Digital Photo Frame Shopping Guide
Last updated on 01/18/2013
Need a last minute gift? Try a digital photo frame. It's not a hot-ticket item like it was last year or the year before, but it'll still put a smile on Mom's face.
By TJ Donegan
A digital frame the rarest of gifts, a sentimental gadget. You can load it up with pictures of you and your friends and family. And since the frames haven't been flying off the shelves this year, they're available at substantial discounts.
Here are three frames that could be the perfect last-minute gift for someone sentimental in your life.
Kodak Pulse 7-Inch Wi-Fi Enabled Touchscreen Frame
The Kodak Pulse is a phenomenal gift for those of us who have close relatives that live in another part of the country or who we simply don't get to see often enough. The frame has a built-in wireless adapter, allowing it to download new photos automatically from different social media websites or directly through an e-mail address assigned to the frame when you register it online.
The frame is a responsive touch screen that is both quick and intuitive, so setup is a breeze. Simply go through the frame's wireless LAN setup and register the frame online with Kodak so that anyone can e-mail photos directly to it from anywhere in the world. Kodak does allow you to control which e-mails can send pictures to the frame, but it can also grab photos from Facebook and Kodak's own photo-sharing website, Kodak Gallery.
The downloads are snappy enough that you could take a photo on Christmas morning in Boston and send it to a relative's frame in Seattle before the sun even comes up.
In addition to its wireless capability, the Kodak Pulse will still accept photos from media cards or USB sticks. It features 512 MB of built-in storage, but it resizes all photos down to fit its 800x600 pixel screen – that's up to 4,000 pictures.
Pandigital PAN7000DW 7-Inch Frame
Pandigital is one of the most reliable makers of digital photo frames on the market. Their interfaces are generally intuitive and easy to use and the PAN7000DW is no exception. It does all the little things well, and packs a few worthwhile extras too.
The PAN7000DW sports a 7-inch LCD screen with 1 GB of internal memory, good for a little over 6000 images. It's a fairly typical operation but does allow for playback of .AVI movies as well as .MP3s, allowing for slideshows to be accompanied by music.
It also features a nice alarm clock feature and can even be paired with a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth adapter (about $25 at Amazon.com) that will give it more wireless functionality so you can transfer files directly to it across a network or from a phone by Bluetooth.
Hewlett-Packard DF1103A1 11.3-Inch Digital Frame
While many digital photo frames on the market seem to come in your choice of black, black and more black frames, HP actually broadens the color palette. This particular model has a thick, red “mahogany” frame. The screen is much larger than the other ones above but it's still packed with features.
It features all the basic features you would expect from a solid digital photo frame: audio playback, 800x600 resolution, auto-resizing of photos, and an easy-to-use menu system. It packs a massive 2GB of internal storage and there are also some nice extras like a programmable on-and-off timer. It can also play back Motion JPEG, Xvid and MPEG files, giving the HP DF1010B3 a little more versatility than most frames in the video department.