However, for those of you contemplating one of these, read on to find out if it’s right for your situation.
The PhotoShare 7″ Digital Photo Album, offered by Costco has a few really nice features, as well as a few really crappy features.
Things I liked:
- The overall feel of the product, is nice. The exterior frame is attractive, the unit is reasonably thin and has a nice feel to it.
- The large rechargeable battery is nice. I can’t give you an estimate on battery life yet as I wasn’t able to run it completely down while using it, but it’s a pretty big battery so I’d expect to get quite a few hours out of it.
- The fact that you have a choice of media between MemoryStick or SD memory is nice.
- The price is reasonable given the size of screen. $120 ($100 when on sale) is reasonable for this size of device. Though, don’t forget that it still requires a memory card as well.
- Due to the very low resolution you only need a very small memory card to hold a LOT of images.
- The unit has a nice slide show mode which automatically changes the images based on a timer you set.
Things that sucked:
- The resolution of the screen is nothing short of abysmal. Seriously, we’re talking 480 x 234. To put that in perspective, the 4.3 inch screen on the Zen Vision media player is 480×272 and it’s way smaller. Because of the larger size and lower resolution images don’t look sharp.
- The images display with such large pixels that any sort of close inspection reveals blurriness.
- The user interface, though simple, is not very intuitive. I worry that some people will have a hard time using it.
- Parts of the manual are just plain wrong. For example, it states that:
“Just seconds after powering up and inserting your memory card, your photos will begin playing in slide show mode. The slide show will start automatically whenever you turn PotoShare on.”
That is just patently untrue. I had to go through several steps to enable the slide show.
All in all, these photo frames are still amusing, but if you’re looking for a frame that looks as good as printed photos – keep waiting.
I’m predicting that in a couple of more years these devices will have much higher resolution (1024×768 should be the minimum), built in memory, and a better user interface.