Review: Philips AJL308 Clock Radio

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So this is a clock radio. Not very exciting, right? It plays music, tells the time, and kind of sits on your bedside table waiting to be hit every morning at about 6:30. But wait… what’s that? A 7-inch TFT LCD? A USB port? SD slot? This is no ordinary clock radio!

The AJL308 is actually a photo frame masquerading as a clock radio. It has a very attractive screen and supports Windows Media and MP3 files and can display pictures and video in full, beautiful color. Seriously. It’s a really nice screen.

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In terms of usability, the AJL308 is a dream. There is a bar of buttons along the bottom for clock, tuner, photos and videos, music, and sleep timers. Then, inside each menu, you have directional buttons and an OK button. There are three buttons on top for alarms and snooze/brightness and that’s it. The onscreen prompts are quite simple — scroll to a setting and hit OK, then change the setting — and scrolling through images and video is self-explanatory. You can set your favorite tunes to wake you in the morning or wake – or fall asleep – to birdsong, waterfalls, and waves.

Now for the bad news: it’s really big. It’s about 3 inches deep and 10 inches wide and might look a bit large on an end table. The large black face and bright screen complenent each other quite nicely but if you’re the type to stack books and other detritus on your end table, this might get in the way. As I said, however, it is very well designed and very attractive so it might make a welcome addition to your high-tech bedroom.

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