Moving on, the solarDAB's display is clear enough and of a decent size, although we felt the scrolling information was a little jittery, probably a consequence of the radio being set up to save power wherever possible.
A useful feature - and not often seen on a product at this price point - is the appearance on the display during station searches not only of the current station but also the next one in sequence. The solarDAB can store your ten favourite stations - they are locked in by pressing the preset button, tuning to the station required and then pushing the tuning/select button.
This doesn't sound like a particularly awkward operation, but it does feel a little like that. It would've been easier to just press and hold the preset button when the radio is tuned to the desired station as is the norm with most radios.
The solarDAB is available in five different flavours
There is also the welcome addition of line-in socket for MP3 gadget playback and a headphone port.
In general, the radio’s wedge design provides a good, solid platform, so the unit can cope with uneven surfaces when used outdoors. The rubber sides lock the radio into the palm when you're searching for stations or making other adjustments.
There's no FM tuner and this has to count against the product by limiting where it can be used. However, price points are at play here and the addition of FM may have been sacrificed in concentrating on the unit’s power profile.
Roberts says that the launch of the solarDAB comes just ahead of new EU legislation that will require the UK to start recycling up to 25 per cent of all batteries from 26 September 2008. Currently, the UK recycles a pretty pathetic two per cent of the 30,000 tonnes of portable batteries disposed of each year, the remainder largely ending up in landfill.
The solarDAB does use batteries - handy for when the sun don't shine - but they're rechargeable and kept fed by the radio's top-mounted solar panel.
Great for the bathroom
I bought this to put in the bathroom. My current battery operated radio is ok until the batteries start to get low, when it strays from the channel - annoying if you're in the bath, The great thing about dab is that you get a spot on channel or no channel at all.
Pity it looks like it was designed for someone that thought it was FisherPrice ? Tomy?
Detachable like a Security Radio "Rubber Duck"! Why not retractable. Stupid.
If it's for the outdoors, is there a shoulder strap? (Too big for a belt clip). Is it shower proof?
Solar power a lot of the time for a bedside / kitchen / indoor radio makes not much sense.
Poor Ergonomics and Package Design.
Stick a solar panel using foam sticky pads on a non-Solar one.
There are better value, better styled radios. Roberts used to do nice solid table top radios. But this isn't one of them.
I'd go for one with MP3, SD card Recording, DRM (the Radio system, not the Rights) and DAB with Analogue. Amazinly Alba does one.
Do they own Roberts now as Marque to sell higher priced stuff?
I've just put it on on my Genus DAB radio that's plugged in to the line-in on my PC. The birdsong channel is called 'Birdsong'. There's a pigeon on there at the moment. Where's my 12-bore?
Paris, 'cos she can chirp in my ear any time she likes...
DAB+ Consumes More Power
It'll be a while before this radio is firmware upgradeable; the DAB+ chips consume more power than DAB by quite a margin.
Could be useful ...
... when the oil runs out and the electricity stops. A week next Wednesday?