The fine folks over at American Innovative
have sent me their 7-alarms-in-one clock-radio/alarm clock, the Neverlate
, for review.
At first glance the Neverlate is a very stylish curved square with a knob on the top. The big feature of this $35 AC/DC clock is that it has a different alarm setting for each day of the week. The other thing that makes it special is the way you program it: the patent-pending knob on the top (and a ring around the knob) let you fly through time. By "fly through time" I mean that if you need to set a fast nap alarm or day alarm you can do that by setting the knob to the correct day and easily twirling the ring around to set the time, very much like using an iPod. Getting Started
The instructions for the Neverlate are delightfully short, two pages of warnings, three pages telling you how to use it, and one page of warranty info. Setting the time, date, snooze duration (how long the alarm stays off when you hit snooze), and wake preferences (radio/buzzer) could not be easier. Using the knob/ring combo (as described earlier) meant all I had to do was hold the "Setup" button, located on the top of the clock, for two seconds and then it walked me though everything.Setting Seven Different Alarms: Easy
Because of the knob/ring combo, setting an alarm for each day of the week is painless. The knob spins around so it can change the mode of the clock from "Run [alarms]" to "All Off" and it also selects the day of the week you are setting the alarm for. For example; to set the alarm settings for Monday you would select the "Mo" setting by pointing the knob at it, then you would use the ring to change the time.Radio Works?
The answer to the above question: Yes!!!! Comparing the sound quality of the Neverlate's built-in AM/FM radio to the sound quality of a boombox showed that it was able to pick up faint signals very easily and that strong signals were very sharp. The radio is controlled with two knobs on the front, right below the time. One of the knobs controls the volume, the other the tuning. Another nice feature allows you to set a sleep timer so that the radio turns itself off after a preset amount of time (perfect if you listen to the radio when you go to bed and you fall asleep before turning it off). If I could add one feature, I would add an RCA audio-input so that I could listen to my iPod over it.Basic Design
The clock has a squarish design with rounded corners and a nice big back-lit display that shines very bright when you are fiddling with it and a touch lighter when you are not. The display blends well with the overall look of the Neverlate. The display holds a lot of info in an organized manner: the time in a big bold manner, day of the week along the top, and the setting for the alarm (buzzer/radio, I don't know how useful that is). The top of the clock has 5 little buttons for setting the clock, sleep timer, nap timer, and it also has a button to turn the radio off/on and change between AM/FM. There is also a long-horizontal button along the top (closest to the front) that puts the clock into snooze and lets you review your next set alarm.Notes
Here are some fine points of this radio not worth devoting an entire paragraph to:
1. Battery Backup: Just as you need to back up your hard drive you need to back up you clock settings, especially when you have seven of them! This radio has a battery compartment where you can put two triple-A batteries. In the case of a power outage (or you decide to unplug the clock to move it) the settings are saved, although, you will need to plug it in again to use it.
2. Cool speaker system: the clock's speakers are under the unit. They work like Apple's iMac G5
speaker system: they bounce sound off the surface under it and into your ears. This system sounds good to me!Problems
Mostly this clock has worked flawlessly, but I have run into an issue:
2. Because there is not a lot of room around the tuning knob for the radio the printed tuning info for the radio has been condensed. This is a little bit of a issue. I think it would be a good idea for the clock to display the station you are on, while you are tuning the radio, instead of the time.Would I buy this clock?
$35 is just about on-par with a lot of other clock-radios on Amazon
, and none of those clocks have seven different alarms. I think it is a good buy and an especially good gift for a starving college student.
The Neverlate 7-day Alarm Clock is available direct from the manufacturer at www.americaninnovative.com
and is for sale at various retail locations across the country.