Customer Review

292 of 340 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent unit for price, but has deal breaking flaw, January 25, 2008
This review is from: Sony ICF-C218 Clock Radio (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Unfortunately, I am not able to rate the Sony ICF-C218 as highly as my colleagues. Not that this clock radio doesn't have numerous good features. The radio got good reception and the sound was of better than average quality. The controls, as others have pointed out, are intuitive and easy to use even without ever resorting to the instructions. The alarm, as is common, can wake you up either with the radio or with a buzzer. The only missing feature that would have been nice would be a dual alarm, though for the price this lack cannot be complained of.

The problem with the unit, and it is a serious one, is the brightness of the display. Of the other two reviewers who've rated the ICF-C218 at three stars, curiously one complains that the display is too dim and the other that it is too bright. My experience agrees with the later. I didn't notice until I tried sleeping beside this unit, but once your eyes are accustomed to the darkness the nicely-sized display is simply far too bright. It casts shadows on my ceiling and was a distraction when trying to fall asleep; I was forced to angle it away from myself or face the opposite direction. This is simply inexcusably poor design in an alarm clock and is a deal breaker for me; I'm going to be returning my unit.

A more minor complaint would be the AM/PM indicator. Most clocks have a single light that is lit when it is post meridiem (or ante meridiem, depending on the model), but this one has two lights, one about 7 mm above the other, which indicate morning or afternoon. That's fine when the room is light and you can read the AM or PM text next to the two lights, but at night you'll simply have to remember which light is above the other one and how far each is from the top of the display. Not a big deal for most, but another small design flaw.

This isn't a bad clock for the price (Wal-Mart carries it for even less, $9.96) but the brightness issue makes it unusable for me. The addition of a dimmer switch, fixing the AM/PM indicator, and adding a second alarm setting would make this clock easily a five star item, even at a slightly higher price.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 11-20 of 38 posts in this discussion
Posted on Sep 22, 2010 8:53:27 AM PDT
monniewolf says:
Just an FYI, I just priced this clock at (exact model number) and it is priced at 35 bucks (crazy!) not $9.96. Granted this is a couple years later, but I am not sure why that would cause to price to jump so high.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2011 6:55:22 PM PST
M. Erb says:
@monica I just bought this at Walmart last week and paid slightly under $10.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2011 12:12:27 PM PST
. says:
LOL :)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2011 7:32:53 AM PDT
J. Maier says:
>>What moron sleeps with his eyes open<<


Posted on Nov 15, 2011 3:10:30 AM PST
Hippie Chick says:
This review confuses me. I happen to have this alarm clock and I have never had a problem with the display being too bright. I happen to know that it has to light up in order for me to see, but it's not like a neon light. This is a long review for a display issue. I was looking at these reviews because I wanted to buy another alarm clock exactly like it. Then I read this review.....I'm buying it because of my history with this clock.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2011 4:32:24 AM PST
J. Maier says:
Agreed. It's a $10 alarm clock for crying out loud! =)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2011 7:16:49 AM PST
Alex Chaney says:
It is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer sleeping in rooms that are near total darkness, others prefer night lights. I have a hard time going to sleep and prefer a less bright display so the next model up that has a dimmer control is more to my liking.

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 8:16:06 PM PST
P. Schaefer says:
It is an alarm clock, if you want a clock that lights the room at night or your bedroom is bright during the day you need a different clock.

Posted on Oct 26, 2012 8:12:04 AM PDT
J. Pawlowski says:
I find I fall asleep faster, & sleep better with my eyes closed. The other advantage of that is, you won't see any light.

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 5:55:21 AM PDT
Lew Troop says:
Very helpful down to where to buy it for a few cents less. However, I wouldn't buy anything at Walmart if you dragged me in by my tongue, gave it to me for one penny on the dollar, gift wrapped it and provided a limo both to and from their store. However, as I mentioned, this is the perfect example of a review in which there are both positives and negatives. Would that more reviews of household products were this lucid and well considered.

Now, for your own reading pleasure, drop by the book reviews and read only the 5 star reviews given to "Snooki" Paloozi's first work (sic), "A Shore Thing". It will take some while-time out to recover from laughter can be longer than one might think-but it repays the reader not as interested in the material covered, just as a good read or, to put it another way, snarkiness personified. PJ/ Lew Troop

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