* Prices may differ from that shown
It was only recently that I managed to see one of my friends to exchange Christmas presents, a little late I know but she lives quite far away from me. Among the many lovely things she gave me was this digital photo frame. At the time I thought this was a pretty random present and not something I think I have ever mentioned, but it was of course very much appreciated. When I asked her why she bought it for me I was impressed with her reasons. Last year I did quite a lot of travelling and so have a rather large amount of photos and being in a student house I don't have a great deal of space for displaying them (especially if you have a landlord who wouldn't appreciate you hanging or sticking things on the wall). By having a digital photo frame I could display all my lovely photos without angering my landlord or taking up a lot of space that I don't have. Pretty clever idea really whoever invented these things.
===Price and availability===
This is a Tesco brand and so is of course available from Tesco, currently retailing for £18.97 instead of £27 on their website. I briefly looked on Amazon and could not find it on there but Ebay are currently selling one new but unboxed starting at £5. I can't honestly say I have ever looked at buying a digital photo frame before so am a bit clueless regarding prices but as this is an own brand I would assume this is cheaper than others, and I personally think that £18.97 is incredibly reasonable for this wonderful digital photo frame.
===What's in the box?===
The box contains everything you need to set up your photo frame - the frame, the stand, the external power adapter and a user guide. There is no kind of memory storage (such as an SD card) provided which you will of course need for the frame to be of use so bear this in mind when you purchase.
I have never had a digital photo frame before and was very excited to get it into working order. Set up was incredibly simple and easy. I did have a brief read through the manual first just because I tend to be a bit rubbish at technological things and have a tendency to mess things up. To attach the stand you simply slot and twist it into the gap on the frame depending on what sort of angle you want and whether you want the frame to be portrait or landscape. There are also holes on the back if you would rather wall mount, and again due to the positioning of the holes this can be done either as portrait or landscape.
Considering the budget price of this frame I am quite impressed with the variety of options to display your frame, especially being able to have it portrait or landscape as this allows you to match it to the orientation of your pictures.
===Size and look===
I personally really like the look and style of this frame. The frame itself is a glossy black which I think is brilliant as this would probably fit in quite well with most styles of décor. I have my frame on my desk next to my computer as hanging on the wall wouldn't really be appropriate. I think it is better this way anyway as if it was wall mounted you would see the wires from the power dangling down the wall which I would assume is not a great look. Being on my desk I can easily tuck the wire down the back out of view.
The frame is a good size with the screen being 7inches. I personally really like this size as it is probably around the same sort of size as a typical normal frame. The frame is not too bulky with the back protruding out perhaps an inch and a half or so, but of course you don't see this bulk anyway. Although I would say that the frame is fairly light weight I don't feel that it is flimsy at all and is actually surprisingly fairly sturdy.
The back of the frame is nice and simple with very few buttons. There is simply an on/off switch and 5 buttons (play, up, down, left and right) to navigate the controls. Towards the side of the back are 2 slots, one where you can slot in an SD card and the other for a USB device, and lastly the hole where you plug in the adapter. Nice and simple.
===Quality of pictures===
The screen is 16.10 analogue LCD with 432x234 resolution. I have no idea what this means other than the resolution I guess refers to pixels but thought those of you more technically minded than me would appreciate knowing this. I have to say I am incredibly impressed with the photo quality of this frame. Images appear very clear and sharp and when they don't it is down to my lack of photography skills rather than the frame.
All photographs must be in a jpeg format otherwise they will not be displayed but I think it is fairly easy to edit pictures to conform to this. If you try to display photographs in a different format other than jpeg a lovely little red cross is displayed instead, which I have to admit doesn't fit in terribly well with my lovely slideshow.
According to the user guide the frame is compatible with an SD, MMC and MS. A USB 2.0 or a 1.1. drive will also be supported. At first I used a memory stick but I wasn't impressed with the look as it protrudes out of the side and is very clearly visible from the front view. I can't say that I felt my ugly white stick complemented the look of my lovely glossy black frame. Luckily my friend is rather amazing and even gave me an SD card to use with my frame. Once I had some time I loaded up some pictures onto it and inserted this into the frame instead. I would definitely recommend using an SD card instead of a stick. Although the card still does protrude slightly out of the side this is only visible from the back, not the front, and so does not ruin the wonderful look of the frame. The frame displays photos in the order that they are in on the stick/card so if you want them in a specific order you would need to ensure u order them correctly before inserting into the frame.
For such a budget frame I wasn't expecting a lot with regards to functioning. As soon as a device is inserted and the photo frame switched on a slide show automatically plays, but until I actually read the user guide a bit more closely the other day I wasn't even aware of some of the things I could do with my frame. Here I will briefly mention a little about these functions.
When the slideshow begins to play a temporary menu is shown on the screen, which I really think should stay on for a little longer as there is barely any time to act upon anything shown on it. When this screen is up you can see that by pressing the up button you can see a preview of all photos you have in that folder/device and you can use the left and right buttons to select a picture. Once selected you can press the down button a specific amount of times to rotate your photo, depending on what angle you want to rotate it.
One of the most useful functions I have found is the timer for the slideshow. When I first set up the frame the pictures stayed up for a minimal amount of time and it seemed to be going too quickly for my liking. This can be changed with a good range of options - for 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 15 seconds, 1 minutes, 15 minutes, and 1 hour. Personally I have mine on 15 seconds as I feel this gives each photo a good amount of time to be on display.
If rather than having a slideshow you would rather have a specific photo up then this is easily achieved. Simply get the menu back up onto preview, select the picture you want and press the play button to pause. This results in your chosen picture being displayed but the somewhat annoying pause sign remains in the top right hand corner.
The above are the main things I have used but below are some other functions:
* Slide show shuffle - this will display your photographs in a random order
* Transition effect - if you want to make your slideshow look a little more exciting then you can change the transition effect. These effects include: none, bottom to top, top to bottom, left to right and vice versa, close door, open door, horizontal, vertical, random, fading, and expanding. Personally I like having no effect as I think all the fancy effects would annoy me but there is a good range if you prefer to use them
* Brightness, contrast and saturation can also be adjusted to your preferences.
===Cleaning and care===
Cleaning and care for this frame should be carried out when it is unplugged from the mains. The plastic can be cleaned with a barely damp cloth before drying carefully, although I tend to just use a normal duster and this seems to work fine. The screen should be treated more carefully by using a special cloth such as a Calotherm cloth.
On a little side note this frame comes with a 12 month warranty which makes this frame an even better purchase.
I really have nothing negative to say about this frame at all. It is fantastic! I can display a multitude of photos all in one place without having to take up valuable space in my room and I have to say it looks pretty stylish too. I think it not only looks good but is incredibly user friendly, even for somebody like me who seems to have constant problems with anything that uses some kind of technology. An absolute bargain with lots of functions that I highly recommend to anybody and everybody.
Thanks for reading.
Whilst both my husband and I are forever taking photographs of the wonderful places that we visit, we often forget all about them particularly as we now live in a society where most people own a digital camera. Long gone are the days when I couldn't wait to finish my 35mm film and usually ended up taking a few photos around the use or of my feet to enable me to finish the film and rush to a store to get my photos developed! Whilst we download all of our photographs onto our computer I frequently forget to look at them in more detail and I would like to recapture the memories as I did in the "olden days" when I would sit for hours looking through my snaps.
For the last year I had been pondering on whether or not to purchase a digital photo frame, but I simply could not justify the cost, particularly as they were around £100 when they were first introduced. A work colleague was presented with one by her family last Christmas and brought it into the office to show me. When I attempted to discuss the idea with my husband he turned his nose up and informed me that it was a waste of money and consequently, it was something I never really thought of again. However, after reading many reviews on both Ciao and Dooyoo I once again started to consider a purchase, but unfortunately, had no idea of what I wanted or what was actually available. Whilst wandering around our local Tesco Extra a few weeks ago I discovered their own brand of Digital Photo Frame, which was marked at half price for only £19.97 and I rushed home to fetch hubby to take a look, particularly as he is very technical minded.
As hubby wasn't particularly taken by the idea of a digital photo frame the response I basically had was a grumpy and couldn't care less "buy it if you want it". There were two other brands available and when checking the specifications against the Tesco brand I could see no difference whatsoever, other than the price with the others costing well over double. Consequently, the box storing the 7" photo frame was gently placed into my trolley and I couldn't wait to get it home to try it out. However, it was when we arrived home that hubby took a keen interest and I couldn't get a look in for quite some time!
APPEARANCE OF THE DIGITAL PHOTO FRAME
Whilst I am somewhat of a novice when it comes to digital photo frames its' appearance doesn't really look any different to any others that I've seen. It is manufactured from a sturdy glossy looking plastic and as with televisions the 7" measurement is taken from corner to corner. The border frame is particularly appealing to the eye and measures in at just over 1 inch. I was surprised at how narrow and lightweight the frame actually is at only 381grams and I only wish I had made my purchase much sooner. The depth of the frame measures approximately 1½ inches, so it can easily be placed on a cupboard or shelf within your home without taking up too much space. The frame sits neatly on a small sturdy plastic leg, which needed to be clipped onto the frame following the initial purchase and it is only when I am now scrutinising it for the purpose of this review that I realise that it can also be wall-mounted, as there are three holes in the rear, similar to those you would find on a normal run-of-the picture frame. The beauty of the frame is that you can either choose to stand it in a landscape position or a portrait position, which is obviously dependent on the photographs contained on your memory stick or USB.
SPECIFICATIONS OF YOUR DIGITAL PHOTO FRAME
For those of you who know me you will be aware that I am not technically minded and for the purpose of this review and to enable me to provide you with accurate information I am referring to the accompanying eleven page instruction booklet. However, I would stress that this text has been written in my own words. Similar to that of other digital photo frames you can either view your pictures by way of a memory card or a USB drive. The frame is compatible with Secure Disk, Multimedia Card and Memory Sticks and will support a USB 2.0 or 1.1 drive. Whilst I am considerably ignorant when it comes to technical information I am aware that the digital frame will only support jpeg images, so it is necessary that they are correctly converted into this format prior to attempting to view. The frame provides a 16:10 analogue LCD screen with 432 x 234 resolution with an AC/DC adaptor and input 100 - 240 V AC - 50/60 Hz. Output 5V DC.
USING YOUR DIGITAL PHOTO FRAME AND THE CONTROLS AND FUNCTIONS
There are various ways in which to sort your files and pictures and this can be achieved by grouping them into albums containing several pictures. You should be aware that for those pictures containing lots of high resolution your photo frame may take a little longer to load. On the reverse of the frame you will find all of the controls and functions, which are clearly identified in the instruction booklet, so for someone as ignorant as me when it comes to technical gadgets I found it extremely easy to assembly ready for use. Whilst I do not wish to provide a long list of all of the controls and functions I would advise that you will find buttons to allow you to skip to your next photo or your previous photo, a button to rotate your photo whilst you are playing a slideshow, a pause button and of course, your on/off switch. The buttons are extremely easy to use and for those people with mobility problems in their hands I cannot envisage them encountering any issues.
A real positive with the frame is that it is provided with a good length power lead, which according to my estimations measures around 2 metres, so the cable can be neatly pushed behind a cabinet as opposed to trailing along the surface. When using your digital frame for the first time you will need to select the appropriate language and the instructions to enable you to do this are clearly identified within the accompanying booklet with the task taking me only a minute or so to complete. I display my photos by way of a memory card, which easily slots into the lower right hand side of the frame. My only frustration with this is that the card protrudes and makes the frame appear a little cluttered. Whilst this is not a real problem I am clearly rather fussy and am of the opinion that the slot could easily have been incorporated into the rear so it is neatly hidden. Releasing your memory card is just as simple as its' insertion and this is carried out by giving it a gentle pull. Your initial use of the frame will allow your pictures to be displayed as a slide show and if this is not a feature you require you simply need to select your preferred choice. I've opted for the slide show, as I love to sit on the sofa whilst relaxing and watch each of the pictures as they are displayed on the screen.
There are many useful features on the frame and whilst I do not intend discussing them all I would advise that you can choose the frequency of your slide show, which is available in four variations, namely 0 seconds, 5 seconds, 15 seconds and 20 seconds. I opted for 5 seconds and obviously this is down to your personal choice, but I felt I would be sitting for ages waiting for my pictures to display if I opted for the longest setting. You can opt to use the thumbnail format, which will allow you to display up to twelve photographs on the screen at any one time. You are then able to zoom in on a particular photograph by selecting the appropriate button; all of which are easy to operate. There are various other controls available to you, such as brightness and contrast and the transition effect, which allows you to choose your preferred method of displaying your photographs, for example, you may wish to view them from bottom to top or left to right etc.
CARING FOR YOUR DIGITAL PHOTO FRAME
As your frame consists of an LSD screen the same care should be given, as you would with your television set. I note that mine becomes dusty relatively quickly, so I use special wipes for cleaning after ensuring that the unit is safely unplugged from the mains. However, the plastic areas can be wiped with a slightly dampened cloth although this is not something that I tend to do, as I prefer to use the wipes all over. The screen becomes slightly warm after using, but this is not excessive and is identical to that of a television that has been switched on for a good while and is not cause for concern. I learned that if you should leave a static picture on the screen for a period of time you may leave a permanent image on the screen, so it is wise to use the screen for side shows, as otherwise you could damage your appliance. I have previously heard of this with regards television sets and am always nagging my husband who will frequently press the hold button whilst going off to do another job, which will take him a fair amount of time. This could result in the screen "burning", but he always forgets or decides to ignore my pleas!
I cannot fault this digital photo frame and for just £19.97 it is well worth every penny. The picture quality is simply superb and will allow you to display and view all of your precious memories in style. However, I will need to invest in some more memory sticks to enable me to display more of my precious photographs, particularly as I'm not one for having lots of pictures scattered all over the place. For those of you who know me you will be aware that I'm a real fan of Betty Boop figurines and own dozens upon dozens of them. However, these are all neatly stored inside glass cabinets with the rest of my home being quite minimalistic and clutter free. The frame is totally silent when running, which somewhat surprised me, particularly as I imagined it to give a slight buzzing sound. The appliance is provided to you with a 12 month warranty from the date of purchase, so remember to keep your receipt, which is also your guarantee. Full details are contained within the instruction booklet on what to do should your frame develop a fault within the warranty period. As this is such a superb appliance it gets a full 5 stars from me. Whilst I have a grumble with regards the protruding memory stick I did not feel it appropriate to remove one star, as I feel the positives far outweigh this one negative. In fact, during the time I have been writing this review I have made a decision to purchase a second for using in the upstairs of my home.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
As this is a Tesco photo frame it is obviously only available at their stores. As previously stated I purchased mine a couple of weeks before Christmas for the bargain price of £19.97 with the original price being double this amount.
I hope you found my review useful and would thank you for reading.
This review also appears on Ciao under the same user name.