Product Type: Tesco portable radios
Newest Review: ... 5 years and I have been happy with it. It is only now that it has stopped working properly and that is only because the sound has gone... more
Cheap Clock just about does the Job.
Tesco Value CR-106 Clock Radio
Member Name: Novabug
Tesco Value CR-106 Clock Radio
Advantages: Clear LCD display, Very Cheap, Wakes me up. Easy to operate.
Disadvantages: Cheap plastics, Alarm could be louder, Radio rather poor.
I like to have my evenings at home, and being a bus driver this can be tricky to achieve with massively fluctuating shift patterns. Thankfully, I finally got put on permanent early shifts recently, and rising from my pit at 5am is now a daily thing. However, as I enjoy my evenings, I often don't bed down early enough, and thus need a little encouragement to wake up. I use the trusty combination of mobile phone and alarm clock, and since my last buzzing timepiece got taken apart by my daughters, I needed a cheap replacement, and they don't come much cheaper than this Value range clock radio from Tesco. Here are my thoughts on this unsurprising budget product.
--The Value of Time....--
Let me indulge into a little premise that you may be familiar with. You have an early start, and so make efforts to ensure you get up with ample time in the morning, but what happens? The alarm goes off, you hit the dreaded 'Snooze' button, several times usually, and wake up 15 minutes before you have to be at your destination! After the panic has subsided, you rush around like a maniac with bleary eyes and are still late for your work/flight/appointment etc etc. I try to counter this by having two alarms, one on my mobile phone and the other an alarm clock. Also, and this maybe up for a bit of debate, I like the alarm tone to be as ANNOYING as possible, helping the waking up process. I have a klaxon alarm on my phone, which just doesn't annoy me that much any more. The girlfriend doesn't agree with this. So, I needed a new alarm clock to partner my phone like a whining little brother, and when I bought this to replace my dull old battery powered mini clock, I was hoping for something workable, but irritating to hear!
Tesco have a rather extensive 'Value' range now, from electrical goods to clothes to foodstuffs, they tend for the low income well with hugely varying results. When I buy a product from this range, I expect nothing special, making myself prepared for poor quality in every aspect. If the product has redeeming qualities, then that's good enough for me. Cheap electrical goods normally fail to impress or at least not satisfy, so is this mains powered Alarm Clock Radio one of those instantly bin-able products? Let's find out.
--Cost and Packaging--
Having put myself on a strict budget recently, I was attracted to this exclusively by it's unbelievable low price. £5.97! It beggars belief that this can be sold at this price and make any kind of profit, but that's not my concern. I was just hoping that it worked and had a really annoying alarm, and maybe a half decent radio too. Available at most large Tesco stores and on-line, it's a commonly stocked product in the household aisle.
The packaging is basic as you would expect, daubed with the Tesco Value logo, it's a plain, white, thin cardboard box, with a simple image of the device on the front and back. No protective wrap is inside, it's just the clock and a small instruction leaflet. This could be an issue if dropped or thrown heavily into a shopping trolley, ergo breaking the contents. It's features are written on the box, and are helpfully translated into five other languages on the reverse. The cardboard is of course fully recyclable.
--Design and Performance--
Think of a flattened black blob of clay, and you could generally imagine the shape. It's a kind of semi-circle design, with it's loud speaker holes and control buttons on the top. The front face is of tinted plastic to display the red LED numbers and the rather old skool sliding radio gauge. Simple sliding switches on the sides provide further functions. It's not overly large, measuring in at approximately 12cm in width, 10cm in depth and 5cm in height, so can fit easily on your bedside unit or packed for travel. It's got a rather short power lead, at just over 2 thirds of a metre, and a short AM aerial cable. I would say that the quality of the plastics used in this are not good, they feel thin and far too lightweight for any hint of longevity. The build quality is also rather suspect, the front panel moves around slightly, the fit of the other parts is not that flush and true, and it just feels too delicate, and would think that a fall onto a hard surface would damage it quite quickly.
In operation, everything certainly seems to work as it is suppose to. The buttons respond adequately, better than more expensive alarm clocks I have owned, and the shape and size of said buttons in according to the product. Nice to see a large snooze button, which gives the usual 8 to 10 minutes of 'going to be late' time. Fit for purpose then, as this will get regularly and needlessly used! The side switches work well too, easy to operate, and again being a tad mis-fitting and clunky. The display is clearly the best feature of the clock, with large clear LED numbers that are fully readable at all, er, times. Setting the time, changing the alarm time and other features is simplicity itself, as it should be. Onto it's audible qualities, we have a double edged sword. The radio, for want of a better phase is poor to say the least. Distorted volume, dodgy reception and a fiddly control wheel makes for a somewhat pointless radio. I just found my most listened too AM station, and left it at that. The alarm, to my approval, is good in volume and very annoying! Some people may hate this, but like this as I have said, for me this is a good thing. The crappier tone of the sound, the more likely your are to want to get up. Just don't hit it with a fist however, as the plastics just won't tolerate it.
A few other things to mention are the fact that you cannot change the display from 24 hour clock to 12 hour clock, so if you are to buy this, make sure you know what 16.00 means outside of the military services. There is also a handy battery back up facility, which if you are a traveller is rather handy. It will keep your settings if you unplug it, something which I find is always a good thing.
If you pay £5.97 for an alarm clock radio, don't expect it to make a cup of tea for you whilst playing Barber's 'Adagio for Strings', and that's my take on this. Cheap plastics, shoddy but functional buttons, a poor radio but with a good bold clock display and an alarm that will help you to jump out of your slumber, this is not as bad as the price would suggest. It's got many faults of course, but it's not the worst looking clock you could have perched on your bedside, but more importantly, it does the job just well enough to justify scrimping on a few pounds for a better quality alarm clock radio. Not great by any means, but not totally bad for the small cost you pay.
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug
Summary: Low quality time, but at least it wakes you up.
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