"A solid, dependable memo recorder at a good price."4.5 starson by vestige
Pros: Good recording quality (for its purpose); clear playback; excellent battery life; sturdy, compact design (but with large, easy-to-use controls); clear, good-sized display.
Cons: Can't think of any.
Summary: If you're looking for a small, well-built, easy-to-use device for recording voice memos, interviews, or lectures, this is a great value.
I spend a lot of time on the road. I was in the habit of scribbling notes to help me remember things. It then occurred to me that this was rather dangerous, as I was taking my eyes off the road and trusting the car to have enough sense of its own not to hit anything. :?O
So I picked up this Olympus voice recorder. It was a good decision. Though it has a very compact design (4 x 1.4 x 0.7"), the VN-5200 PC is easy to handle and operate on the go. All you need to do is press the large Record and Stop buttons, and the recorder makes a soft "beep" to verify the presses.
It's important to realize that this is _not_ a music recorder. For one thing, it's mono (just one mic), and the sampling quality is not high enough to reproduce music well. But it's perfectly good for voices.
You can listen to playback through the built-in speaker or through headphones (not included). It has only 512 MB of flash memory, which seems small for a USB storage device these days. However, it automatically compresses your recordings to the WMA (Windows Media Audio) format, similar to MP3?so it can hold an amazing 35 to 221 hours of recordings, depending on the sound-quality setting you choose.
You can connect the recorder to your PC with the included USB cable and copy and/or delete your recordings from there. In this mode, the recorder acts like a standard USB storage device (a.k.a. USB drive), so you can use it to store other types of files too. Don't expect to listen to your MP3s on it, though. It's strictly a mono, voice-fidelity device, and plays back only WMA files.
I like the unit's feel. It's a perfect hand-size design, and though the case is plastic, it feels solid and durable. One pair of AAA batteries gives you up to 37 hours of recording time?more than twice the life of the cheaper units I considered.
A nice product, Olympus.