May 17, 2007 Sony's gorgeous PCM-D1 recorder allows effortless capture of stereo recordings with surprising spatial detail, thanks to its two built-in condenser microphones in an XY configuration. If you need to capture audio on the move, you'd be hard pressed to find a more exquisite tool than this.

The internal 4GB of flash memory provides around two hours of recording at 24 bit/96 kHz, or twelve hours at 16 bit/22 khz. This can be expanded with the internal Memory Stick Pro slot, and fairly cheaply - with 4GB Memory Sticks down around the US$150 mark. If you're the sort that doesn't leave home without a laptop, just plug in the USB cable and the PCM-D1 will show up as an external drive on your computer.

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There's no skimping on quality inside, with Analog Devices AD797 pre-amps, and a design that sees power delivered to the analog and digital components separately to prevent interference.

The PCM-D1 is powered by four AA batteries, and will last about four hours on a full charge. Four rechargable NiMH batteries and a charger are included.

Despite all the functionality crammed into the beautifully designed Titanium shell, it weighs just 525 grams with batteries - and it's absolutely certain to make an impact when you place it on a desk for an interview.

The Sony PCM-D1 is available now.

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