capsule review

goVox Digital Voice Recorder

At a Glance
  • LandWare goVox Digital Voice Recorder

Palm handheld organizers -- which connect to your Mac via USB -- are great for capturing thoughts and ideas while you're on the move. But flipping open the lid, pulling out the stylus, and forming letters might seem like too much trouble for a few brief memos. Landware's goVox Digital Voice Recorder cleverly replaces your original Palm III lid, and it allows you to record up to eight minutes for a total of 99 voice messages. No, we're not talking about voice recognition, here -- the device records on its own chip and is completely independent of the Palm OS.

It's a bit thicker than a regular Palm III lid, but not by much -- when your Palm is tucked away inside a pocket, you'll hardly notice the difference. LandWare even matched the plastic exactly. Unlike the original lid, however, the goVox lid sticks shut, so you can't flip it open with one hand. And when you're on the road -- especially on public transportation -- you can never have enough hands.

On the outside of the lid is a small hole marking the microphone, a speaker grille about the size of a quarter, and plastic buttons for playing, recording, deleting, and moving through your messages. The 3V Lithium batteries (which are included) are stored in a compartment on the flip side, where LandWare also affixed a cheat-sheet to Graphiti (Palm's system for entering data with a stylus), which is a thoughtful touch.

The sound quality is good: messages come through loud and clear. Unfortunately, the goVox Digital Voice Recorder has no volume control, so the sound comes through a bit too loud and clear in certain settings, such as crowded elevators. The recorder doesn't have an earphone jack, either, which would be convenient in those situations.

LandWare also offers a somewhat slicker version for the Palm V that's made of smoky gray translucent plastic. It also sports thumbnail-friendly rubberized buttons, rather than those made out of hard plastic.

At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Versions available for Palm III and V
    • Clear sound
    • Records eight minutes
    • Includes batteries

    Cons

    • Can't open the Palm III lid with one hand
    • Can't adjust volume
    • No earphone jack
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