The iHome iA63 is a clock radio with a twist--or more precisely, a clock radio that has a motorized rotating iPod/iPhone dock that allows you to turn your device from portrait to landscape mode for video watching with a touch of a button.
It's relatively light and compact, measuring 8 inches high, 6.7 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. Yes, it looks odd without a device docked in it (think mini satellite dish), but it actually looks kinda cool with your iPhone or iPod Touch charging. (Like all "Made for iPhone" products, the iA63 is GSM-shielded, so there should be no speaker interference while using your iPhone.)
The iHome iA63 has six radio presets (there's no AM, only FM) and lots of alarm functionality, thanks to the fact that it works with the iHome+Sleep application (it also works just fine with iHome+Radio app, which offers Internet radio--a possible workaround for AM reception--and all the other music service apps out there). A remote is included along with an auxiliary input for connecting other audio devices (cable not included). There's also a nice big snooze button on the top of the unit, and snooze time is programmable between 1 and 29 minutes.
Apps aside, the feature that's going to impress your friends the most is that rotating dock. The general idea is you leave your iA63 sitting on a nightstand. Then you lie on your side in bed with your head propped up on a pillow and watch something at close range.
We went with an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" using the HBO Go app. The screen is obviously is pretty small, but it worked well enough, and the sound was a night-and-day boost over what comes out of the iPhone's internal speakers. (Note: When you rotate your device, it doesn't always end up in a perfectly straight position, so you may end up having to manually adjust its angle a few degrees to the left or right. That may irritate some folks).
As you might expect from a unit this small, it's pretty light on the bass (read: it sounds thin). But the iA63 does sound decent for a clock radio and plays pretty loud. For casual listening it certainly does the trick. As we like to say, you can't expect the world from a $75 speaker.
The iHome iA63 caries a list price of $99 but can be found online for closer to $80. That's a pretty decent deal in our book. We can't vouch for how this will hold up in the long run--when there are moving parts involved, something is more apt to go wrong--but during the week we tested our review sample it worked just fine. Despite some minor reservations, we have no problem recommending the iHome iA63 to iPhone and iPod Touch owners who are looking for a very functional clock radio that also has a rotating iPod/iPhone dock for bedside video watching.