x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Tivoli iPal radio

Object of desire I've never been totally gadgophobic - I'm too enamoured of what some gadgets do for that - but the aesthetics have always been an issue.

AD200910708149920AR
AD200910708149920AR

I've never been totally gadgophobic - I'm too enamoured of what some gadgets do for that - but the aesthetics have always been an issue (with the honourable exception of anything Apple). It's vital, of course, that gadgets do as they say and do it very well. But - black and brutish, metallic monster, or just plain clunky - why do the denizens of geekville make machines so ugly? Is it a refusal to accept that brains and beauty can go together? A fear that a functional item might actually complement its surroundings rather than just impose itself? Is it just a bloke thing?

As far as music-making gadgets are concerned, I no longer care. Not since I found the drop-dead cute iPal radio which, being made by that highly respected company, Tivoli Audio, combines pretty with performance. Pretty not necessarily in a sweet and girly way - unless you go for the powder-pink model - but funky-pretty, bold-pretty (as well as this Hockney-swimming-pool turquoise and mad tangerine, it comes in Kermit green, raspberry red? and boring old white) and retro-pretty (not a digital anything to be seen on its face, just good old-fashioned dials).

Speaking of digital, there's the rub: it's not DAB capable. But, since digital broadcasting is still a long way off in our part of the world, I will forgive it. Especially since the sound quality is Tivoli-terrific - whether it's in radio mode or hooked up to my iPod. Everything else about this cutie is terrific too, especially the fact that it's portable: a battery charge lasts for about 15 hours; the rubberised sheathing - similar to the material that Hermès used for its Jelly Kelly bags - is bump-resistant, dust-resistant, damp-resistant and who knows what other resistants.

So, having made my kitchen look fab while doing its breakfast duty, it can head out to the pool or beach, then come home for a barbecue on the terrace (sounding great all the while). Just give me one in every colour. Please. * Priced at Dh895 from The Shelter, 318 Road off Umm Suqeim Street, Al Quoz, Dubai; 04 434 5655; www.shelter.ae