Holiday 2012: Digital Picture Frames
If you went to visit family or friends this Thanksgiving, you might have noticed that they had a digital photo frame prominently displayed in their household. It’s hard to ignore the fact that digital frames are found in almost every home these days. These frames offer a flexible and more interactive alternative to the traditional glass picture frame. With a digital photo frame, you can load hundreds of images and set them up as a slideshow or leave one image for a few days and then change it when the mood strikes. Several digital picture frame models support video as well.
Some frames require the connection of a USB drive or insertion of a memory card, but several have built-in flash memory that can hold plenty of images. Many digital photo frames have built-in speakers as well, which would enable you to set up a slideshow of friends and family this holiday season and add some real holiday spirit by playing your favorite holiday music play along with the slideshow. In a nutshell, digital photo frames allow you to display more pictures at a high resolution, plus they offer a unique and fun way to decorate your house or apartment this holiday season.
Aluratek makes several digital photo frames, all of which are affordable and easy to use. They offer digital LCD panels with high picture quality as well. We’ll begin with their smaller frames and work our way up. Their 7-inch Digital Photo Frame features a bright 7-inch TFT true color LCD screen with a glossy black frame. It supports most picture formats and even has an auto slideshow feature. It has an SD/SDHC memory card slot and a USB port for connecting your USB hard drive or USB thumb drive. The frame supports both vertical and horizontal orientations.
Aluratek also makes an 8-inch Digital Photo Frame and an 8-inch Digital Photo Frame with 512MB Memory. Both feature TFT true color LCD screens with 800 x 600 resolution. They are both bordered by quality black frames and an SD/SDHC memory card slot. The main difference between the two is the built-in memory, which allows you to store up to 512MB of picture files right on the frame, so you don’t have to leave a memory card or USB drive connected. Plus, like the 7-inch frame, both of the 8-inch frames have a USB port and they both support horizontal and vertical orientations. The 8-inch frame with the built-in memory also features a remote control for ease of operation, as well as a built-in clock, calendar and a speaker for adding music to your photo slideshow.
Aluratek manufactures larger digital frames as well, all of which have built-in flash memory for loading pictures and slideshows directly onto the display. Their 12-inch Digital Photo Frame and 14-inch Digital Photo Frame are both equipped with 512MB of onboard flash memory, TFT true color LCD screens and black frames with built-in speakers for presenting your slideshows with music. The 12-inch frame has 800 x 600 resolution, while the 14-inch model has 1366 x 768 resolution. Both have a built-in clock and calendar, as well as an SD/SDHC memory card slot and a USB 2.0 port for quickly loading files. They each support a variety of photo, video and music file formats as well. Both include a remote control for ease of operation.
The largest Aluratek model is the 19-inch Digital Photo Frame with 2GB of built-in flash memory. It features a TFT true color LCD screen with 1440 x 900 resolution. It supports various photo, video and audio file formats, so you can view photos, slideshows with music and videos with this frame. The black frame design features a white matt for added style, and built-in speakers. The frame supports SD/SDHC memory cards and the USB 2.0 port allows fast transferring of photos, music and video from your computer or USB drive to the frame. Like many of the other Aluratek frames, the 19-inch model also has a built-in clock and calendar, as well as a remote control. It’s designed to stand on a desk or mantel, but you can also hang it in your retail space and use it as a digital sign. The removable frame stand even rotates 90° for use in either a horizontal or vertical orientation.
Another manufacturer that produces a variety of digital frames is ViewSonic. They offer a variety of different size frames including two 6-inch models. The 6-inch PortraitView Digital Photo Frame is available in either black or white, and the 6-inch VFM620w Digital Photo Frame is also available in black or white. The PortraitView frame features a quality digital screen with a resolution of 480 x 800. It has an ultra-thin 6.3mm frame with an SD/SDHC/MMC memory card slot for loading media. The frame supports slideshows with transition effects, as well as calendar and clock functions. It also features an energy-saving LED backlight and Auto On/Off function. The PortraitView frame has a built-in light sensor as well, which automatically adjusts the lighting for optimal picture quality. The other 6-inch VFM620w frame features a TFT LCD screen with LED backlight. It also features a built-in speaker for adding audio to your slideshows. Like the PortraitView frame, the VFM620w has 480 x 800 resolution and a 3-in-1 memory card reader. It features an auto light sensor as well.
The next step up in ViewSonic’s digital frame catalog is the 8-inch frame. ViewSonic offers two 8-inch models, the VFM820-50 and the VFD820. The VFM820-50 is identical to the VFM620 except for the screen size and resolution. The larger model features an 8-inch TFT LCD screen with LED backlight and 800 x 600 resolution. It has all the same features as the VFM620. The VFD820 is the other 8-inch model from ViewSonic. It’s equipped with a beautiful ebony frame and an 8-inch color TFT active matrix LCD screen with 800 x 600 resolution. The frame features a 3-in-1 (SD/MMC/MS) memory card reader and a USB 2.0 port for quick photo transfers. It supports slideshows and you can even add your own transitions. A remote control is included and the frame has easy to use on-screen menus as well. The VFD820 also has a clock and calendar function. Plus, its photo-friendly 4:3 aspect ratio displays digital photos without distortion.
The largest ViewSonic digital frame in this article is their VFM1536-11 15-inch Digital Picture Frame. It features a sharp 15-inch color TFT active matrix LCD screen with 1024 x 768 resolution and a 600:1 contrast ratio. The dark wooden frame adds an elegant touch to any room and the included remote control affords easy operation. The VFM1536-11 supports JPEG photo files, several video files and MP3 audio files, as well as slideshows with transitions. A USB 2.0 port provides fast file transfers from your camera, computer or USB drive. Plus, the 3-in-1 card reader supports SD/SDHC, MMC and MS/MS Pro memory cards. The frame is equipped with 256MB of internal flash memory and built-in stereo speakers for audio slideshows and audio for videos. The VFM1536-11 features clock, alarm and calendar functions as well.
All the Sony digital frames in this article are right around 10 inches in size. The smallest is the 10-inch Digital Photo Frame, with 128MB of onboard flash memory. The 10-inch LCD screen has 800 x 480 resolution and a widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio. There’s an LED backlight and an included remote control that makes operating the digital frame easy and convenient. The 128MB memory can support up to 200 photos and there’s also a multi-in-1 (SD/SDHC/MS/MS Duo) card reader and integrated USB port where you can load images from a memory card or USB thumb drive. You can also connect your PC via a mini-USB cable. The frame supports slideshows with a variety of creative transition effects. Plus, you can also rotate the frame vertically or horizontally. The frame is equipped with clock and calendar modes as well. There’s even a Sony backlight logo that can be turned on or off at your leisure.
The next size up is the Sony 10.1-inch Digital Photo Frame, which features an LED-backlit LCD screen with 1024 x 600 resolution and a 16:10 wide-angle aspect ratio. This frame is equipped with an impressive 2GB of internal flash memory for loading up to 4,000 photos directly onto the frame. It also supports M-JPEG, MP4 and AVCHD video files for playing Full HD 1920 x 1080p videos at 60 fps. It features a USB port and the same multi-in-1 card reader as the previous Sony model. It also features calendar and clock functions, slideshows with transitions and the backlit Sony logo. Plus, this model supports MP3, AAC and WAV audio files for adding music to slideshows and audio with the video. The internal memory can store up to 40 songs.
The last Sony model is also the largest. The stylish 10.2-inch Digital Photo Frame is a beautifully modern digital frame that would look good in any room. The bright 10.2-inch backlit display features 1024 x 600 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio and TruBlack technology that increases the visibility of colors in dark areas of the image. This is the same technology that Sony uses in many of their tablets. The 2GB internal memory has room for 4,000 photos and you can view them individually or as a slideshow with music. The frame supports Full HD video playback as well. You can even view the Sweep Panorama shots taken with your Sony camera. This frame also has an HDMI output for viewing your HD movies on a compatible HDTV. Like the other Sony models, this frame features a multi-in-1 card reader, a USB port, horizontal or vertical orientation and PC connection via mini-USB. Other features include a wide 160° viewing angle and a built-in alarm that wakes you up to your favorite pictures. The frame features clock and calendar functions as well.
The last manufacturer we’ll look at in this article is Impecca. They offer a couple of digital picture frames, and a unique digital photo keychain. The smaller of the two frames is their 10.4-inch Digital Photo Frame. It features a 10.4-inch widescreen LCD screen with 800 x 600 resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. It’s equipped with 2GB of internal flash memory that can store thousands of photos. The frame can also play videos. It supports slideshows with transitions and background music thanks to the built-in speakers. It also features clock and calendar functions, adjustable LCD brightness and a multi-in-1 (CF/SD/SDHC/MMC/MS/xD) memory card reader. There is also a USB port for loading images, videos and music from your Mac or PC.
The larger Impecca frame is the 15-inch Digital Photo Frame, which features a high-quality TFT LCD screen with 1024 x 768 resolution and photo-friendly 4:3 aspect ratio. Like the smaller Impecca frame, this model also features 2GB of internal flash memory, a multi-in-1 card reader and a USB port for loading images, videos and music from your Mac or PC. The frame also supports slideshows with transitions, and its built-in speakers make adding music to your slideshows fast and easy. It has clock and calendar functions, as well as adjustable LCD brightness. The 15-inch frame is wall mountable and it supports both horizontal and vertical orientations.
The last model from Impecca is the rather unique and convenient 1.5-inch Digital Photo Keychain, which is available in a handful of colors including black, blue, pink, green and red. The keychain can hold up to 107 photos and supports both JPEG and BMP file formats. It can be set up in a manual mode or in an automatic slideshow mode. It has clock and calendar functions. Plus, it’s equipped with a rechargeable lithium battery and the frame is housed in a rugged and durable stainless steel case. The keychain is plug-and-play ready with Windows-based computers and it includes a USB cable for fast loading of images from your PC. The 1.5-inch frame features 128 x 128 resolution and there’s a 20-second auto shutoff mode that saves battery life. The on-screen display even supports multiple languages including English, French and German.
Now that we’ve given you a brief overview of a handful of different sized digital photo frames with a variety of features, you should have a better understanding of the possibilities and limits of all the digital frames out there. There are dozens of different sizes available, and each model supports a variety of different features, so if you haven’t found one you like in this article, be sure to stop by the B&H website for a complete list of digital photo frames with full descriptions.