Wed, 11 Aug 2010 Diva review
A curious and novel hybrid of the reading lamp and the iPod dock
- Manufacturer: Rotaliana
- Pros: Good light; smart, space-age looks
- Cons: iPod dock gets in the way of the lamp; construction of the controls is weak; sounds like a travel speaker
- Price: £299
- Star rating:
Resembling a space age teepee, the Rotaliana Diva is a speaker system for your Apple gadget that incorporates a reading lamp. Press a button at the bottom of the unit and one of the eight aluminium panels that make up the shape of the unit extends to reveal a light. When fully extended, the lamp arm sits at a right angle to the main unit, and emits a decent glow from its LED light.
The octagonal Diva has a 3W speaker on every second panel on its upright design. Push a drawer underneath the lamp and the 30-pin iPod and iPhone dock extends. An infrared remote control governs all the unit’s functions.
The design makes the Diva look great, but the slick futuristic look is compromised slightly by a bright red, old-fashioned digital clock on the front of the iPod dock.
In terms of ergonomics, too, the Diva has a few quirks. The buttons that run around the bottom of the unit are plastic, and the one that’s meant to release the lamp panel worked only occasionally on our two test models. The lamp extends from the same panel on which your iPod docks. The problem here is that if you want to extend the lamp while you’re listening to music, you’ll have to remove your iPod before you can operate the reading light.
The unit offers a number of inputs (USB and auxiliary 3.5mm) and an FM radio. It also has a 3.5mm output that lets you hook it up to some better speakers. The built-in speakers sound quite thin, with minimal stereo separation. It would do for bedside listening, but you’ll want much better sounds in the lounge.
Ultimately, the Diva is a curious and novel hybrid of the reading lamp and the iPod dock. It could work, but the implementation makes it a bit of a hassle to use – you really need to have the lamp on a separate panel to the dock so you can use them independently.