SanDisk haven’t made just a little sortie into making portable players, their effort has been quite notable. They took on Apple, if you remember. Talk about a 500-pound gorilla.
With the e200 , SanDisk created quite a stir, with a metal back , _ similar to the iPods of the time, made of nothing less than _ Liquidmetal alloy. Hey, I wish my v2 device had that back, it’s incredible stuff. The front plastic face of these same e200s is some crazy tough acrylic, very scratch resistant.
Let’s move forward a little bit, to face of the Clip, then the Clip+. Now , these wee beasties have some serious industrial finish! I’ll elaborate. The paintwork on the case of the original Clip has withstood multiple case surgeries over the years, and burnishing the edges of the case halves with a screwdriver shaft, which normally would damage or flake paint, results in a flawless edge. No chips.
The inset plastic face of the Clip can easily be polished to a fine gloss, as well as the new face of the Clip+. The newer device has a very hard acrylic, like GE Lexan, that is harder to polish, but is very scratch resistant indeed.
I cannot help but think back two years or so, with reviews often stating that the cases felt “slightly cheap”. I grimaced at the words, and marched on. You have to remind yourself that the raison d’etre for these little guys is the sound they reproduce, and SanDisk have done quite admirably in this respect, selecting the AustriaMicrosystems devices for the v2, Clip, Clip+, and e200v2 series. These have made the little sansas a favorite of many critical listeners.
I don’t comment on the competition blindly, but rest assured, the sansa does have some good attributes. Simply, I poke around in Apple circles to follow what’s new and different, and in short order, you’ll see the difference. Many will bash the sansa at the drop of the hat. Only if it’s a worthy adversary is it necessary to get defensive, an important lesson I learned in kindergarten. I like the look and feel of the iPod, but the displays and anodized finish don’t fare as well as one would expect.
The newest Fuze+ represents a new step for SanDisk, stepping aside from the all-too-popular touchpads built as an overlay to the visible screen, and using a dedicated pad. The device has a completely new look, a much bigger screen, and a new processor too.
Okay, back to that faceplate. I am currently using it without any protection whatsoever, for several reasons, the most basic two being working with the touchpad, and seeing just how the materials fare to gefingerpoken und pocketscratchen. If you look closely at the face, you’ll see that it is one continuous piece all the way to the side seam.
In terms of scratch repair, this face is probably the easiest Sansa to date, since the face is one continuous surface from edge to edge. I would be careful at the logos and touchpad target area, as the pretty silvered areas are a bad place for grinding aggressively. It’s the display area that I’d be most critical with. Polishes like Meguiars No.10 and No.11 are great for removing surface grunge. The trick with Meguiars is that the stuff is available at most automotive parts stores.
If anyone understands the history of 3M company, looking into their line of automotive finish products is an excellent choice. Currently, I use the 3M finish abrasives, designed for professional automotive finish work. The stuff is expensive, but small consumer bottlle sizes are available locally.
Novus makes some very nice polish for plastic too.
Now, regarding theis subject, the pièce de r_é_sistance. Wax the face of teh device with a fine automotive wax. This preserves teh surface, and makes cleaning up smodges very easy.
Look up the cool products at Zagg , makers of the Invisible Shield material. The first time I saw it, I recognized it as very similar to the military grade clear applique material we use on the carbon fiber rotors on the Super Huey. In a nutshell, there ar planty of cheap plastic screen protector materials out there, but Zagg has some great quality stuff, and a lifetime warranty to back it up, well worth the price. Sadly, they don’t have a specialized face piece for the Fuze+ yet, but they do offer cut-to-fit materials.