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REVIEW #4

updated January 31, 2005

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OLYMPUS
WS-100
Digital Voice Recorder

Price in Canadian Dollars
$129.99 or less

1 OLYMPUS Model WS-100

Presenting Olympus WS-100

Introduction
Photo1
The Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder
is a memory system designed to save and retrieve the spoken word. Is small enough to fit in most pockets or can be worn around the neck with the supplied strap. Has a well thought out layout of buttons. The WS-100 is comfortable to hold in the palm of a hand. Has a cool silver flick finish Two other colors are red, and black used to identify features and function of the Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder.

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Packaging
2 Store packaging  3 What comes in the package 

What Comes In The Packaging

Photo2
When this unit was purchased it came in a plastic package. The front of the package explains what the Olympus WS-100
Digital Voice Recorder can do. Saves files in the wma format (Windows Media Audio ) for easy transfer to a compatible PC. But wait does this mean it is only PC compatible I think not - more on Macintosh and other issues later.

Photo3
The
Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder. Comes with everything you see in the photo plus one AAA Alkaline battery. Comes with everything you need a manual: three languages English, French and Spanish. The 64 MB Internal Flash Memory can not be upgraded, however in one of the three selected speeds (HQ | SP | LP), up to 27 hours of record time should not cause to much of a problem. The Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder can off load folder contents with the aid of a built in USB port. An extra extension is supplied should the USB in the unit not have adequate space to fit the computers USB port.(more on USB later in review) Ear buds for those who stick thing in there ears. Or the Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder tiny speaker for listening to play back. One last most important to talk about is the strap. The strap allows for detachment when wearing around the neck. The WS-100 does not liked to be dropped on any hard surface and may not be forgiving. The strap protects against accidental mishaps that might break the WS-100. I would have liked to see a case, surrounding this indispensable Digital Voice Recorder. It is a bad idea to place the WS-100 in a front shirt pocket and than bend over to pick up a pen from the floor. The case can protect from occasional drops which can occur. There is no shirt clip on this recorder.

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4 Battery Compartment 5 Power Button

Battery Power

Photo4
The Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder is powered by one triple A battery. Olympus suggest using either an alkaline for thirteen hours or a Nickel-Metal Hydride for twelve hours for continued use. A new battery must be replaced with in fifteen minutes from the moment of removing it. There is a battery icon on the screen of the WS-100,. Which tells the discharge state of the battery.

Photo5
On the back of the
Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder. is the power on / off and hold slide switches. Turn the power on and the recorder does a memory check. Three flashes of the word check and the recorder is ready for use. After five minute of in activity the recorder monitor screen turns off and the recorder goes to power save mode. Zzzzz Has any button wake up.

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6 Display Screen 7 Record Light and Screen Functions

 8 Red Record Light 9 Green Play Light

Screen

Photo 6
Erase Display Screen ,

Photo 7
Record Display Screen, Red Light On Top Indicate the WS-100 is Recording | Set one of three speeds to record in | Mic can be set to Hi or Lo | Presently no wait time between functions | Status given in LCD screen. Up to 5 folders and 199 files for storage

Photo 8
When in RECORD mode the light is RED.

Photo 9
When in PLAY mode the light is GREEN

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10 Main Unit Control Functions

WS-100 is comfortable in hand. Rec, Stop, Play and so on are operated with thumb or thumb nail. Record is red in color all other buttons in black.

After the Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder is turned on Stop, Play FF and Rew double to do other function.

Function Buttons
Photo 10
The Menu button when pressed is confirmed by the green light or beep sound. The Mode selects Folders. When pressed down longer than one seconds works to change menu choice in one mode.The FF button changes to other modes. Use with the Play button will offer more choices from the present selection. The FF can also choose option example mike can select the hi or lo.The Stop button confirms your final choice.

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11 Mic input and Ear input monitor Can work with head phone to improve sound quality

Mike and Monitor
Photo 11
Once again the Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder is a valued part of todays life style. In the office or making out the shopping list. Has many uses.

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12 Supports USB Access

PC Windows Media
Photo 12
Pulling the two halves a part takes effort. Plugs direct into a USB PC only port
Do not try this with your Macintosh

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14 Save through mic port

Macintosh Connection
Photo 14
One day all computers will be treated equal.
See Photo first
Caution: No mention of Macintosh in manual:
Mac OS 9.0-9.2.2/10.1-10.3 (must support USB storage class)
Windows Media Player for MAC installation

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15 WS-100 Overview

Features/Specifications

Photo 15
The Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder overview

Model
WS-100
Recording format:
WMA (Windows Media Audio).
Recording medium:
Internal memory: 64 MB.
Recording times:
HQ mode: 4 hours 20 minutes
SP mode: 8 hours 40 minutes
LP mode: 27 hours 20 minutes.
PC interface: USB direct, 2.0 full speed.
Sampling frequency:
HQ mode: 44 kHz, 32kbps
SP mode: 12 kHz, 16kbps
LP mode: 8 kHz, 5kbps.
Overall frequency response:
HQ mode: 100 to 12,000 Hz
SP mode: 100 to 5,000 Hz
LP mode: 100 to 2,000 Hz.
Specified input level:
­70 dBv.
Speaker:
Built-in ø16 mm round dynamic speaker.
Microphone jack (monaural):
3.5 mm jack, impedance. 2 k or more.
Earphone jack:
3.5 mm jack, impedance 8 or more.
Maximum working output
(3 V DC): 100 mW (8 speaker).
Power supply: Rated voltage:
3 V. One AAA battery (LR03 or R03)
or one Ni-MH rechargeable battery.
Alkaline battery life:
Continued recording in LP mode: Alkaline battery approx. 13 hours.
Ni-MH rechargeable
(BR-401) battery life: Continued recording in LP mode: Ni-MH rechargeable battery approx. 12 hours.
External dimensions:
94 x 40 x 15.1 mm (without protrusions).
Weight:
54 g (including battery).
Minimum PC requirement Windows:
IBM PC/AT compatible
PC Operating System:
Microsoft Windows Me/2000 Professional/XP Professional, Home Edition One free USB port, earphone output or speakers.
Macintosh: Mac OS 9.0-9.2.2/10.1-10.3 (must support USB storage class) Windows Media Player for MAC installation
Delivery content:
WS-100, Stereo earphones, one AAA alkaline battery,
USB extension cable and neck strap.

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* Specifications and design are subject to change without notice. Battery life varies greatly according to type of batteries used and the conditions of use. Above info is based on Olympus' standard testing procedure.

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 Final Remarks

Strengths:

  • Short learning curve
  • Is easy to use
  • Looks Great
  • Fits perfect in hand
  • One Battery has long life
  • 15 minutes to change old battery
  • Up to 27 hours of play time
  • Reusable memory
  • No wait time from record to play
  • USB compatible
  • Comes with a one year warranty
  • Head phone Jack for private listening
  • Can add external Mike
  • Controls are well marked and easy to use
  • Excellent Audio with head phone

Cons:

  • No leather case protection
  • No light on LCD screen for low light use
  • Button controls could be small for larger hands
  • No mention of being compatible in manual with Macintosh
  • Mike picks up other sound beside voice in recording
  • Effort to pull recorder apart
  • Battery not chargeable in unit

Recommend

  • I strongly recommend the The Olympus WS-100 Digital Voice Recorder
  • Offers excellent features.
  • Reusable 64 MB Memory
  • Can be down loaded to computer for later retrieval
  • Use ordinary common triple A battery
  • Price is right - good time of the year to buy
  • Big Bonus when on sale

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