Pure has a highly enviable history of creating cracking little DAB radios. The British company has been churning them out for years now and has lead the way for design and ease of use the whole time. More recently its ventured further afield with iPod docks and internet radios, with mixed success. The Pure Contour 100Di, however, sees the company getting things spot on once again.
We like the styling of the Contour 100Di. The squashed hemisphere is finished in black cloth on the front and black plastic on the back with a strip of silver-painted plastic bisecting them. Inset into this strip are the controls, while the front houses a screen and the flip out iPod dock. The look is smart and simple, with a clear appreciation of how to make something look and feel good despite the use of less then premium materials – the metal, wood and glass of £200-£300 docks aren't present here, with plastic used throughout.
Round the back is a proper telescopic aerial that extends to around 1125px, and folds away into a plastic clip when not needed. Below it are the various connections. On the right is the power socket, a headphone jack, line input jack for plugging in an alternative sound source, and miniUSB port that's for service purposes (applying firmware upgrades and such) – you shouldn't need ever use this. Above this lot is the bass port for the speaker.
Turning our attention to the front, it houses the aforementioned screen and iPod dock, above which is a small rubber nubbin which is used to support your iDevices when plugged into the dock. This does mess with the look of the device a little, breaking up the seamless expanse of the black cloth, but it's not all that noticeable in day to day use.
The dock itself is a work of some ingenuity. Push in the the area marked by the raised dots and the dock folds away into the chassis, leaving a plain silver plate. Press the dots again and the dock flips open. Sadly the mechanism only opens automatically with a simple tap, whereas closing it requires you to push the whole mechanism back inside manually to hide it. It's a bit awkward to do, so we suspect few people will actually bother ever hiding it away once deployed for the first time, but at least the option's there.
An even nicer touch is that the docking area is wide enough that iPads can be docked, along with all current iPods and iPhones (bar the iPod shuffle), without the need for dock adapters – all the devices are supported by that little rubber nubbin. The dock is rather dwarfed by an iPad but it's held reasonably secure.
Below the dock sits the monochrome (yellow on black) LCD display, which features seven 14-segment characters and a number of feature specific logos such as the source and signal strength. It's not the best display we've seen, nor even the best Pure display we've seen, with contrast dropping dramatically when viewed from an angle. In fact, it does fail our pillow test wherein we found it couldn't be read when on a bedside table with us resting head-on-pillow. It's not a disaster, as you should be able to angle the device to better see the display (or sit up to check the time), but it's a shame you have to. At least the characters are just about large enough to read from across a large room.