Portable audio recorders are useful tools for capturing live music or lectures, and creating podcasts. Unfortunately, the best-sounding recorders tend to be bulky, and they can get pretty complicated.
The Yamaha Pocketrak CX ($299) is a powerful handheld audio recorder that keeps things simple. The little recorder fits in your shirt pocket, runs off a single AA battery, and keeps confusing buttons and settings to a minimum.
Of course, simplicity doesn't come without sacrifice. If you're the type who wants to record bird calls with a phantom-powered boom mic and sophisticated onboard compression, this isn't the right product for you (stay tuned for my review of the Zoom H4N, though). This is for the guy who wants to make a high-quality recording of his acoustic guitar, or a band rehearsal, and just wants to hit one button to make it all work.
To find out more, read my full write-up (including a video demonstration and audio samples) over at CNET Reviews.