Sony ICFC180 AM/FM Clock Radio: Electronics
It's odd that my first recommendation would be of a clock radio. They've always been so utilitarian to me. Though it's still a clock radio, the great functional design of this one has made me forget about any of my aesthetic hangups. It's brilliant. Certainly no manual needed. You don't have to do things like holding down one button to adjust the alarm. Instead, the dual alarms are controlled by the knobs on either end. Push the button on the front and the alarm is armed. Push again and it's dis-armed. The tactile knob twists forward or backward for quickly setting your time. Each little 'click' sets it a minute forward or backward. Turn and hold it and the numbers advance (or reverse) faster. If the orange light is on, you know the alarm is set. One night the power went out, but my alarm still woke me up. I didn't know how it happened. I realized two things, the time can be automatically set by the atomic clock and it has an internal lithium ion battery for backup - how great is that. Other perfectly designed features include the ability to adjust the clock for daylight savings with one push of a button, weekend mode, in fact all controls are simple one push of a clearly labeled button. When I come to think of it, I kind of dig the green and orange LCD display. Yeah, this clock radio is even growing on me aesthetically.