This is my first portable recorder, purposefully tried not to expect too much as it's the lower end of the options. Haven't used any of the built in effects, so cannot comment on them. I purchased this as a way to capture foley sounds, and use as a general recorder.
Sometimes you're in a situation where you need to start recording unexpectedly and quickly. I've tried to get something on my phone set up, but was always frustrated by the quality, lack of space, and clunky way of getting up and running. The DR-05X is great in this situation, you can go from powered off to recording in around 4 seconds.
Device is still receiving firmware updates from Tascam, mine was shipped with an older version and wasn't expecting there to be anything but after logging on to Tascam site a new one had been released within the last month or two. As the system is pretty basic there were only minor tweaks, but even though it's not particularly old I appreciated that it was stil being thought about. The update process is very easy.
Size is great, fits in a pocket, bag just fine, and is a nice size to hold in the hand. I have no problem popping out somewhere, taking my keys, wallet and phone as usual, and the Tascam for a quick foley session.
Battery life has so far been great, came with a pair and haven't had to change them yet, even with the backlight on the display set to be permanantly on.
I record purely at 96/24 with no effects, pads, or limiting. So far everything has been better than expected. I was expecting there to be a slight dead zone in the stereo field in the center but this doesn't seem to be the case, and off-axis performance is also a lot better than expected, I feel a lot more confident in "setting and forgetting" rather than having to manouever the device to capture on the best axis. If you plan on using this for interviews, and worried about off-axis performance then you should be fine.
USB audio interface; I've not really examined the quality yet, but I had to use it in an emergency for a conference call - very quick to set up and the others on the call said I sounded great. This feature was so far down my list of "wants" when purchasing that I didn't care about it, but after having to use it in an emergency it's definitely something worth having! I don't know if it's possible, but being able to record to the SD card at the same time could make this a great tool for remote interviews
I wish there was a little more damping on the mic mounts internally, whenever you move your hands around the device it's gets picked up and amplified because of the houseing. Having said that, if you don't move your hands, put it on the table or use a mount, you're good.
I purchased a windshield to go with this from Amazon, but as soon as you put something over the mics, you also cover up the LED's at the top and potentially some of the display. This looks like it will happen for any shield not just mine, This isn't a huge problem if you're careful, but worth bearing in mind.
Don't expect anything from the speaker, I wasn't so I'm happy, but it's not too loud, and sounds horrific - if you just want to check something in a pinch it's nice to have, but that's it.
The casing around the USB port is sharp and horrible, and the battery cover feels like it could come off with a litttle rough handling, it hasn't yet, but I am definitely aware of it, which is a shame because the rest of casing feels OK.
Overall, I am more than happy with this recorder. If you need something to capture interviews or an entry level location recording device, this is great.