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U.K. digital radio bridges retro with future

Roberts Radio's latest DAB radio looks like an old portable transistor model but certainly doesn't act like one.

Mike Yamamoto Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.
Mike Yamamoto
Roberts Radio

Talk about deja vu. Witnessing the evolution of DAB products in Europe is like watching a PBS documentary on a history of the analog radio. Some of today's digital versions are starting to look like the first portable AM/FM radios of the '60s.

At first glance the MP-Sound 41 from U.K.-based Roberts Radio looked like a shiny silver Sony transistor from the days of yore. Until you see the digital screen on top, that is, which is used for something unimaginable back then: an electronic programming guide that can schedule the recording of a show up to a week ahead of time, according to Pocket-lint. In fact, it can record up to 12 of them at a time and store up to 8 hours on an SD card.

All of which sounds very nifty, but there's one feature that leaves us cold--a "clock function with up to 12 alarms." That's the last thing we need.