If you've been looking for an mp3 player that won't make a huge dent in your pocket, let me introduce you to the newest member of my mp3 player collection.
I previously wrote about my Sandisk MX1, but I decided to upgrade to the Sandisk m230 when I found it for a great price. I picked up two of these little players for $20 from woot.com during a "two for Tuesday" sale. To me the price was well worth it.
The reason I chose the Sandisk m230 would be because of the controls. My previous Sandisk mp3 player has a very hard to use joystick control that doesn't want to navigate through menus correctly. The m230 uses button controls that are much easier to use without becoming frustrated.
The menus are easy to navigate as well because they are laid out nicely. You've got a ton of options that are easy to find.
The included FM tuner allows you to save up to 20 of your favorite stations, and the voice recorder allows you to record notes or sounds that you may want to listen to later.
The m230 plays MP3, WMA, DRM WMA (including subscription music), and Audible files. You can browser the music library by choosing title, artist, album, genre, spoken word, or recordings making it much easier to find what you want to listen to.
There is also an included stopwatch, and files can be added to the m230 via drag and drop or it is also compatible with Windows Media Player 10 and subscription services.
First of all the m230 is much bulkier than I had expected. It's almost double the size of my MX1, but it's still a decent size. I can still slip it into my pocket or throw it on a chain around my neck.
It's very noticeable that the mp3 player was made from cheap parts. I feel like it will crack in half if I accidentally drop it, and the battery door is very flimsy.
Although I don't consider this a con for myself, a lot of you may so it goes in the con category. The Sandisk m230 runs off 1 AAA battery instead of charging via usb. I prefer that because if my battery dies while I'm on the road can throw in another rechargeable.
A slight con to this model is the fact that the m230 is only a 512mb mp3 player.
The equalizer is lacking in options. You only have 4 pre-set options (Pop, Classical, Rock, and Jazz) and one custom option. I would definitely like to have seen more presets.
There is no option to view photos as the small size of the mp3 player and screen couldn't handle images.
Overall I still think this MP3 player is a good buy because it sells in a price range of $19.99-34.99. It's a much cheaper option than purchasing an iPod especially if you're looking for something for your children or for occassional use.
Informal Critique Rating: