So, I had one of those cheap plastic travel alarm clocks that you get in the poundshop that bounce when you drop them but the setting buttons began to bruise and bend and eventually snapped off. A replacement was required. After trawling the poumdshops for another one (I’m a cheapskate) I decided to get one off Amazon. They have a decent range and the Balance model was under a fiver (with postage) and so job done. It arrived pretty quickly and the smartphone alarm was no longer required.
So it’s a very light metallic grey square that clam folds like a compact but designed so you can bend the lid against half the hinge to use it as an L-Shape stand type portable clock. If you bend it too far it will probably break. It sits nicely although if you are half awake and feel for it in the dark in the morning it will go flying. It’s durable in the way like metal alloy things can be so won’t be breaking like the cheap plastic ones any day soon. It will fit nice and snug in a travel bag. The battery is flat one the size and thickness of a 10p but if you slide it out on the little draw it will cut the power and you have to reset the clock, which I have just done.
Features wise it’s an LED display with decent digits if you are of the blurry age at that range. It also has the date and the day of the week in smaller digit below. A bonus here is it also has a digital thermometer reading and a cute little thermometer graphic. I love the weather so happy with that. The big problem is it doesn’t have a back light or any sort of illumination so you will need to get used to working out where the off button is on the back. It will certainly wake you up. There is only one alarm option and it’s a seasonal Christmas ditty.
Setting the clock requires some level of intellect (find the man of the house) as it’s quite fiddly and there were no instructions with my package and box. There are five buttons on the back that have multiple functions. That type of deal. It took a little bit of messing around to set it up. You know what women are like setting videos and anything that involves instructions.
Anyway, everything is there and in working order and a nice little light and flexible travel alarm clock you can get at a decent price on Amazon. Its under a two week guarantee on Amazon marketplace too.
~ Super tester~
As someone who spends an average of no more than three nights a week at home, it's fair to say that a travel alarm clock has always been an essential for me rather than a travel 'nice to have'. I've had many different travel alarm clocks over the years but the one that's really stood the test of time is my Acctim Atom travel alarm which I was surprised to find already listed on dooyoo. Surprised because I'd like to replace mine but so far have struggled to find another.
You may ask yourself why I need to replace it if it's such a great clock and the answer is simple but sad. After many years of faithful service, my poor old clock took a nose dive off a bedside table onto a hard tiled hotel floor and ended up with its guts hanging out - but remarkably still telling the right time. It has been 'repaired' by my husband (if you can call wrapping it in stickt tape a 'repair' - normally he'd have got out the silicone gun) and it's still doing pretty well but I think it would be kinder to put it into semi-retirement and give it a permanent bedside place and a less traumatically travel-intense life.
~ Past alarm clock failures and why this one is different~
There are many reasons why I've had so many alarm clocks. Many were abandoned when their tricky little batteries ran out and were going to cost more to replace than simply buying a new clock - shame on me and our throwaway society. A couple more were simply left behind when I left hotel rooms without due care and attention. And some never made it into my suitcase because they were just too stupidly complicated to set and were consigned to the charity shop bag. A final few were just not very likeable - often failing to win favour by not having snooze buttons.
The success of this one is based on several points. Firstly it's a good size - it's just over 7 cm by 7 cm when it's closed and it is 2 cm thick. It slips into the inside pocket of my suitcase without making a bulge. The front cover keeps the screen covered in transit and then folds back to become the stand when the clock is in use. It's big enough to see it clearly and to not be tempted to leave it behind. Secondly it's sturdy - right up to the point when my flailing arm sent it diving to the floor. Thirdly - and quite importantly - it uses only a normal every day AA battery - nothing fancy, nothing expensive and nothing you have to take to a professional to get if fitted. Finally - and most importantly - it's really easy to use. And since I'm either nearly asleep when I set it or totally asleep when it goes off, I don't want an alarm clock that takes the Krypton factor to set it.
~ Ready, SET, Go ~
The clock has a large screen with big bold easy to read numbers. It also has three buttons - two smaller, one larger - and a sliding button. That's the total of moving parts. The two smaller buttons set the hour and minutes and if the slide is set to the bottom function 'TIME SET' then twiddling with those buttons will allow you to set the time. Slide the button up a notch to 'ALM SET' and the same two buttons will set the time you want the alarm to go off. The third setting for the slide is 'SNOOZE' and this - somewhat counter-intuitively - turns the alarm on. The fourth setting of 'ALM OFF' means the alarm is not surprisingly off. You can tell when the alarm is set because the letters 'Zz' appear in the middle of the top of the screen and a symbol with four concentric quarter circles (signifying a noise or a speaker) appears in the upper left corner of the screen.
If you've been paying attention you may have spotted that I missed the big button and this is marked 'LIGHT & ALM STOP' because it works the light and it stops the alarm. When you wake up in the dark and want to know what time it is, pushing the button lights the digital screen and shows you the time. When the alarm starts beeping at some ungodly hour, pushing this button will set it to snooze.
I am the queen of the snooze button and previous alarms have bitten the dust for daring to not have snooze facilities. I can snooze until an early start turns into nearly late, happily cat napping away the minutes between the alarm kicking in again and again. Surprisingly, I didn't actually know what the duration between snooze alarms is despite using this for many years. I've had to do a quick snooze test to confirm that the time between alarms is 4 minutes. If I recall correctly, after an hour it gets annoyed with its lazy-bum owner and stops beeping, perhaps assuming I've left the house and forgotten it.
The alarm is a not too aggressive beeping sound. It starts slowly and the longer you ignore it, the more irate it becomes, the faster and more insistent the beeping gets and eventually it's an almost continuous noise. My tendency to repeatedly use the snooze button often means that I get out of bed, forget I've left the snooze on and then remember when I'm in the bathroom and have to run back and turn it off. I am a light sleeper and I don't need a loud alarm but my husband could sleep through the end of the world and he has sometimes missed this one. I cannot rule out of course that he's heard it and chosen not to respond, thus leaving me to run back from the loo in a bit of a frenzy.
From memory I would not have paid more than £6-8 for this clock and I change the battery about once a year when the display starts to fade. It has long been something I don't leave home without although with the advent of reliable smart phones, I would have to admit that it's not a drama these days if I forget to pack my clock and I'm actually starting to leave it at home more often than not as my phone offers me more flexibility with alarms. Ever since I had to start taking medication first thing in the morning, an hour before I eat, I've found it easier when travelling to set an early alarm to wake me for my tablets and then a couple of later ones to actually get me out of bed. I suspect that like so many other useful items, the travel alarm will be one more electrical item to eventually become obsolete and be replaced by a mobile phone function.
Being field based a lot of the time and travelling up and down the country it is essential for me to have a good reliable travel alarm clock to make sure I am not up late for my meetings. I bought Acctim Atom Travel Alarm clock a good few years ago now before I had my Blackberry with its super loud alarm clock. The clock was a very modest price of about £9.99 at the time I think and it has more than paid for itself.
The Atom is very compact and easy to use, ideal for me as I keep it in the front compartment of my travel bag so I never forget it. The clock in the picture here is black but I have the silver version, but is exactly the same clock with all of the same functions. The clock is fold away and has a good size LCD screen showing the time and indicating whether or not the alarm is switched on. This is a very basic and simple mode, but is very good value for money. It has very few functions which makes it easy to use when you first get it and need to set up the alarm.
The clock takes 1 AA battery and this powers it for a very long time. The alarm itself is a very good volume and always woke me up. I am very reluctant to use the hotel wake calls or the alarm on the TV's as I have slept through these a few times the morning after a few too many Shandy's at the hotel bar the night before. The alarm has the obvious snooze button, which I must admit comes into play more often than not.
The clock is getting on a bit now but still does the job; for me it has been superseded by the alarm on my Blackberry but I do always set it up as I back in case either alarm does fail to wake me up or I have had a particularly heavy night in the bar. I would say this is an excellent, durable alarm for anybody who travels.
I always like to take a small alarm clock with me whenever I go on holiday as I don't wear a watch so need something like this to wake me up in the mornings or just to find out the time.
I've had this Acctim Atom travel alarm clock for absolutely ages and it's the perfect thing to take on your travels with you. I've actually had it for so many years now I can't even remember when I got it, but it still works brilliantly.
It's a small compact clock with a black plastic covering which can be folded flat for when you're moving around. It's really small and lightweight so it is perfect for carrying around and won't get in your way at all.
It has quite a large LCD display screen so you can see what the time is very easily and there's also an AM/PM indicator. For seeing the time at night, there is a button on the front of the clock which you just press and the screen lights up with its backlit display. The button for the light is the same button you use to stop the alarm and it's the biggest button on the clock which makes it easy to find in the dark or when you're half asleep.
This clock is so easy to use and has only a few settings which are the only ones you really need on an alarm clock. You can set the time, set the alarm, put the alarm on snooze or turn the alarm off. These four settings are all done with a small tab that you just click up or down to whichever setting you want. To change the hours and minutes you just use the two small round buttons on the front of the clock.
The alarm sound starts off quietly and gradually gets louder and it makes a typical irritating alarm sound, but it always works in getting me up and this is all I want it to do. It takes 1 AA battery which makes it very easy to change when it runs out.
This is such a simple alarm clock to use and it's always worked brilliantly for me. It's small and compact which makes it perfect to use for travelling and holidays and does everything I need it to.