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Roberts Ecologic 1 portable DAB radio

A darn good little tuner

A green light indicator flashes while the batteries are being charged and then shows a steady light when the process is completed. The same light also turns red as the batteries near the need for a recharge. Roberts reckons the radio will run for 25 hours when used with disposable batteries for four hours a day. We found this was in the right ballpark, and although there's no quoted figure for the rechargeable option, we found it to be only a little bit less than alkaline batteries managed.

If we wanted to be really critical, we could say that a compact portable radio whose power output is quoted at 0.5W is hardly going to make a vast difference to your carbon footprint. If you want to make a real difference in that area, buy a bicycle or insulate your loft.

-Roberts Ecologic 1 portable DAB radio

The control array is well laid out, accessible and clearly labelled

Still, we can hardly blame the radio for that. What the company has done is make some effort to make its products more efficient and as batteries are a problem in this area, it has to be applauded for that. However, the crucial point about the Ecologic 1 is that regardless of all the green issues it's actually a bloody good little portable radio.

The radio is functional in appearance with a nod to the portable radios that could be spotted in many a school playground in the 1970s. It's also very well put together, a really tough little radio built to stand the knocks and drops that a portable radio is bound to experience. Its black or white gloss finish adds to an overall pleasing appearance, and the controls are well laid out and labelled.

Even before you turn the radio on, you know what all the controls are and what they do.

The aerial is a very good size for a radio this compact - it's 160 x 105 x 35mm and weighs 365g. One criticism is that the recessed area where the antenna lives when stowed means that the aerial can really only rotate 180° rather than a more useful 360°. Still, the radio doesn't struggle to find stations.

Next page: Verdict

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