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Digital Picture Frames

Has the Holiday Fruitcake Finally Met its Match?

By Allan Weitz

According to the guy giving the business report on the radio this morning, digital picture frames appear to be a hot-ticket holiday gift this year. So before your fire off yet another volley of fruitcakes to all of your loved ones, take heed and read on.

We currently stock over a hundred digital picture frame styles ranging in size from 1" necklace pendants all the way up to 19" models capable of displaying stills and video clips in dazzling color with sound. In order to keep things simple I asked our product specialists to narrow the group down to our twenty-or-so top sellers along with a short list of features that make them so special. The results are in, and here they are, by manufacturer, in alphabetical order.

Aluratek  11" Hi-Res Digital Picture Frame

From Aluratek we offer the wood-framed 11" Hi-Res Digital Picture Frame, which features 1024 x 768 screen resolution, and the option of showing a mosaic of images, which can be stored on the 1-gig SD card that's included with the frame. You can also transfer images and video clips from CF I/II, Memory Sticks (including the Pro, Duo, and Pro Duo). Playable formats include JPEG, MP3, WMA files as well as MPEG & AVI video. Dual USB connectors and built-in speakers round out the package.

Aluratek black-finished 10.5" Hi-Res Digital Picture Frame

Also from Aluratek is the black-finished 10.5" Hi-Res Digital Picture Frame, which includes most all of the features of the 11" model along with 256Mb of built-in memory, and a free Aluratek USB 2.0 Multi-Media Car Reader.

Digital Spectrum offers a trio of ‘MF-series’ digital picture frames starting with the MemoryVue MF-8115, a 15" Vista-ready, WiFi-capable display that accepts CF, SD/MMC, and MS/MS Pro memory cards in addition to 256MB of built-in memory. JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, MP3, WMA, and MPEG4 files can be displayed at 1024 x 768 screen resolution.

Digital Spectrum MemoryVue MF-8104

Digital Spectrum's MemoryVue MF-8104 Premium measures in with a 10.4" LCD, and can playback JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, MP3, and MPEG4 files from CF, SD/MMC, and xD memory cards, or 256MB of built-in memory at 800x 600 screen resolution. Aside from Wi-Fi capability, the DIMF8104P also features dual USB ports for linking with other USB-compatible devices.

Digital Spectrum NuVue NV700

The Digital Spectrum NuVue NV700 features a 7" LCD screen, 480 x 234 screen resolution resolution, and 256MB of built-in memory. The NV700 accepts CF I/II, SD, MM, SD, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, and xD cards and can display JPEG, BMP image files along with MPEG-1, -2, or -4 video files.

HiTi K65 7" Digital Picture Frame

HiTi's K65 7" Digital Picture Frame can run on 100-240 VAC or a built-in lithium polymer battery, which means if you really want to, you can take it along the next time you go camping, head to the beach, or shoot the rapids (Just make sure you pack it in a Zip-Lok bag). Along with 32MB of built-in memory, the K65 also accepts CF, SD/MMC, Memory Stick & Memory Stick Pro, and xD cards, and can display JPEG and BMP image files at 800 x 480 screen resolution. A crystal bezel surrounding the LCD adds a spiffy touch of elegance to the frame.

Kodak EasyShare EX1011

Kodak's EasyShare EX1011 10" digital picture frame is both Wi-Fi and PictBridge enabled, and accepts CF I/II, SD/MMC, MS, and xD cards for playback of JPEG, MOV, MP3, AVI, and MPEG-1 & 4 files. Other features include 128MB of built-in memory, the ability to run on 100-240 VAC, and onboard speakers for audio/music playback.

7" EasyShare SV710

Other digital picture frames from Kodak include the 7" EasyShare SV710 (480 x 234 screen resolution) and 8" EasyShare EX811 (800 x 480 screen resolution), which size aside share most all of the features found on the EasyShare EX1011.

The Media Street eMotion features a 7" LCD and get this - Bluetooth connectivity for wireless image transfer from cell phones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices – which is very cool! The eMotion also features USB connectivity for importing images from your PC, and 128MB of built-in memory. Images can also be imported from SD, MMC, Memory Sticks, and xD cards.

From Philips we have a pair of nifty PhotoFrames that allow you to choose from a choice of four interchangeable flower-motif frames. The PhotoFrame 7" displays images at 800 x 480 screen resolution, accepts CF I, SD/SDHC, MMC, xD, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro media, and contains enough built-in memory to display about 50 images.

Philips PhotoFrame 9"

The Philips PhotoFrame 9" offers a slightly larger LCD than the PhotoFrame 7" along with enough built-in memory to display about 150 images and a choice of four solid-colored interchangeable frames designed to compliment your carpets and drapes.

Smartparts 8” Digital Picture Frame comes in a sexy faux-leather & wood finish. With ports for CF I/II, SD/MMC, MS, and xD memory cards, The Smartpart 8” Digital Picture Frame can play back JPEG, MP3 music, and AVI video files at 800 x 600 screen resolution, and contains 128Mb of built-in memory.

Smartpart 5.6” Digital Picture Frame

The Smartpart 5.6” Digital Picture Frame has a black-finished wood frame, and plays back JPEG images at 320 x 234 screen resolution. Both Smartpart digital picture frames run on 100 – 240 VAC.

Sunpak 7” Digital Picture Frame

Housed in a sleek acrylic frame, the Sunpak 7” Digital Picture Frame accepts and plays JPEG image files from xD, SD, and Memory cards. The Sunpak 7” Digital Picture Frame runs on 100-240 VAC or 12 VDC, which means with the right connector you can set your frame on the dashboard and enjoy slideshows (your passengers… not you!) as you drive around town.

Tricod 15” Digital Picture Frame

The Tricod 15” Digital Picture Frame comes in a slick black finish and is designed to run on both AC & DC power (adapters & cables included). Other features include support for JPEG, MP3, and MPEG-2 & -4 files, slots for CF I/II, Memory Stick, SM, and SD/MMC memory cards, 1024 x 768 screen resolution, and a wireless remote control. As a special treat, every Tricod 15” Digital Picture Frame comes with a DigiFrame 1.1” Heart-Shaped Mini Digital Picture Frame… in red of course.

15" Xuma Multimedia Digital Picture Frame

Xuma offers an interesting trio of frames starting with the 8” and 10.4” Multimedia Digital Picture Frames (640 x 480 and 800 x 600 screen resolution respectively), which feature CF I/II, SM, MS, SD/MMC card slots for playing JPEG stills, MP3 music, and M-JPEG, and MPEG-1, -2, and -3 video files (PAL & NTSC) at 640 x 480 screen resolution. The 15” Xuma Multimedia Digital Picture Frame features 1024 x 768 screen resolution and comes with a free Impact USB charger and a pair of rechargeable AA batteries. All Xuma digital picture frames come with remote controls, dual built-in speakers, and run on an extended voltage range (90 – 240 VAC) as well as 12/24 VDC for use in trains, planes, and automobiles. It’s also worth mentioning the 15” Xuma is the only “industrial-quality” frame in our current line-up.

The venerable fruitcake may not be dead, but its days are certainly numbered. Welcome to the 21st century.

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