Upside: At 74 x 55 x 14mm, the SanDisk e100 may not be the tiniest flash-based player, but it's very lightweight at 45 grams with its single AAA battery. It's compatible with MP3, DRM-protected WMA, and Audible files. The USB 2.0 device also has an FM tuner with 20 presets, a stopwatch, and a handy expansion slot compatible with up to 2GB SD cards. The player's buttons are tactile, and the interface, which sorts music by Play All, Artist, Album, Songs, New Music, Spoken Word, and other "playlists," is simple to navigate. You also get decent in-ear phones and an armband. The battery life is decent at a rated 17 hours per AAA battery. The 1GB models has an suggested retail price of AU$329, and AU$100 less for the 512MB version (AU$229).
Downside: Sound quality is good but not great, despite the five EQs and SRS Wow effects. Also, the LCD is a bit small (about 2 x 3cm), and the backlighting isn't fabulous. Overall, the interface is intuitive, but the scrollwheel located on the upper-right corner feels cheap and isn't smooth -- not good since it also acts as the volume control. Plus, this wheel isn't clickable; instead you tediously hit the main Enter button. Finally, though your music is organised in a meticulous fashion, the player doesn't support traditional playlists.
Outlook: Though 2GB SD cards are still pricey at about AU$250, adding the expansion slot is a handy consumer feature and a smart move by SD manufacturer SanDisk. The Sansa series will be the pick for those looking for a WMA-friendly player that's both more affordable and more packed with features than the Apple iPod Shuffle.
CNET.com.au's Jeremy Roche contributed to this First Take.