And now the exciting conclusion...
I resume my lazy shuffling routine both to and from work, happily taking in the cornucopia of my music collection (or at least a lot of it; I can't fit all of the music on my computer on just 4GB). Again I take the Fuze to the gym, and again my experience is good but uneventful.
When I get home I reluctantly decide to check out the Fuze's photo and video capabilities. I say reluctantly because, save for long trips on buses or airplanes, it is very rare that I have a use for photos or videos on my 5G iPod's 2.5-inch LCD display.
At 1.9 inches, the Fuze's screen is even smaller, and I find myself squinting at the JPEGs I uploaded, holding the player really close to my face. I put OK Go's "Here We Go Again" music video on there as well, and watch in mild amusement as the tiny (and slightly grainy) band hops and dances from one treadmill to the next in unison. Granted, the photo and video option is a good one (and a necessary one, I'd say, in the competitive market of portable audio/video players; if it weren't for this capability the Fuze couldn't compete with players like the iPod nano). But most of the time it's just not for me.
When it comes to mobile technology, I think the products you choose should be a result of knowing what you need them for. For example, GPS navigators are way cool, and a lot of mobile devices out there have this capability. But quite frankly, I don't travel much and I don't have a car right now, so if my phone had this option I'd probably never use it.
"So why do you have a video iPod at all?" I can already hear you saying. "Why couldn't you just settle for the iPod shuffle, Mr. I'm Lazy and Like to Shuffle?" Touche. Well my iPod was a gift, and you don't look a gift 5G video iPod in the mouth, so there.
As I put on my Kick-Ass Playlist for one final morning jog before work, I can't help but remenisce about all the good times the Fuze and I have had this week, from my elated discovery of the shuffling option to the handy FM radio transmitter. I look down at the Fuze as I ride the R train to Manhattan. It's just like that dude Mr. Smith from The Matrix Revolutions said, little guy: everything that has a beginning has an end.
As I finish up my work week with the Fuze I can certainly see myself buying one (that is, of course, if I didn't already have a perfectly capable audio/video player). I actually prefer the size of the Fuze over my iPod when it comes to working out; it's so small and light I hardly know it's on my person half the time.
I guess in the end the main thing holding me back is that I've grown accustomed to the iPod/iTunes interfaces and options, and I remain a creature of habit. The SanDisk Sansa Fuze, however, is a great little media player, and I absolutely recommend it to those who are looking for something like the iPod nano but aren't ready to sell out to Apple quite yet.
Hmm, I might hang on to the Fuze over the weekend before I give it back, though.