When venturing through the CES show floors around Vegas, you often come upon a lot more wasted potential than practical products. Over the years, we’ve found a few gems that stood out among the crowd.
One of them we missed last year was the Sandman Clock from Palo Alto Innovations (PAI.) Luckily for us, they reached out and sent us a unit to take for a spin. The Sandman Clock offers a simple design and four-port charging (including fast charging) below $50 for consumers.
Let’s look at what the Sandman Clock can do, my experiences with it, and whether you should consider ditching your power strip and use this functional clock instead.
Sandman Clock Review
Unboxing and Setting Up the Sandman Clock
The Sandman Clock arrived in a sleek, unassuming box that showcased what it was and what it did right away.
Opening the box was a breeze, the primary components were the clock itself and its power adapter. On top of the box were instructions on how the clock works in plain English. Setting up the Sandman Clock is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is plug-in the power adapter, plug that in and you’re ready to use the clock.
The only downfall out of the box of the Sandman Clock was the power adapter. It’s a power brick with takes up space but I assume is necessary to offer the charging functionality of the clock. With some careful cable management, using the power adapter was just fine for my setup in my bedroom.
Using the Sandman Clock
Once plugged in, the Sandman Clock has very basic controls to change the time, set the alarm, and turn the alarm on and off. You can set the time to 12 or 24-hour time, too. From there, it’s just a matter of placing it in the perfect place in your home and managing the cables connected to it.
The Sandman Clock has four USB charging ports on its back, including a fast-charging port for tablets.
I found it ridiculously easy to set the current time on the Sandman Clock and then set the alarm itself without needing to refer to the instructions again. When I first set the clock up, I worried the red numbers would be too bright at night – something that’s steered me away from other alarm clocks in the past. While the brightness can be adjusted, it also auto-brightens or darkens depending on the light in the room.
It’s been a while since I used a standard alarm clock instead of my phone to wake up in the morning. I was eager to see just how loud the alarm was, would it wake me, and how many times I’d hit snooze before rolling out of bed.
The first morning, the alarm startled me awake. It’s a deep beep that you might not be aware that it’s an alarm you’re hearing until you get used to it, but it woke me up. I can see for some it may not be loud enough to truly wake you up; for me, it was just fine once I got used to it.
I was pleasantly surprised by the charging capabilities of the Sandman Clock, including using it to charge my Samsung Galaxy S7 instead of the fast charging adapter that came with the phone. It performed well fast charging it, along with three over varying devices at one time when I put it through its paces.
The only issues I had with charging devices when I used the clock to charge my Kindle Fire tablet; I suspect this is more of an issue with my Kindle Fire than the Sandman Clock though as it seems to be finicky charging unless I use the charger that came with it from Amazon.
If you’re looking for a way to charge multiple devices at once with a sleek-looking alarm clock to boot, the Sandman Clock is an affordable alternative to using a standalone alarm clock or your phone, plus a power adapter with multiple chargers plugged in.
There’s nothing groundbreaking or life-changing about the Sandman Clock; it simply takes two things many people in the bedroom use daily, next to their bed and combines them into one, small package.
To learn more about the Sandman Clock, and check out its reviews click here.