There’s no doubt that Apple has corralled the portable digital music player world with their iPod players. Yet other manufacturers continue to improve their players in an effort to compete. To that end, Sansa has completely revamped their Sansa Fuze player. With a new capacitive touch-strip navigation pad and lower prices, the new Sansa Fuze+ may be the MP3 player choice for some.
The Sansa Fuze+ Plus comes in a colorful package, shown in Figure 1. The Fuze+ itself, which is visible through the plastic packaging, is also colorful. Our review unit was Electra blue, but the Fuze+ also comes in four other colors: Flamenco red, Birch white, Solstice black, and Zinfandel purple. The Fuze+ comes in 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB capacities. Depending on the capacity, the players are priced at USD 79, USD 89, and USD 119. It should be noted, however, that not all colors are available in all capacities. For example, the 16 GB capacity is available only in black while the purple and white are only available in the 8 GB capacity.
As shown in Figure 2, The Fuze+ Plus comes with a small Getting Started Guide, a micro-USB connection cable, and a pair of hard earbuds with thin foam removable covers. Figure 3 shows a small Getting Music tri-fold that explains how to use the online Rhapsody music service to get music on the player. The Sansa comes with a 14-day trial membership to Rhapsody.
The Fuze+ itself is shown in Figure 4. Although it is an all-plastic construction, feels sturdy. At 3.1 x 1.9 x 0.3 inches (7.87 x 4.8 x 0.76 mm), it fits easily in the hand. The rounded corners give it a nice tactile feel. The most notable thing, however, is its weight, which at 6 oz (170 g) feels like a feather-weight. This new Fuze+ is a bit longer and thicker than the original Fuze, but it adds a larger 2.4-inch screen and a new touch pad below the screen.