SanDisk introduced a large number of new products at CES 2006.
Firstly, there was a "gaming-oriented" USB smart drive – the SanDisk Cruzer Crossfire. It will be available in four color-coded capacities: 512MB in green, 1GB in white, 2GB in black and 4GB in blue. The drive comes with an attractive metallic lanyard that attaches to a snap-on cap. When connected to a USB-enabled device, the Crossfire’s indicator light pulses lime-green. The SanDisk Cruzer Crossfire is U3-enabled, thus providing a platform to store a variety of applications, including PC games. It features the U3 user interface, called the U3 Launchpad.
Suggested retail prices for the SanDisk Cruzer Crossfire are $54.99 for 512MB, $99.99 for 1GB, $169.99 for 2GB and $329.99 for 4GB. The gaming drive will be sold in many of the 135,000-plus retail outlets worldwide where SanDisk products are available.
Secondly, there were two new Cruzer Micro and Cruzer Titanium USB flash drives. The models feature a sleek new design and include software that turns them into "U3 smart drives" so users can access their software programs, personal preferences, files and data as well as the means for managing them within a secure environment — on any personal computer running Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 2000.
The new Cruzers are small, 1.875 x 0.75 inches (4.76 cm x 1.91 cm) and easily fit on a keychain. Each features a retractable USB port for protection from dust and damage. They ship preloaded with four free U3-smart programs:
The Cruzer Micro will be available in March in capacities that range from 512MB to 4GB priced $49.99 to $299.99, while capacities for the Cruzer Titanium (available in April) will be 1GB and 2GB ($119.99 and $189.99, respectively).
The next novelty is SanDisk Sansa e200 MP3 player sporting 6GB of flash memory and a color screen. The company also introduced the Sansa c100, a value-conscious MP3 player with a color screen as well.
The Sansa e200 series features a slim new design and a 1.8" (4.572 cm) TFT color screen (QCIF+) along with audio, photo viewing and video playback capabilities. It is also available in 2 and 4GB models. The back cover is made with an advanced Titanium alloy from Liquidmetal Technologies that is stronger than steel and is said to be highly resistant to scratches and wear. It includes a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that can be replaced by the customer to ensure ease of use. Dimensions of the Sansa e200 are 1.7 x 3.5 x 0.5 inches (4.4 x 8.9 x 1.3 cm).
The Sansa e200 series players will support Microsoft PlaysForSure so consumers can download and pay for songs individually or download an unlimited amount of music for a monthly subscription fee from music stores such as Rhapsody To Go and others.
Other features include icon-based menu, slideshow function, FM tuner with on-the-fly recording, microSD expansion slot, support for SanDisk TrustedFlash and gruvi content cards that can be shared with mobile phones, and the universal accessory connector.
Prices are as follows: Sansa e250 (2GB) - $199.99, Sansa e260 (4GB) - $249.99, Sansa e270 (6GB) - $299.99. The Sansa e200 series will be available in March in the U.S. and Europe.
The Sansa c100 series is, as it has been mentioned, for the value-conscious consumer. It is available in 1- and 2GB capacities along with 1.21" (3.07 cm) color screen.
The Sansa c100 line will support Microsoft PlaysForSure subscription. It also includes an FM digital tuner with 20-channel presets, FM on-the-fly recording and voice recording capabilities with its built-in microphone. The new player uses a single AAA battery to power the unit and features a universal accessory connector for the easy addition of future accessories.
Prices for these models are: Sansa c140 (1GB) - $119.99, Sansa c150 (2GB) - $169.99. The Sansa c100 series will be available in March in the U.S. and Europe.
Ok, the only novelties left are flash memory cards that Verizon Wireless Communications Stores will sell for its new V CAST Music service. These include a new 1GB microSD card formerly known as TransFlash. The card comes with an adapter allowing it to be used in a standard SD slot.
SanDisk also expanded its mobile line today by introducing a SanDisk 2GB miniSD card.
SanDisk’s suggested retail prices for the newest cards are $119.99 for the 1GB microSD and $199.99 for the 2GB miniSD.
Speaking of the new mobile service, Verizon Wireless plans to launch V CAST Music on January 16 with several phones, including the Samsung a950 and the LG VX8100. Both are clamshell V CAST-enabled phones with 1.3-megapixel digital cameras. The Samsung a950 has a microSD card slot that features an external thumb dial to select music files; the LG VX8100 has a miniSD card slot.
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