When it comes to a unique selling point, the Intempo PP-01 just about takes the biscuit. How often do you get the opportunity to plaster your own digital photography onto an innocent DAB radio?
This DAB radio doubles as a glorified picture hook. For £15 it's possible to get its fabric cover replaced by one sporting your own digital picture. Just send off a high-resolution picture to MyBiggerPhoto.com, and a week later your personalised cover arrives. It's a service that works pretty well, though our picture shows the supplied cover.
Away from the novelty of digital photos, the Intempo PP-01 is a decent option for a specific user. As well as being easy to use, and just about as basic a DAB radio as we've reviewed, it also has some special features up its sleeve.
Key among them is the brilliant built-in battery. As you listen to the PP-01, the battery builds-up power and can then operate on the move for around 10hrs. That means that not only can you take the PP-01 into the kitchen, for example, but you can even leave it there for a couple of days. A gauge on the radio's two-line LCD screen lets you know how much juice is left.
Of course, the provision of that battery means there's no room for external batteries that could possible last longer. And that exclusion is partly down to the PP-01's slimness.
Measuring less than an inch across (even with the removable fascia pinned-on), the PP-01 is the tiniest unit on the block. It's propped up by a simple bar than folds nicely away.
The last of the PP-01's great features is its line input. That might sound initially dull, but it does mean that an iPod, a Walkman, or a laptop can be attached. The PP-01 is smaller than most portable speaker systems for iPods - none of which have DAB tuners! This brilliantly simple inclusion really enlarges the PP-01's audience beyond those attracted by the novelty of a radio with a loved one's ugly mug on it.
There are inevitably some drawbacks, and the chief offender is sound quality. Tinny, bereft of bass and very limited of range, you can forget enjoying music on the PP-01.
Harsh but true While voice radio is always clear on the unit's 2W NXT speakers, even this suffers from a harshness associated from the high treble levels. The situation is just as bad with FM reception and there's little that a listener can do about it.
While the radio itself is easy to operate, the aerial had to be fully extended in our test to ensure that reception didn't drop away or become blocky.
Although it's impressive on most counts, Intempo's PP-01 does fall at the final hurdle, but by then it's already won us over with its cute design and unusual versatility. We think that you'll agree, just as long as listening to music isn't your main priority in a digital radio, that is.