by Gregg Ellman
It measures the indoor temperature and _ more important in my mind _ the outdoor temperature with the included remote sensor. You also get humidity levels and a weather forecast with icons for sunny, cloudy, rain, etc.
The modern-looking 7-inch LCD shows the time (re-sets for daylight savings), date and even changes colors with changes in the outdoor temperature.
Included is an AC adapter for power; the remote sensor is powered by two AAA batteries. An alarm with the ever popular snooze feature is built-in.
I found the temperature readings to be accurate with the sensor and on the only day in my few days of testing with a significant weather change, the display told me it was raining and sure enough when I looked outside the raindrops were falling.
www.oregonscientific.com $99.99 available in white or gray
Electrohome’s AC powered retro alarm clock is another cool and functional nightstand accessory. Obviously with the title it has a retro look, almost exactly like the wind up alarm clock I had as a kid, except this one isn’t an ugly green.
There are no moving and ticketing hands like my old clock. Instead there’s an LCD with dual alarms, which is handy for waking up multiple people or on different days of the week.
Daylight savings time is also accurately detected to go forward or backwards, depending on the time of year.
It has a battery backup and 20 radio presets (10 AM, 10 FM) for listening or waking up to.
When the alarm goes off (sounds or radio) a motion sensor lets you wave your hand to activate the snooze and the sunrise lamps. The top-sided lights gradually brighten starting a half hour before the alarm rattles your brain. Or you can do the old fashioned way of hitting a snooze button on the top.
If you’re like me, the sunrise lamps won’t have an effect since I can sleep with a flashlight directly in my eyes, but my wife wants the room dark for shuteye so this will be effective to get her going.
If you don’t want the wakeup light, you can disable it.
The sensor also acts as a night light. Just wave your hand over it during the night to get the light on and so the same to turn it off.
There’s also a nap timer, sleep timer and displays for time, indoor temperature and date.
Everything is controlled by six front facing buttons, including settings and volume. I read the instructions once to see that each button did, just to be sure, but it’s pretty easy to figure out without the manual.
A CR2032 coin cell battery fits in the bottom in the event the power goes out.
The compact design (3.5-by-0.2-by-2.1-inches) lets you carry it in your pocket or wallet to easily give a smartphone or tablet an emergency boost.
You won’t even need a cable to connect it to Lightning or microUSB devices since the cable is built-in.
With 1,500 mAh of power, you won’t be able to give your device a full charge, but it will easily give you a needed boost of power when you’re desperate.
www.plusus.com $49.95 microUSB, $64.95 for Lightning, both available in cooper or silver.