The Sansa Clip will no doubt go down in MP3 player history as one of the biggest successes the market has seen, and it has just gotten better and better over the years as firmware updates, Rockbox and the Clip+ hardware update has improved on the original player in all sorts of ways. SanDisk knows this, so it’s not surprising that they’re giving the player yet another hardware overhaul, this time called the Clip Zip.
The basics from the Clip+ are still there in terms of features and basic design, but there are a few new features both on the surface and under the hood. The most noticeable of which is probably the new 1.1″ full color screen, which is a nice upgrade both in size and colors from the old OLED screen. One of our forum members got his hands on the new player and has written a comparison of the new Zip and the old Clip+ which shows that the new Zip is size wise pretty much the same as the Clip+, but with a rectangular control pad to make room for the bigger screen.
As for features under the hood, alphabet browsing has now been added when browsing files as well as the ability to deactivate unused menu items. The former is something I’ve loved on other players (like the Sony players) for years and seeing it on a SanDisk player is great. The menu “clean up” feature is also a nice addition, and lets more hard core music users hide features such as the radio (which now has a recording feature) and the new stopwatch. The new color screen also means a new UI, naturally, and from the pictures in the beforementioned forum thread it seems to be a lot like the interface of the Fuze+.
Overall it seems like a great update to the existing Clip+, and as Marvin points out in his comparison review it’s a lot more traditional of an update than the touch controlled Fuze+ of last year was.