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Revo Domino D3 review

Verdict:

A good-quality machine for Internet radio and iPod playing; not suited to the myopic, however.

Review Date: 18 Jan 2010

Price when reviewed: (

Reviewed By: Giles Turnbull

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

The Revo Domino D3 is a lovely DAB and iPod dock, with particular emphasis on web connectivity. It combines DAB, FM, Internet radio, local file streaming and iPod dock features with something new: direct connectivity to a last.fm account.

The gently curved rubberised exterior gives it a classy finish, although the black model we reviewed showed up fingerprints in certain light conditions. The box looks solid, but weighs very little. The five-way joystick is a pleasure to use, but sometimes needs a firm push to select a menu option. We got better at this with a little practice, though.

The D3 is compact and it will be easy to find a space for it in most kitchens and bedrooms. The layout is contemporary and easy to take in, with an OLED display on one side, a speaker on the other and the primary controls in the centre. Four more buttons for controlling a docked iPod sit on the top.Thanks to the supplied remote control, you're unlikely to need to use these buttons much anyway. The remote itself is sleek and slim, and doesn't feel cluttered despite being home to 28 separate buttons.

The sound generated by the D3 is good and a lot fuller than you might expect from such a small radio.

Integration with last.fm is a nice idea. It's free for one month, after which you'll need to pay a £3 per month subscription fee to use the service, which isn't bad value if you've invested a lot of time creating your last.fm playlists over the years. Even without a last.fm account, you can register your D3 with an online radio portal, which makes it easier to create lists of preferred Internet radio stations. With so many global stations to choose from, this is a good idea for saving time when scrolling through what are otherwise very long lists.

There's just one flaw with the D3: the text on the built-in display is tiny and there's no way of adjusting its size. We were struggling to read it from just a few feet away. This meant we kept picking up the remote control and taking a few steps forward, just so that we could see the on-screen feedback, which rather ruins the idea of having a remote.

Granted, this isn't a huge problem, but it places limits on where you might wish to keep your radio. As a bedside unit, it will still be fine, because you'll always be close enough to see it. Placed in your office or kitchen, it might start to annoy if you can't read what's on the display from just a few feet away. This is the only drawback on what's otherwise a smashing little DAB/dock.

The D3 automatically checks for software updates and can download them over its wifi connection. We were pleased to see that the software update process is entirely automatic and just requires an OK from the user, much like updates in Mac OS X.

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