SanDisk unveils 8GB, expandable Sansa e280

SanDisk is making its latest push against Apple's venerable iPod nano, and unlike the sour grapes iDon't campaign, this one has definite potential to knock a few precious percentage points off of Cupertino's still-overwhelming market share. Besides officially unveiling the 8GB Sansa e280 that we'd seen comingfor awhile, the Milipitas-based company also announced price drops on the entire e200 lineup of players, bringing the 6GB e270 down to $220, the 4GB e260 to $180, and the 2GB e250 to just $140. As with other members of the Sansa family, the e280 also includes a microSD slot for jacking total memory up 10GB -- meaning that even if Apple can get an 8GB nano out the door by the holiday season, SanDisk will still hold the title of "most capacious flash-based DAP." The other value-added features that have helped SanDisk quickly acquire its number two position in the marketplace are also still present: you're getting video playback capability (using a proprietary converter, granted), an FM tuner with "on-the-fly" recording, a user-replaceable 20-hour lithium ion battery, embedded voice recorder, and support for MP3, WMA, and PlaysForSure tracks. All this functionality will set you back just $250, so unless you've already got thousands of FairPlay songs sitting on your hard drive (and don't feel like stripping the DRM), the Sansa e280 looks like an awfully strong contender from where we're standing.