Roberts SolarDAB review

Perhaps the perfect out-and-about radio – but if you can live without solar power you can buy the same sound for less Tested at £80.00

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Our Verdict

Perhaps the perfect out-and-about radio, but if you can live without solar power you can buy the same sound for less

For

  • Good looks and solid build
  • solar power genuinely works
  • built-in battery so you can use it on cloudy days
  • very decent sound

Against

  • Solar power feature comes at a price

Between the credit crunch and global warming, we've got a fair amount to worry about these days. However, Roberts wants to put your mind a little at ease on both counts with its solar-powered, affordable solarDAB.

The concept is very simple: the fairly pretty and solid case contains a NiMH battery pack that can be charged using the mains or the power of the big yellow thing in the sky.

There's an easy-to-read bar on the display, which indicates how much useful sunlight the solarDAB is receiving – if it's less than half-full you're simply extending the battery's 27 hour life, more than half and you can run the radio without the battery, and if it's full you can play the radio at a higher volume while also charging the battery.

A sunny sound, too
The extra good news is that it actually sounds pretty good, too. Talkie stations like Radio 5 Live are recreated with plenty of detail and clarity, while music from XFM is rhythmic and exciting.

There's a headphone output for when you want to listen in peace, and if you get bored of the radio, you can also plug an MP3 player into the socket on the back.

The only problem for the solarDAB is the extra cost the solar power feature adds – Pure's One Mini sounds as good as this, but for £30 less.

Still, if you're prepared to pay a little extra for extended battery life and a feeling that you've made a tiny step towards saving the world, this Roberts is an excellent choice.

Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.glendimplex.com
Brand NameRoberts
Product TypeRadio Tuner
ManufacturerGlen Dimplex Group
Manufacturer Part NumberSOLARDAB2
Product NameRoberts SolarDAB
Product ModelsolarDAB

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • solarDAB Radio Tuner
  • Battery
  • AC Adaptor
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Environmental CertificationWEEE

Physical Characteristics

Width20.2 cm
Depth7 cm
Weight Approximate623 g
Height14 cm
Dimensions14 cm (H): 20.2 cm (W): 7 cm (D)

Technical Information

TunerRotary
Frequency Band-Bandwidth87.50 MHz to 108 MHz FM, 174.93 MHz to 239.20 MHz Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB)

Battery Information

Number of Batteries3
Battery SizeAA

Display and Graphics

Display Screen TypeLCD

Interfaces-Ports

USBYes

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year