A photo frame that you can email
Digital photo frames were very popular a few years back but have recently become less so. Kodak's latest W1030S has some clever features.
The 10in screen has a low resolution of only 800x600 pixels, which is up from the 800x480 resolition of the last one we looked at (2008's EX1011). Stretched over the screen, pictures looked quite blocky from up close but much better from a foot or so back. Two new 7in models have the same resolution but smaller screens so pictures will look better on those, paradoxically.
Recognising that one important constituency for products of this sort is relatives who are less than technically savvy, Kodak has made some useful advances. The setup process provided us with a number that we had to type into Kodak's website, after which we were able to manage the frame over the web and upload photos from any net-connected computer.
It can also be set to grab pictures from Facebook or Kodak's Gallery website and display them, but disappointingly not Flickr or Picasa. The frame is also supplied with an email address to which pictures may be sent – they then appear on the frame.
Even more cleverly, the W1030S can be set up as a gift from the beginning, without having to unpack it, so that lucky relative can simply plug it in, connect it to the network (admittedly not always an easy task) and it's ready to go.
That said, the wireless setup process was relatively easy – it recognised our network and the touch-sensitive screen panel was responsive when it came to typing in the key using the onscreen keyboard.
The frame has no controls other than a power switch at the back. Everything else is done on the touchscreen, which was surprisingly fast and easy to use, with big onscreen buttons for changing settings.
Settings may also be changed by logging into the website – again great if you're giving the frame to relatives, and the on-screen controls can even be switched off completely, to prevent mishaps.
It doesn't all work well. There's an activity sensor that's supposed to switch the frame on when someone enters the room, but it was quite over-zealous. The sensor can be switched off at certain times, such as when the house is empty, or the frame set to manual power control only.
One shame is that there's no internal battery – it must be plugged in – which limits the ability to pass it around friends and family who visit. Otherwise, the W1030S is an impressive photo frame that's particularly suitable for giving to relatives who wouldn't otherwise get to see the latest family pictures.
Read more reviews
A clever photo frame. It's expensive, but worth it, especially as a gift
Email/internet photo sending works well; can be set up as a gift; easy to use
Photos don't look good close-up
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