wake up: the RCA RP5500i mini review

For Christmas I got my DW this clock radio. But because the clock radio resides on my side of the bed, it’s like I bought it for myself. I know. Shameless. Anyway, after using it for a week I thought I’d share a little review. It’s the RCA RP5500i.

First of all, and most prominently, it handles the iPod. It docks the iPod in a little slide out cradle, and it charges it as well. It also features a USB connector, so you can also get mp3’s to play if they’re stored on a USB memory key. There are two alarm time settings, and four ways to wake up: Graduwake alarm (volume slowly increases), Radio, iPod, or USB key containing music files. There are shuffle and repeat buttons, as well as track skip buttons.

What I like about this unit is that it hasn’t forgotten what it’s main purpose is, an alarm clock. The time display is large and easily readable, and adjusts its position depending on whether the iPod is docked or not. It’s also a nice orange colour, reminds me of the monitor of my old Apple II clone. It has a “Nap” feature which lets you select 10, 20, 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes after which time the alarm goes off. That’s neat. The radio tuner is analog, but it uses the large LED display to show you the frequency you’re tuning into. Very smart.

Minor quibble, and I only have one: the blue LED light under the iPod stays lit whenever the iPod is inserted, and blinks if the cradle is open but no iPod is present. This is annoying, and the light is bright. Very bright. So it’s not great for iPod listening to go to sleep. I plan on putting tape over the light.

So far, it’s been doing its job: waking me up.

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