Power outages aren't fun. You could be sitting on the couch and all of a sudden, the lights go off. Next thing you know, you're cooking beans on a mini gas stove and getting shampoo in your eye because you're showering by candlelight. Even worse, your cell phone battery could run out when you need to make a call to emergency personnel. Or maybe you're just bored out of your mind during this blackout and you really want to play Draw Something.
Fortunately, there are a number of self-powered chargers on the market, and the Slive-88 is one of them. Not only is it a $69.99 splash-proof AM/FM radio with an LED flashlight and an alarm, but it also includes a USB port to charge your phone. That way, if the power is out and it's the zombie apocalypse, at least you can power up your phone long enough to call your mother and tell her that you love her.
Editors' note: After we obtained this production unit, Slive Direct informed us that the Slive-88 will no longer be available in the United States for now because of a manufacturing deal with Toshiba. Slive is considering plans to it sell it here in the near future. So if there's a zombie apocalypse in the U.S. anytime soon, you're out of luck.
The Slive-88 is 5.83 inches long by 3.35 inches tall by 1.57 inches thick. It's also quite light, at about 13.4 ounces. I have particularly small hands, and the device was easy to handle and maneuver. Because of its relatively petite frame, it's easy to toss in a camping backpack and carry around.
On the left side of the radio, there's a toggle switch to turn the alarm siren on and off. Above that is the small LED flashlight.
On the top left is the toggle switch for the flashlight. You can turn it on, off, or switch it to auto. On the right is the AM/FM switch for the radio. Behind these two switches is the antenna, which extends up to a foot and can collapse and lay neatly alongside the top with a small attached clip. Next to the antenna, on the top right of the device, are two small holes that you can loop a small handle through.
To the left of the Slive-88 are two circular dials for radio tuning and volume. Rotating the volume dial all the way down will shut the radio off. To the right of the volume dial is the USB port/cell phone charger. Below that are ports for a 3.5mm headphone and the AC adapter. Both the phone charger outlet and the two other ports are covered by an attached rubber door.
On the front of the device, there is an output speaker for audio. To the right of that is a vertical radio dial, where you can see what station you're tuned in to. Above that are the tuning light and a small battery indicator.
On the back, near the bottom left, is the battery compartment, which holds three AAA batteries. To the right of that, sealed with a small screw, is the rechargeable 1,500mAh 4.8-volt battery. Above these is the manual crank handle that tucks in neatly into the rear of the device. When you pop it out to power its charge, you can see the battery switch. Here is where you can decide to power the device using its internal battery, which can be charged by the AC adapter, or the crank. To do so, toggle the switch to the right under the label "NI-MH battery." If you want to use your AAA batteries, switch the tab to the left, indicated by the "dry battery" label.
The Slive-88 is splash-proof, meaning it can withstand a few droplets of water. It cannot, however, be submerged in water or be exposed to a moist environment (like a bathroom with the shower running) for an extended period of time.