So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Revo Heritage Deluxe digital radio
A retro-styled DAB and FM radio that can also serve as an iPod dock and Internet radio.
- Great audio quality and nice design
- Controls are bothersome and fiddly
The Revo Heritage Deluxe Table radio isn't so much a retro device as a really huge one. We've nothing against oversized dimensions or, indeed, its audio quality, but would have appreciated larger, less fiddly controls.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
The Revo Heritage Deluxe is a distinctive retro-looking DAB table radio with built-in Wi-Fi and the ability to play podcasts and Internet radio. It can also act as an iPod dock. The 70s-styled device is bigger and more expensive than we think it needs to be and its controls are not as intuitive to use as some Wi-Fi radios we've tried.
In standby mode, the Revo Heritage displays the date and time. This is replaced by details of the radio station; or the track, album and artist you're listening to, if you're playing music from an iPod or iPhone. Other MP3 players work too, as does a USB memory stick containing music.
A sturdy plastic cover sits over the iPod dock on the top of the Revo Heritage when there's no Apple player actually docked. We did find the gentlest of knocks to the table on which the radio was placed resulted in the connection to the iPod being momentarily being lost, so you lose both sound and charging of the Pod. You wouldn't want to rely on the Revo Heritage at a party.
We did like the option to ‘prune invalid' radio stations so you don't end up trying to tune in to stations that are off-air.
The Revo Heritage suffers a little unease-of-use problem, from the four-way navigation paddle on the front used to access many of the functions. You must press it in to accept a selection, such as a radio station choice or a podcast you want to hear.
Unfortunately, we found we were just as apt to find we'd de-selected an option using this same method — very frustrating if you've just spent a minute or two carefully entering a long password for your Wi-Fi network or Last.fm subscription.
Even after we thought we'd successfully entered our login credentials, the password box cleared and we were forced to enter the same information all over again.
Nor could we work out why the buttons to switch between playback modes, change the alarm settings and toggle screens to access more information about the current DAB station were so small and fiddly.
The overall device is huge with a vast display that takes up two-fifths of the front of the player. The buttons to control it, meanwhile, are minute and absolutely dwarfed by the screen and the speaker.
The five single-function preset buttons that sit underneath the speaker are easy enough to use, but we found those that you use for more than one task just too small. Making them larger seems so obvious we can't understand why Revo Heritage didn't do so.
The volume control, on the other hand, is a beautifully-designed notched rubber-clad metal dial that's very large and responsive. It sits within a circular aluminium recess on the right-hand side of the Revo Heritage DAB Radio and has a pleasing clicky response as you spin it to raise volume.
With headphones on, we found playback at level five or six was about right for our headphones. Through the single mono speaker, the sound of the Revo Heritage was clear and reasonably rich with no rattling or distortion wheh played up to good volume levels. The maximum of ‘20’ was just too much for the speaker, though, with DAB radio stations noticeably distorted.
We weren't totally convinced by the rubber finish on the top of the radio. It looks good when you get it out of the box, but it's a real dust magnet, so unless you're as obsessive as Agy and Kim, you'll soon find its smart black top looking as though it needs a scrub.
Ethernet and USB connections, plus left and right audio and video connections are provided round the back — you could plug in a screen and make use of the Revo Heritage's speaker to boost the sound from a small TV display, for example.
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