goVox Digital Recorder Review

Product Requirements:
Palm III, IIIe, IIIx, IIIxe, IIIc, IBM WorkPad c5
or TRGpro

It’s time to bring up a product that has been available for a while, but that you may have not yet tried.

I’ve been looking at the goVox Digital Recorder by I-Vox since it came out last year. I just never thought that I’d really use something like this, so I couldn’t justify spending the money.

One reason that I didn’t really think I would use this thing was that it reminded me too much of watching shows where some self-absorbed idiot is caught constantly saying, “Note to self…” while talking into his portable voice recorder. It just looked laughable.

Well, one day when I was driving and needed to write a memo, I realized (as I was trying to drive and write), that perhaps that wasn’t the smartest thing I had ever attempted to do. Never mind the fact that I wasn’t really looking at the road, it was mainly that I wasn’t even able to see the screen on my Palm IIIc – which as we all know is notorious for poor visibility outside. “So, note to self…it’s time to reconsider my position on this subject!”

That was when I started to think that maybe a voice recorder wasn’t such a bad idea.

As I said, I knew that Landware had a digital voice recorder flip cover replacement for the Palm III, but I was afraid that like many III accessories it wasn’t going to fit my IIIc, due to its extra length. Well, it does fit. A little differently than it does for the III, however, it’s not bad.

We’ll talk about looks first; then we’ll get into the goVox’s functions.

The first thing that you will notice is that it is gray, which means that it perfectly matches the Palm III. As you are aware, however, the IIIc is black, so there is a difference in color from the lid to the IIIc. It is obvious that you have added something, but it doesn’t look hideous or anything like that. 🙂

For comparison’s sake, on the left we have a Palm III and on the right a IIIc, both with the goVox cover installed:

Notice that the Palm III’s face is covered to the bottom of the case, while on the IIIc there is an uncovered area of almost 1/2″.

The bottom of the IIIc’s scroll button is just slightly lower than the bottom of the goVox. Approximately 1/10 of an inch of this scroll button shows at the bottom, which you can hardly even see in the picture, much less real life. There is certainly not enough showing that would allow this button to be pressed – not that this would turn your Palm on, if it were.

From the side, you can see that the goVox is a bit thicker than the regular Palm IIIc lid. The top of goVox that houses the speaker adds about 3-4mm thickness over the stock flip cover. The bottom part is just about the same as the standard lid.

The top photo is of the stock flip cover, and on the bottom, the goVox:

You might be wondering if installing this “feature-added” lid is going to increase the weight of your Palm. Well, the answer is yes.

The goVox weighs 1.7 ounces (with the included batteries).

For comparison’s sake, the Palm III weighs 5.7 ounces. The combination of the goVox with the III is 7.4 ounces, of which the goVox is 23%.

The Palm IIIc weighs 6.8 ounces. The goVox with the IIIc is 8.5 ounces, of which the goVox is 20%.

You will notice a weight and thickness difference if you are switching from the stock flip cover to the goVox. However, if you usually carry your Palm in a case, you will most likely not notice the difference, since your Palm III is now once again a stand-alone item – unless you happen to have a case that is large enough to accept both.
One item that I would like to point out is that although the goVox is heavy, it did not swing freely when I picked up my Palm IIIc. Instead, it stayed tightly closed, which I feel is a definite “PLUS”.

Here are pictures of the goVox installed and open on both the III and the IIIc:

You’ll notice that in both instances, you still have the same range of motion that you would have had with the standard flip cover.

Now, it’s time to explain the functions of the goVox:

In the upper right hand corner of the front side, you will find a speaker, and slightly lower on the left, a microphone. This is one of those microphones that you don’t need to be right on top of when speaking. It actually sounds better if you back off a little bit, and talk normally. The speaker is quite audible and clear when you are in a quiet room; however, there is no way to adjust the volume should you need to.

On the far right is the “Record” button. You press it once, and a light will begin flashing, letting you know that you are safe to commence speaking. The instructions said that there would be an accompanying “beep”, however, mine doesn’t do that.

When you are done recording, you push the “Record” button again, and the light will stop flashing.
You can then press the “Play” button to hear your message.

When multiple messages have been recorded, you will hear the last recording made being played. You can pause your message by hitting “Play”, and resume by hitting “Play” again.

Deleting a message is easy – once it has been played, you simply hit the “Delete” button, and you will hear a tone, letting you know that the memo is now gone.

You can skip through your recorded messages while the goVox is turned on, which is done by hitting the “Play” button, yet again, and then either the “Forward” or “Reverse” buttons.

As you are skipping through the messages, and as the memos are being passed, you will hear a series of beeps. That is your only way to reference that a message has come and gone.

This is one of the things I think that Landware could improve upon with the goVox. Beeps blipping by do not
give you an accurate way to tell where the message you need ‘right away’ happens to be, if you happen to be toting a large amount of messages.

Since the goVox is capable of handling either up to 99 messages, or up to eight minutes of recording, this could be a potential problem.

I tend to only record one or two items at a time, and then erase them once I have transferred them to my Palm, so this really wasn’t a problem for me. But, I can see where this might be a potential problem for someone else.

On the inside of the flip lid, you will find a handy Graffiti alphabet reference sticker, along with a sticker telling you Landware’s web site address and (I assume) their technical support number, which is (201) 261-7944.

As you can see, this is also where you will access the batteries for the goVox. It uses two CR 2032 Li-Mn 3 volts, which are supposed to last for up to three months, with normal use.

So is the goVox right for you? Well, it could be.

If you don’t want to carry yet another piece of equipment, in this case a portable recorder, it just might be.

If you are like me, and feel that you have to enter a memo at the exact moment you think of it – then you should do the entire world a favor and make it safer by getting one of these. I am not going to say that it is a perfect product – it is however, a sound solution to a potential safety hazard, and definitely a true convenience. 🙂

Price: $54.95

Replaces stock flip cover

Cannot adjust volume
Cannot reference messages with more than a beep
Adds additional weight to your Palm


Product Information

  • Convenient
  • Replaces stock flip cover
  • Cannot adjust volume
  • Cannot reference messages with more than a beep
  • Adds additional weight to your Palm

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