“ Brand: Alba / Size: 7 inch / Type: Digital photo frame „
This digital photo frame from ALBA isn't the cheapest on the market but it isn't the most expensive either. I got mine in Argos for less than £30
The thing I liked about this one over others was the fact that the actual frame surrounding the screen was nice and thin. Most of these digital picture frames have a chunky black border around the screen. Seeing that the screen size itself was only 7 inches, having almost no frame makes the screen and in turn the pictures look bigger.
It has a 16:10 screen ratio. This means all photos are displayed wide screen mode. So it's important to adjust the photos on your computer before saving them on to the memory card or USB stick as you want the picture to fill the screen. There is no internal memory in this frame. And there are no memory cards or USB sticks supplied with It. So it's a nice thought to buy one or the other if you are giving this as a gift.
It has some basic features such as slide shows (this means you can have lots of photos displayed one at a time for an allotted amount of time, instead of just the one photo)
There is also a rotate option (this can be used when the picture is displayed incorrectly on the screen)
And a pause option if you see a photo you would like to display for longer.
The body of the frame is black plastic and the screen is soft to the touch, not glass. With a bright adjustable picture and a screen resolution of 450 x 234.
The only thing I don't like about this frame is the fact that you have an ugly black cord hanging from it. So if you can hide the wire behind something it will look much better.
Mains adaptor is included. And the overall size is H18, W11.6, D2.6cm. And the weight is 800g.
As I said at the beginning this isn't the most expensive, so it isn't the best available.
But it does a good job and it does make a thoughtful gift for a loved one.
Following a severe stroke a couple of years ago, my elderly mother is now living in a residential care home because the stroke has left her so badly disabled she's unable to care for herself. She can understand simple sentences but can't speak and neither can she read anymore because the part of the brain that deals with communication is destroyed. So she spends most of her day just watching TV, although it's hard to assess just how much of it she's actually taking in. A sad existence for a once bright and active old girl.
Because of her condition, buying presents for her is incredibly difficult. Books are out and there is a limit to how many pashminas one old lady can use. So for her latest birthday, I decided to buy her a digital photo frame and load it with a selection of family pictures.
As I wasn't sure how well the present would go down, I didn't want to spend a huge amount so plumped for the Alba PF-A730 which was on sale at Argos for £28.59 and had received favourable reviews from others who'd bought it. I also bought a Sandisk 4GB memory card to use with the frame which cost an additional £8.49.
The Photo Frame:
The 7 inch black plastic frame, which is remarkably lightweight, comes with an integrated stand, mains adaptor cable and full instructions for operation and is compatible with memory sticks, SD cards and MMC (multi-media card) but, of course, these need to be purchased separately. The frame has a screen resolution of 450 x 234 and is fixed or at least if it's adjustable, I haven't found out how to do it yet!
Setting up the frame is very simple, or at least it was once I discovered where the frame stand was stored! The stand is a long plastic peg-like piece of kit which clicks into a hole on the back of the frame and for such a flimsy structure provides a surprisingly stable base. The frame can also be wall mounted and there are small apertures on the back from which to hang it. The mains adapter also plugs in at the back and the whole thing operates on a simple plug and play system.
Loading photographs is also simple, either copying onto an SD and MMC card from the PC or loading the pictures onto a memory stick. From an aesthetic point of view, the neatest way to run the pictures is via a memory card which slots into the body of the frame. If using a memory stick, even one of the very small ones, the end is likely to protrude beyond the rim of the frame.
Once switched on and loaded with the photographs you wish to display, the frame automatically recognises which kind of media has been loaded, either card or stick and begins to run the photographs after a short delay during which an egg timer icon appears to let you know that the process has begun. The default programme for display is as a slide show and it's possible to adjust the time that each photograph is displayed. However, the frame can be adapted to show single photographs or thumbnails if preferred. With regard to orientation, the frame can be set up to display in either portrait or landscape. I should add that it's also possible to adjust the screen brightness although the default brightness seems perfect to me.
The quality of display is very good for such a cheap frame, although I suspect the clarity of the picture largely depends on how good were the original photographs. In my case, many of the photographs loaded are black and white one, taken originally with a Box Brownie or similar camera and re-photographed by me to turn them into jpegs. There are also more recent colour photos, again re-photographed by me and both colour and black and white pictures display very clearly without any fuzziness.
Is there a downside?
Although marketed as a 7 inch frame, the visible screen is actually 6.6 inches and that 0.4 of an inch can sometimes make a difference because I found that some of the pictures I'd loaded had the tops of heads or feet chopped off. However, this could be because many of the jpegs I loaded were photographs of photographs and as you'll see from the photographs in the review, I'm no David Bailey.
The frame stand is fairly flimsy and I'm not sure it would survive being dropped, even from a relatively low height without snapping off.
For anyone with the slightest bit of technological knowledge there won't be a problem with set up or running this frame but if you're buying this for an elderly relative, they may find it difficult to understand its operation. However, if you've already set the frame up for use, they won't need to do anything. If the frame is switched off for any reason, once switched back on it will resume with the previously loaded display programme starting from picture one.
This is a cheap and cheerful digital photoframe which is ideal for giving as a gift, although probably not suitable for people who are serious about photography and want to display anything other than happy snappy family photographs. It certainly went down a storm with Mum who is thrilled with it, or at least with the pictures it's displaying which offer the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane whenever she wants.