Sandisk unveils the Sansa e280

While everyone has been talking up Microsoft's upcoming Zune portable media player and whatever Apple has up its sleeve on the 6G iPod, Sandisk has slipped in a new MP3 player under radar. Although it has been rumored for quite some time, the company has finally officially announced its 8GB Sansa e280.

With flash prices on the steady decline, Sandisk is able to offer the player at a relatively reasonable $249. With 8GB of storage space at its disposal, the e280 can accommodate up to 2,000 songs. Thanks to an integrated microSD slot, that capacity can be bumped up to 10GB (or 2,500 songs) with one of Sandisk's 2GB microSD cards.

"SanDisk is once again making it incredibly affordable for consumers to purchase the most feature-rich, high-capacity players on the market at the best possible price. The most costly ingredient in a flash-based MP3 player is the flash memory. Since we make the flash memory, we essentially remove the middleman and pass that savings directly to the consumer," said Eric Bone, director of audio/video product marketing at SanDisk.

The 1.7" x 3.5" x 0.5" player features a 1.8" screen, an open non-proprietary DRM system, photo and video playback capability, FM radio tuning and recording, built-in microphone, USB 2.0 interface and up to 20 hours of battery life. It should also be noted that Sandisk has cut prices on existing members of the Sansa e200 family. The Sansa e250, e260 and e270 are now priced at $139.99, $179.99 and $219.99 respectively.

Sandisk has been shakin' and bakin' in the flash industry in recent months. Sandisk has announced that it was working with Toshiba to expand its flash memory capacity and it has also purchased M-Systems which gives the company a vast portfolio of products including Flash-SSD drives and embedded modules.

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