It's not always convenient to type ideas or notes on your laptop. Recording thoughts into a Dictaphone has long been the preferred solution. Sanyo's ICR-1000 (£229 inc. VAT) is a digital Dictaphone, giving you the ability to manipulate recordings, and send them via email at the touch of a button.

Recordings are stored on an SD card, so even if you record large amounts without a laptop nearby, it's simply a case of adding another card for more space. You'll find 256MB of memory supplied, which is enough for 35 hours of recording.

The ICR-1000 is a small device, weighing in at 85g. Sliding buttons allow recording and playback to be done with one hand. The unit saves recordings chronologically, making them easier to find at a later date. It's also possible to place recordings into different folders. An LCD screen displays their status, and enables you to fi nd fi les.

Recordings are transferred to laptop using USB. Labelled buttons make the MemoScriber software intuitive. Once you've moved recordings to your laptop, you can email the files, or save them to specific folders.

Playback is enhanced by the ability to change the speed of recordings, so it's easier to transcribe. You can add and delete sections of recordings, and overlay files on top of each other.

Other software flourishes include an automatic playback function. If you're interrupted and stop typing, playback stops automatically. Once you press a key, it begins again. We found it useful when putting our recordings into text, as it reduces the amount of time you need to spend rewinding files. While other ICR models are compatible with speech recognition software, the ICR-1000 is not.

Although not cheap, the ICR-1000 is a useful tool for those who constantly take notes. It's a lot quicker than typing, and the ability to send recordings via email may also prove invaluable.