Sandman Clock is a great bedside clock and charging station.
Ever since I left for college in the summer of 1999, I have used an alarm clock. I still have the same alarm clock that I used in college. This thing is old, it is clunky, the radio no longer works, the CD player (yes it is that old) no longer works, there is no MP3 input. It makes a crackling beeping noise to awaken me from sleep. Sometimes the radio alarm will work, but it is not reliable. The LED lights still work, mostly. It is time to send it to the alarm clock heaven in the sky. So long old friend, you have been good to me.
The Sandman clock arrives in white cardboard box with a single sticker of the product on the top. This is a pilot unit and retail packaging may be different. ON the sticker, you see the front, top, side and back of the device but not the bottom. Opening up the box, you must remove a thin piece of foam and you are immediately made aware of a very large 4 inch tall face of the alarm clock. Most of this is actually the LED display. Take this out of the package and beneath this is the power adaptor for the device. Interestingly, the prong that plugs into the clock has a metal cover that also doubles as a kickstand feature. This provides added support to the clock, to prevent tipping. One of the questions I had originally was, where are the instructions? I looked back through the black foam lining, the inside and outside of the box and eventually on their website. I could not find instructions. I will say though, the Sandman Clocks website is well made and has a rather nice FAQ section.
So, I plugged the power outlet prong into the back of the clock, slid the metal cover/kickstand over the prong and then I plugged the power into a surge protector. The LEDs illuminated immediately. I was impressed with the 1.8 inch tall numbers and the highly visible large red LED display. The casing of the clock is white, and has a really nice, clean, iDevice look/feel to it. It is sleek, it is modern and it is an awesome replacement to my last alarm clock. The device measures at 7 1/4 inches long, 4 inches tall and 4 inch deep. THe back of the clock has 4 USB A outlets. The one to the far left is a higher output port.
It was not immediately made available, but the instructions to the clock are on the bottom. I did not think that I would need them, but you cannot tell based on the front of the screen, if it is am/pm. Setting the clock is easy, setting the alarm (you only get 1 alarm) is easy. The problem is you cannot know if the dot in the upper left and lower right are am/pm or alarm set. There are only 4 buttons on the entire clock. I mean this thing is bare-bones, simplistic and straight forward. It has a + button a – button, which are self explanatory. Pushing these will adjust the current time. There is an Alarm on/off button as well as a very large white snooze button on the top. Holding the Alarm on/off button and pressing + or – will set the alarm time. To turn the alarm on/off touch the alarm on/off button. You can snooze by touching the easily accessible snooze button not the top of the device. You can also adjust the brightness of the clock, if desired, by holding the snooze button and pressing the + or – buttons. However, the Sandman does have auto adjust/brightness feature, through a built in light sensor. The LED display is noticeably brighter during daylight hours and darker at night. A red LED circle in the top left means alarm is on, a red LED in the bottom right means the time displayed is PM. This is true for the alarm and time as well.
There are 4 USB power ports on the back of the device. There is a port labeled with a lightening bolt, designed to charge tablets and laptops. The actual output specifications can be found under FAQ. The lightening bolt labeled port charges at either 1A or 2.1 A and the other 3 all charge at 1A output (How fast will the Sandman charge my devices?) Basically anything that can charge via USB is chargeable with this clock.
The company has designed a well-thought-out alarm clock. You can get this in either white or black. They have provided a few thoughtful features into this alarm clock. The feet of the clock have been lifted slightly, to allow for cable management. They have provided rubber feet, on the bottom, to prevent slipping/sliding of the device. They have doubled the power cord, yes a single cord, as a kickstand. They were aware that your nightstand, like mine, is cluttered with USB powered devices without ports. They used red, lower power, LED to display the time very well. This color does not seem to disrupt sleep or your night vision like white/blue light may. They have provided 4 USB charging ports, to allow you to charge whatever you need at your bedside. Want to see 24 hour time? The clock will allow you to do that. Simply hold the +, – buttons at the same time and it will convert to 24 hour mode. If you want brighter/darker LED, hold the snooze button and press the +, – buttons. There is a built in battery (unknown mAh). Time and alarm will not display without power. However, when power returns, your clock and alarm settings are maintained.
I will miss the radio/CD feature of my previous device. However, that was not the goal/scope of this device. The big downside that I can foresee is the sound. There is no way to turn up or down the sound of the clock. The sound of the alarm is not startling and reminds me of a car door dinging bell. This may not be loud enough for some. I sleep light so this did not matter to me.
It is now my bedside charging station and alarm. I really like the large LED and the sleek look on my bedside table.