Dictaphones have come a long way from the tape recorder days. Devices have become smaller and more compact, while features have multiplied. Today's dictaphone devices function like recordable MP3 players, recording sounds digitally onto a memory card or to inbuilt memory, which means absolutely no moving parts and no more stretched or chewed-up tapes to worry about.

This fine offering from Olympus is light and sturdy and sits in the hand like a slimline mobile phone. Once you've perused the manual it is very straightforward to use. Unlike some cheaper models, the VN-3500PC comes with a usb interface allowing for easy file transfer to a PC, just like an MP3 player or USB thumb drive. Each individual recording consists of a single WMA (Windows Media Audio) file which can then be saved, emailed or archived as required. The WMA files can be dragged and dropped into Nero (screenshot) or most other popular disc burning applications for transfer to a sound CD, which can be played on any compact disc player.

The unit comes with 128MB flash memory capacity which allows more than 54 hours of digital recording in LP mode (8kHz/5kbps), 17 hours in SP mode (22kHz/16kbps) and around 8 hours in HQ mode (44.1kHz/32kbps). The High Quality setting offers excellent sound reproduction and the microphone is capable of picking up sounds from several feet away.

Other nifty features include VCVA which means the unit can be voice activated and also Indexing, for quick searches within a sound file. It's great for karaoke too..!

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Features summary:
  • 128 MB memory capacity with up to 54 hours recording
  • Hi-Speed USB connection with included USB lead
  • High quality sound in WMA file format
  • 5 folders for file storage with 200 messages per folder
  • Large LCD display, operation by one large central button
  • Three recording options (HQ/SP/LP)
  • Integrated loudspeaker and microphone with external jacks
  • Adjustable playback speed
  • VCVA and Indexing
  • Powered by 2 standard AAA batteries
  • Size in mm: 102w x 37h x 18.8d

Price: AU$165.00 from Officeworks (go to Technology Menu | Office Equipment & Phones)

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