Roberts ecologic 6 DAB clock radio

Technology might be pushing us ever forward with new innovations, but that doesn't mean we should leave behind all that is old. That's probably the thinking behind the Roberts ecologic 6 DAB radio as it sports the latest cutting edge innovation in radio with a traditional analogue clock face.

You get a smallish clock radio that measures around 6-inches in height giving you the time and letting you listen to music in bed. Vintage. On the front you get a large, easy to read, traditional analogue clock face, while the top, angled towards you at a 45 degree incline enough buttons to sync a battleship (do you mean sink? - Ed).

Taking centre stage of the button console is a triangular snooze button while volume, tuning, dimmer, alarm, preset, band and select buttons fill the rest of the space. Above this, crammed into the small space, is a two-line LCD screen that gives you the time in digital form in case you aren't clever enough to read the analogue face, and of course the station selection and relevant information to what you are listening to.

Around the back you'll find the speaker, an aux in so you can connect an MP3 player, a headphone socket and the power socket as you can't run it on batteries.

It's probably here that we should cover off the eco credentials of the ecologic 6. Aimed at the green set, Roberts says it will only suck 10 watts of power so is therefore one to consider if you want to save the planet. Testing it on our home electricity monitoring system, we can confirm that it does only add a trickle, but there are better ways of saving electricity - like using a wind-up clock.

Getting past the eco credentials, setting up the clock radio couldn't be simpler. Plug it in and the clock automatically sets itself to the right time, while the DAB radio gets started tuning itself in to the channels available to you.

One thing to bear in mind is the lack of a fixed aerial rod. Instead you get a wire one that you've got to dangle somewhere. The Pocket-lint Ascot offices aren't in a particularly strong DAB area and so we weren't able to pick up the plethora of channels available over DAB. The Roberts ecologic 6 got most channels, but not all, and it's something that you should be aware of.

Once set up, the radio functionality is very easy to use, presets can be allocated (up to 20) and if the DAB isn't as strong in your area as you might of hoped there is always FM to fall back on.

With the main focus being a clock radio, the alarm offering is very good. Four independent alarms can be set at any one time with a range of different settings; Once, Daily, Weekdays and Weekends with the option of waking up to the DAB, FM or a buzzer option. The buzzer is more of a beep (think "this vehicle is reversing") that isn't as loud as we would perhaps like, but it will still wake you up. There is also a dimmer light with four settings so you can see the clock in the dark, however no single "light button" for a quick peek in the middle of the night.

Verdict

The Roberts ecologic 6 DAB/FM digital clock radio does what it says on the tin and is incredibly easy to set-up.

The clock is clear to read, even half dazed, however, the button layout on the top of the unit is just too cluttered for our liking. The snooze button could be bigger and the array of buttons less.

I'm not sure about you, but when I reach out to spank the alarm in the morning I don't want my hand to end up changing the channel, turning on the light or pressing something else. Do you?

Good, but could be better.