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My boyfriend is soon to begin his PGCE course at university, training to become a Physics teacher . Whilst he undoubtedly has the intelligence and knowledge to succeed in this, he knows from previously completing a Physics degree that his dyslexia presents a few problems, particularly when it comes to taking notes.
For this reason, he's digging out his dictaphone in preperation, so that he can record lectures and then complete his notetaking at a speed that suits him . Me being me, I couldn't resist having a little play with it myself - in fact, for the last few weeks, I've been keeping it by me while reading, so I can make notes as I go along on things I might want to later include in reviews- in fact, I did that for this review too!
The device itself is quite attractive, with a nice silver finish, and a small LCD screen on the front , which displays the date and time, and warns if space is running low. It has just a few nicely sized buttons, each clearly marked with it's purpose. In all, the design is incredibly simple, and very easy to understand and use, and with the option to set the device to voice activation, it gets even easier .
The device itself is quite small - 3 cm x 1.6 cm x 10.4 cm, which is about the same size as my mobile phone, and allows it to easily fit into a pocket of a coat, and means that it takes up very little space on a desk - ideal if, like in my home, your desk is already littered with various items and has little space available.
This is one of the more modern styles, working digitally without tapes . This is great, as there is no need to buy cassettes to feed into this for use, and it also eliminates the need for erasing tapes to be re-used . It has a built in microphone on the front, and this picks up sound very easily , with even speech from a distance being clearly recorded onto the device . Certainly in a lecture theatre situation, you'd probably want to be sitting near the front to make sure you picked up everything clearly, but used in smaller rooms it can pick up sound from anywhere in the room very clearly .
This has built-in 512 MB flash memory, capable of recording up to 300 hours (depending on which mode you use) . This is certainly an ample amount of space, and means no worrying about it running out during an important meeting or lecture . Such a large amount of recording space also means that lectures can be saved for quite some time before space runs out, great if you can't take notes immediately for any reason.
There are three recording modes, in varying degrees of quality. Recording in higher quality will naturally result in less time recorded - however, even in the HQ mode you still get over 60 hours of recording before space runs out .
There are also four folders available on the device, enabling easy ordering of recordings - so , for example, if you recorded a variety of things, such as lectures, drunken karaoke performances, or just random chats with friends, it is easy to seperate things in an orderly way, enabling you to quickly locate the file you need in the future. All recordings are also date and time stamped, which is rather useful.
The speaker on the device plays sound back well. Whilst not the best speaker around, it does the job tolerably well, with speech coming out nice and clear .
The one downside for this product in my opinion is that you cannot connect this to a computer to back up sound files. Whilst the device has an ample amount of recording time, there might be times when I wanted to record something and then transfer it onto my PC to share with others (perhaps one of those drunken karaoke sessions) and sadly, that just isn't a function of this machine .
Overall though, I think it is great . It takes 2 AA batteries, and does warn when battery is low . It's simple to use, small and compact, and allows for hours and hours of recording, with recordings being easy to find and playback at a later date . I believe my boyfriend paid around £30 for this some time ago, but currently it is available for 17.99 on amazon, which I think is a good price .
4 stars - one off for not being able to transfer files to my PC .
Years ago, before I was diagnosed as dyslexic, I took NCR notes for a deaf student, along with another student, so we each had three copies of the notes (and I always opted to keep the yellow copy) . . . this was a great help in my Physics and Chemistry classes, as I didn't have to worry about missing something . . . one of us usually picked up enough, and taking notes for someone else helped focus my listening
. . . ♥ ~ Jesi ~ ♥