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Roberts WM-201 Wi-Fi internet radio

Internet radio goes mainstream

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Review For a manufacturer of radios like Roberts to produce a Wi-Fi-enabled device shows just how far internet radio has come. About 6000 stations are now available, and radios are becoming increasingly adept at presenting this vast selection in an easy-to-access way.

As soon as the product comes out of the box you get the feeling that it's well made and robust. It isn't going to win any beauty competitions - some might even go as far as to say it has something of the appearance of a breeze block - but it's been designed to blend in rather than stand out with its black-gloss cabinet and grille-dominated front.

Roberts WM-201 Wi-Fi internet radio and media player

Roberts' WM-201: block-like but still stylish

The WM-201's screen does look a little small at first, but in use actually provides all the information you need in a very readable way. The brightness of the screen can be adjusted to match the amount of ambient light.

The product has a good level of useful connections, including an Ethernet cable - not all homes have Wi-Fi. There's also a line-in for playback direct from personal digital players, as well as a line-out so the unit can act as part of a much beefier Hi-Fi set-up.

Still, it's primarily designed to take advantage of the convenience of Wi-Fi, and it does this pretty well. Armed with your WEP or WPA code, the box can be configured quite simply - although we did take a bit of time working out the navigation system accessed via the unit’s central knob. However, once we had got the hang of this, the quoted range of 10-20 metres was accurate, and its signal strength was robust.

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