CES 2006 Profile: SanDisk

Flash data storage card maker SanDisk was busy at CES 2006 unveiling new products designed for a variety of different types of users. Among the new items being showcased were USB smart drives targeted at gamers, updated mainstream USB drives and two new lines of Sansa portable media players.

SanDisk’s new gamer-oriented USB smart drives are called the SanDisk Cruzer Crossfire. Four color-coded capacities (512MB – green, 1GB – white, 2GB – black, 4GB – blue) will be available in prices ranging from $54.99 to $329.99. These drives come with a metallic lanyard that attaches to a snap-on cap. Features include an indicator light which pulses lime-green when connected to a USB-enabled device such as a gaming PC or next generation gaming console like a Xbox 360 and smart drive functionality via the U3 platform.

SanDisk’s updated mainstream USB flash drives include the Cruzer Micro and Cruzer Titanium lines. These drives feature a new design and, like the Cruzer Crossfire, make use of the U3 platform to turn them into next generation “smart drives” which have their own on-board applications and personal workspace with individualized files and settings. The small, new Micros will range in size up to 4GB, with a price tag of up to $299.99, when they go on sale in March. The more rugged Titaniums, meanwhile, will up in 2GB and 4GB capacities and have an upper end price tag of $189.99 when they go on sale in April.

In the realm of MP3 players, SanDisk was busy showing off two new lines of Sansa portable media players. The first is their new flagship e200 series. With an upper storage size of 6GB and price tag of $299.99 come March, these flash memory enabled players can sport a 1.8” TFT color screen and can playback audio and video files, including content from Microsoft PlaysForSure compatible online services. It can also display photos, has a titanium alloy body which makes it more resistant to scratches and wear, sports a rechargeable battery, has a FM tuner with on the fly recording and offers expanded memory options via a microSD expansion card slot.

SanDisk’s other new Sansa line is the cost conscious c100. This player, which comes in 1GB ($119.99) and 2GB ($169.99) sizes come March, sports a 1.21” color screen and can play digital audio files (including ones from Microsoft PlaysForSure compatible online services) and display digital images. It also features a FM digital tuner with on the fly recording, voice recording and a power supply which is driven by a single AAA battery.