PURE Digital has long been seen as one of the leaders in the DAB market, and with the PocketDAB 1000 they've certainly produced something that looks good enough to stand side-by-side with its housebound models.
For £130, this stylish silver number promises the choice of dozens of radio stations all the way from your front door to the office (unless you use the Underground, but then there's no pleasing some people). With claims of as much as 30 hours of battery life, extremely easy-to-use features, and a clear, well-lit display, it's something everyone can use.
Like so many manufacturers at the moment, PURE have obviously spent some time admiring Apple's design aesthetic: the PocketDAB1000 is distinctly reminiscent of the PowerBook, with its simple brushed metal effect and minimalist styling. Perhaps surprisingly then, it's not as compact as you might expect: at 65 by 110 by 23mm it works out as one of the biggest units on the market, and it's certainly chunkier than your average iPod.
The controls are neatly and sensibly laid out, with the most important functions all given their own silver buttons. There's a central d-pad to navigate with and control the volume. Finally, there's a power button and a lock at the top to stop your house keys accidentally deafening you as they share your pocket.
The headphones double up as the aerial, giving the benefit of a huge antenna without any extra clutter, and the ones supplied are genuinely comfortable to use. There are just two inputs to the unit, one on the right for the headphones, and one on the left for the mains adapter.
As for weight, at 160g the unit feels well built and reassuringly dense without seeming heavy, although much of that is probably down to the three AA batteries needed to power it, which are placed in the back under an easy-to-remove hatch.
Getting up and running couldn't be simpler -- just two minutes after ripping off the cellophane wrapper we were scrolling through the list of stations wondering which one to listen to.
With batteries included, all that was needed was to pop them in the back, plug in the headphones, press the power button, and (after a pretty speedy start-up), cycle through the pre-tuned stations with the control pad. If you don't think you're being shown all the available channels, the 'Autotune UK' feature in the menu only takes a couple of seconds, and updates the list with everything in the area.
Once you've decided which channels you prefer, the PocketDAB 1000 has 10 presets so that you can avoid wading through the myriad stations in search of your favourites. If you've ever tuned in a car stereo, you'll have no problem here. A couple of clicks of the preset button are enough to store a station as a favourite, and changing them once they're set is equally easy.