The common-or-garden alarm clock has actually come a long way from being your average awakening tool nowadays, the annoying din of metal clanging against each other is a thing of the past. Your ears instead will be greeted by your fave ringtone, an MP3 file of your choosing, or for the connected model, what about an Internet list of radio stations with your favorite shock jock digitally playing tunes in your bedroom?
That’s what the Altaz Net Clock Radio offers, and I managed to spend some time with it. One thing I can say though if you’re ever going to get to work on time, it’s best not to change alarm clocks overnight like me, possibilities are, you might not even wake up to be on time for work, as your ears haven’t begun to be conditioned to the new sounds. Read on about the Altaz Net Clock Radio hands-on after the jump.
But I digress. Just how did I this new gadget in the bedroom? Well, it is tough to recommend it as a “must buy”, while it would make for a fascinating trinket to own. I would imagine if you know of any modern day luddites, getting this could be a method to warm up their toes to the consumer electronics revolution.
Seriously, your smartphone should be able to do what Altaz’s offering does with the right app, and much more, but if you’re the type who would rather leave particular functions for dedicated devices, then it may be worth your while.
With a 3.5″ touchscreen display at 320 x 240 resolution, it’s not going to win any awards for being the finest looking screen around, even though it does its job rather well. Other hardware specifications include MP3 playback capacity, an SD memory card slot, 128MB of built in memory, a mini USB input, a 1-watt speaker, a JPEG viewer and Wi-Fi connectivity to get you connected.
Audio quality is decent even though it isn’t recommended to sleep with this alarm clock too far from your bed, otherwise a pillow covering your head might just drown the sound out during those drowsy mornings, resulting in you missing an important appointment or perhaps worse, getting the sack for being late for the umpteenth time.
You will be able to utilize the touchscreen display to manipulate all of the settings inside, and sometimes the clock seems to hang but if you wait long enough (more than 5 minutes for me), the software didn’t freeze, it just took a, actually long time to sort things out, especially when you’re looking for particular radio stations.
Setting up an inventory of radio station presets is painless, and you can also decide to do it when the Altaz Web Clock Radio is attached to a computer via USB if you find the touchscreen a tiny bit tough to use.
In actual fact inputting characters through the touchscreen display was an intensely annoying experience for me no thanks to the virtual keyboard that appeared to be less than provoking. You would be better off hooking it up to a PC and getting the job finished through a real keyboard instead .
Setting up the Wi-Fi connection may also be quite the exasperating experience entering your WPA key incorrectly would require you to delete the whole string instead of the offending character, which should not occur in this present time.
Aside from that, there isn’t any option for you to view your password in simple text as you are entering it to forestall mistakes, so practice is the key here. Hopefully a future firmware update will fix these issues. On the bright side, firmware updates give the clock a longer shelf life in your home, don’t you think so?
Apart from the touchscreen display, there’s the play / pause button, volume control and power button at the side which are just about self-explanatory. A big sleep button at the top does its job well,
The alarm clock has two default audio files to get you out of bed a crowing rooster, and that of chirping birds. Naturally, you can always upload your own MP3 files to replace those, and for folks who like to wake up to a morning Web radio station talk show, you’re able to do that also.
I let the Altaz Net Clock Radio run for almost four hours straight, being attached to my fave Web radio station, and playing it back at 50% volume loudness. This is a good return, but I would recommend you simply leave it plugged into a power outlet.
The requested price of $99.99 makes it hard for me to commend it to anybody, but if your want to dip your toes into the arena of Web alarm clocks and digital photo frames, there could be better paths to begin. A bit too late to the game, I must say. Hopefully a future version (if ever) from Altaz will be well placed to address all of its issues and make good then, writes tagza.com.