When digital cameras were introduced, consumers were presented with a problem unique to the technology: What do you do with all of those photos? Digital photo frames filled this need, offering people a way to quickly upload, display and enjoy digital photos. The frames can be placed on almost any tabletop, ledge or desktop in the home or office, and some frames can be wall mounted. Digital picture frames range from static slideshows of uploaded photos to frames that offer tablet-like features. Frames vary in size, but typically range from 7 to 22 inches.
Once popular as gifts, digital photo frames never quite caught on with the mainstream. As the market has contracted, many brands started trimming down their selection or leaving the category altogether. At the same time, the number of sources covering this category has also shrunk, making user reviews more important.
If you want a basic, no-frills frame, the Viewsonic VFD823-50 8-inch Digital Photo Frame (*Est. $50) offers basic display features for an affordable price. This photo frame doesn't have any internal memory, so the cost for a memory card or USB stick will be extra.
More than 300 customers on TigerDirect.com provide input about the Viewsonic VFD823-50 8-inch Digital Photo Frame, with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. The frame has an 800-by-600-pixel high-resolution display with a 4:3 aspect ratio that's "bright and sharp," according to a TigerDirect.com customer. User reviews posted to Buzzillions.com concur, saying the pictures "look great" and the price can't be beat. Contributors to Amazon.com say the frame is easy to set up and begin using right away, "without reading the instructions."
If you need a high-quality display to show off your photos and want to easily upload photos to Facebook, the Kodak Pulse 1701622 10-inch Wi-Fi Digital Frame (*Est. $200) is a high-end frame that doesn't disappoint, say reviewers. The digital picture frame links directly to Facebook, allowing users to upload and comment on photos from the frame. In addition, the Wi-Fi connection can be used to add photos from a computer and to receive photos from friends and family. The frame has 512 MB of memory and stores up to 4,000 photos. Like the Viewsonic digital photo frame, the Kodak frame has an 800-by-600-pixel resolution display with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Daniel Bell of EPhotoZine.com gives the Kodak Pulse 1701622 10-inch Wi-Fi Digital Frame a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, saying the frame has many great features and is "extremely easy to use," with an "excellent quality" display. Dave Cryer from Geekanoids agrees, saying the digital picture frame is "one of the best I've used." Reviewers on Amazon.com also say that using the Kodak website to remotely upload photos is easy, a big bonus when purchasing the frame as a gift for friends and family members with limited technical skills.
For a smaller, less expensive option with the same Kodak quality, the Kodak Pulse 7-inch LED Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frame (*Est. $130) offers excellent image quality on a smaller scale. The smaller-sized frame still allows users to upload photos remotely and offers a simple touch-screen interface to make setup easy. Mashable.com's Charlie White says the screen is "sharp and bright," but that the viewing angle is a hair too shallow. Still, White finds that the ability to respond to pictures "adds an extra dimension" to digital picture frames.
An alternative to the Kodak Pulse frames is the full-featured Pix-Star PXT51WR02 10.4-inch FotoConnect (*Est. $190), recommended by Amazon.com users who say the frame is "easy to use, even for non-technical people." The frame has Wi-Fi and allows users to send and receive photo mail. Background music, slideshows, zooming option, alarm clock, calendar, remote control and 13 special effects also make this frame functional and fun. The frame offers an 800-by-600-pixel resolution display with a 4:3 aspect ratio. In addition, the Pix-Star PXT51WR02 has 1 GB internal memory and supports USB transfer and a variety of memory card formats.