* Prices may differ from that shown
Lets just say that when I bought this clock it never turned me into one of the cool kids and I thought it was a great idea, I have always had a clock of some kind next to my bed whether it be an alarm clock or just a simple clock, most days I do require an alarm to wake me up just in case I do over sleep and find I'm unemployed, but I think now days I just want one for the sake of having one and because I'm a fan of the futuristic programmes like star trek so seeing this clock instantaneously made me want it.
This day and age it is very hard to find an alarm clock that doesn't need an iPod or some kind of other device to operate it.
The Oregon Scientific Cube Projection clock weighs at 400 grams and measuring at 6cm x 8.5cm x 8.5cm, with this different design for a clock resembling a cube shape it adds a bulky look and feel to this unit, it has a smart lay out with no fiddly buttons to make it look ugly, it is all black in colour with a polish finish with a large LED screen at the front, it displays the time in big numbers and then you also have the day and date, the great thing with this device is there is a very sophisticated mechanism that allows the clock to pick up what the time, date and day Is from a satellite which means that when you turn on the clock it automatically displays the correct time/date/day without you having to fiddle with it (also when we jump forward or back an hour it will automatically change the time saving you the agro of you having to perform this function).
This clock can be powered with either a mains adapter or 2 x AAA batteries, but due to the fact that I never take it with me on my travels I have never used the batteries because there is nothing worse than half way through the night the batteries dying and I'm late for work (not fun), so there is no reason to use the batteries when I have a power outlet.
The clock flashes the time and an alarm icon onto your ceiling in red and there is a focusing knob in case it is a bit blurry, so that at night, that is the only thing that will catch your attention if you wake up, but at the same time it is not bright enough to wake you up, but the ironic thing is that although the light on the ceiling wont wake you up, the green LED light will wake you up if it is facing you, so you may have to turn it away.
The snooze button and the off button are in the most peculiar place for an alarm clock, underneath the alarm clock there are 2 buttons, 2 tiny buttons, one for snooze and one for off, why not have it on top for a more convenient one handed option, with this you need both your hands to pick it up and choose your preferred button, which means you need to be a little coherent to operate it ( or do what I did one morning and throw it at the wall...that will stop it)
There is also a calendar and a dual crescendo alarm with the all fiddly snooze.
The great thing is in the morning when you are woken up from a deep sleep there is no need to squint and squirm to try and focus on the clock screen, all you have to do is look up at the ceiling and look at it with ease.
Contents in box:
2 x AAA Batteries
You can buy this clock from Amazon for £24.99
It is an ok clock and is a great clock and the projection power and the little focus knob (genius) but just because of the positioning of the snooze and off button it knocks this product down a few pegs
This clock is ok, its not that great and if you want it to keep the time, date and day then this clock is the clock for you, but unless they sort out the 2 most awkward buttons in the world this will just be like a prototype or something, it's a shame really because this could have been a great piece of technology, with the technology for this clock being no less than 3 atomic clocks this time keeping device is as precise as Big Ben (and we know how good he is).
Imagine, if you will, that you are a product designer. You have been tasked on this particular occasion with designing a cool-looking alarm clock; it is going to be sleek, polished and generally a thing of awe for the clock-buying public to feast their eyes upon. Having come up with an attractive cube design in glossy black, added a projection function to it and got some techie sort to fit it with an accurate and self-updating time mechanism, you turn your attention to the last piece of the design. It is an alarm clock. It requires an alarm. How dull that you should have to consider such mundane things, especially given the potential of such a feature to ruin your aesthetic masterpiece! The alarm is clearly the last thing you come to given the importance of how the clock looks, but how to add it to your design without ruining all artistic merits? Do you:
a) Put a big friendly button on top of the alarm clock to make it very easy for freshly awoken consumers to turn their alarm off before the beeping drives them insane? Of course not! A big button on top would ruin the lines of it!
b) Put a big friendly button on the side or back of the alarm clock to make it relatively easy for freshly awoken consumers to turn their alarm off before the beeping drives them insane? Of course not! A big button on the side or back would ruin the lines of it!
c) Put the button that turns off the alarm underneath the alarm clock where no lines will be spoilt, and just for good measure make it as small as a full stop to make absolutely sure there is nothing to detract from the pleasure of looking at your masterpiece? Of course you do - all you care about is that the clock looks good enough to sell!
At least this seems to me how the Oregon RM383P Cube Projection Alarm Clock was created. I bought one recently after the cheap-as-chips Acctim alarm clock that I bought from Woolworths about seven years ago (and which DID have a big friendly button on top, making turning the thing off very easy at 6.30am) finally packed up. With Woolworths having gone much the same way as my old clock, I turned to the internet to help find its successor. Unfortunately, I found the process much harder than buying a new alarm clock really should be. Try it. If you don't want a radio alarm clock, CD alarm clock, IPod alarm clock or weather station alarm clock, you seem to have very little choice in timepieces at all. I personally don't want to wake up to music, and would rather look out of my window to see what the weather is like than pay an extortionate amount of money to be told what it should be like from the comfort of my bed, so that seriously narrowed my choices. I chose this one from the handful on offer simply because it looked nice (those dastardly designers!) and Other Half has an Oregon alarm clock and had always been happy with it. I paid £24.99 for it through Play.com in November 2009 (and am slightly annoyed to find the exact same site now has it for £19.99).
So what do you get for your money, then? Well, look at the item in the product category photo - it does look quite nice, although I should add that it is nowhere near as solid looking or feeling in real life as the photo implies. It is about the height of a mug (6 x 8.5 x 8.5 cm and 513g in weight if you are being picky) with a big, clear display showing time, date and day clearly. You set the time by simply turning the clock on - it has been programmed to receive and configure a time signal out of the ether (the MSF signal broadcast from the Anthorn transmitter in Cumbria if you must know) and within a couple of minutes of quietly thinking, produces the correct time and date. Great - no more fiddling with setting the time or manually dealing with time changes in the Spring and Autumn. This got me off to a good start with the RM383P.
It also offers both battery and plug-in power options, another thing I approve of, after having had alarm clock batteries fail on me in the night in the past (why do they NEVER go in the day?). Then there is the projection thingy (although this can only work off mains power). A projecting alarm clock is one of those things you can never imagine ever wanting or needing if you have not had one before, a bit like having a camera on your mobile phone (no, actually, I'm still wondering why I should ever want or need one of them). But try it out and you soon realise what a brilliantly simple thing it is. A projection clock projects the time in red onto the ceiling, and is all but invisible during the day - but at night, it means you can see the time easily from bed without fumbling around for your alarm clock, and yet isn't bright enough to disturb your sleep. Unlike some projection clocks, this one also projects an alarm symbol as well to reassure you that you have in fact turned the alarm function on (if you are anything like me, you often turn the light out, then turn it on again five minutes later to check you have actually set the alarm). This becomes even more important when you realise that plugging in the clock to protect yourself against nocturnal battery failure makes the screen glow bright green. Very bright green. So bright it CAN disturb your sleep, in fact, so I find I have to have it turned away from the bed at night, making the projector the only reasonable way to check the time during the hours of darkness. Naturally, providing a function to allow you to turn the irritatingly bright light on your bedside timepiece down or even (the thought of it!) off is something the designers didn't consider. They thought that you would like your own little night light glowing insanely bright just inches away from where you are trying to sleep.
But it is the alarm that really bugs me about this clock. While it offers some well thought out features - two fixed alarms (nominally for weekday and weekend alarm times) that you can have both on, both off or either on, and a nice clear symbol to reassure you that you did remember to turn the right one on - the design of it really bugs me. Why on earth, when woken at some horribly early hour, would I want to turn the alarm off by picking the clock up and fiddling underneath it for a tiny button? Why, for that matter, would I want an alarm clock that is so designed that picking it up to turn the alarm off means I have to hold it by the snooze button, making the alarm come on again when I am downstairs making breakfast? Why would I want an alarm clock that makes turning the alarm off so damn fiddly that I frequently drop it onto the floor whilst trying the find the well-concealed off button? Do designers know nothing about ergonomics in the alarm clock industry?
Ultimately I am left with an alarm clock that cost five times more than my previous one and works less well. For all the good features it has (radio controlled time setting, projection, nice looks), it is let down by the truly awful alarm function - rather a problem for something that has "alarm" as half of its functional title. After a month of use I am truly irritated by its poor design and I cannot see it lasting much longer with me. I suspect a new alarm clock will join my household in the post-Christmas sales. Perhaps a cheap one from Acctim.
Short name: Oregon RM383P