* 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.