around 3,500 mp3's and 15 or so full length feature movies!
Also of note is the video quality. The screen is on the small side at just under 2 inches but it is crystal clear and the video is very watchable. I currently have 10 full length movies on mine and watching movies anywhere is really something I've become addicted to. To get movies onto the device you have to download the free Sansa Media Converter from the Sansa website. Drop most any video format into the conversion software and in minutes its on your player. The only negative here is that the converter does not give you options as to the size and quality of the video. I prefer smaller video files than the conversion software gives you but it's hard to complain when you see the quality of the video once on your Fuse device. The average 2 hour movie takes roughly 500mb of memory using the converter. (If you don't have a way to copy your dvd's to avi files or similar mobile device files, it's very easy to find software available to do that. I use "Pocket DVD" which is available online for about $30. There are also free programs available but I haven't tried any of the free programs.)
Lastly, the build quality and interface are top notch for such a relatively inexpensive device. I currently own 3 Fuse players, an 8gb for myself and 2 2gb players for my kids. They all three work flawlessly. I've added memory cards to all three players and have what would have otherwise cost me a small fortune if I'd have gone the ipod or zune route.
My only realm complaint is that the size of video files is on the large side for my taste, but that is balanced out by the quality of video you get from the Sansa Media converter. Again, the video looks great for such a small screen. Also, the operating system gets a little tedious when searching through a thousand-plus mp3's for a particular song or artist. Ipods and other players are definitely a little faster when it comes to searching through thousands of songs. And lastly, the headphones that come with it aren't bad but I prefer my Sony and JBL headphones to the ones that came with the device. None of the "cons" are really notable when compared to the many, many upsides to this great little device.
My advice, buy the Fuse! Buy several! They're that good.