First Look: Olympus W-10 Digital Voice Recorder

Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor,

Olympus America introduced its W-10, a digital voice recorder with a 0.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor that captures VGA quality images, so users can reference and organize their digital voice recordings visually using pictures.

Lightweight and compact, the miniature W-10 is designed to let users make instantaneous audio/visual recordings and create “slide shows.” Made for students, journalists, creative professionals, business users, general consumers and more, the W-10 digital voice recorder connects to PCs USB interface to upload and download WAV audio and JPEG image files to and from personal computers.

The W-10’s 16MB of built-in flash memory may provide ample recording time for any kind of lecture, meeting, family event, and personal use-up to 3 hours in long play mode stored in two voice folders (100 messages each), and up to 250 images stored in one image folder. Its variable control voice actuator (VCVA) may ensure that recording begins only when sound is sensed to maximize use of recording time and conserve battery power.

The Olympus W-10 features “Voice Album” software to manage voice and images, so aligning sound recordings with the right images should be fast and easy. Users have two choices: they can either capture a VGA image and then attach its corresponding voice file using “Visual Indexes” that pop up during playback. Or they can insert a WAV digital audio recording over the appropriate VGA image for reference to create a “Voice Album.”

The W-10’s compact dimensions combine all digital voice recorder and camera components into a small, streamlined package measuring only 4.7″ x 1.16″ x 0.7″, and weighing only 2.4 ounces, and it’s small enough to slide into a shirt pocket.

Recordings and images may be edited, moved between folders, and have additional sections inserted into them at any point via the software. The W-10 uses standard JPEG image and WAVE audio formats that may be shared over the Internet. A USB cable is provided for high-speed downloading to a PC. A special jogwheel and visual display should allow for thumb-pad navigation for greater ease of operation.

The W-10 will be available in November 2002 at a street price of approximately $99. The W-10 comes equipped with a USB cable, voice album software on CD-ROM, earphones, hand-strap, soft case and 2 AAA batteries. For more information, visit the Olympus web site at

Suggested Retail Price: $119.99
Estimated Street Price: $99.99

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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