Rechargeable Picture Frame
In the past I have looked at several digital picture frames from various manufacturers. In every case these models all had one particular feature in common. These digital picture frames would only work when physically connected to a mains power outlet. Now that trend has been broken with the arrival of the latest digital picture frame from Kodak. This is the EasyShare S730 which features a built-in rechargeable battery and Quick Touch Borders. The product comes with a mains power lead, USB lead and software that allows you to synchronise the device with images stored on a computer.
As you might suppose from the numeral “7” in the product’s title, this is a 7-inch frame. It can be set up to be free-standing or mounted on a wall in either landscape or portrait mode. The screen will automatically adjust the display of images to suit the selected orientation. The screen is bright and clear, capable of display crisp images and coming with the claim of being mercury free to help ease any green ecological issues.
As well as the rechargeable battery, which incidentally gives up to 60 minutes of power when away from a mains power source, the EasyShare S730 has 1GB of internal memory. This should allow you to store up to 8000 images along with MOV video clips and MP3 audio files. There is also support for additional storage in the form of SD/SDHC, MMC, xD, MS and MS Pro Duo memory cards plus USB connectivity.
There is a choice of four display modes selected from a control on the top of the unit. You can switch between slideshow, collage, clock or calendar modes. With Slideshow you are shown still images and video clips one at a time with transitional effect. Collage mode works through the available images and displays four at a time in a set layout pattern. I was unable to discover any method of changing this layout from the default of one large image on the left with the right holding a medium and two small images. Clock and calendar modes use a spilt screen approach by pairing the clock or calendar with a random display of the available images. All the various modes can play an MP3 track using the unit’s built-in speakers.
Arranged down the right side and lower right corner of this frame are the various touch controls. Generally these controls are invisible allowing the central image to have the full focus of attention. By moving your hand to within a couple of inches of the device, the various buttons, positioned down the right side and lower right corner of the frame, light up and become active by displaying icons on the screen. Tapping or touching the button gives you access to its feature. You can also use a tap and slide technique when you need to scroll through the available images.
Buttons are available for menu, play, up, down and OK. Using the appropriate buttons you can adjust the time delay for displaying images; select from six transitional effects including those for zoom/pan and wipe oblique; set the default location for content; and turn on the music autoplay feature – volume controls are available to adjust the audio level. Other options can be used to adjust the screen’s brightness and apply automatic image resizing to save on memory.
While the Quick Touch Borders feature works well, it did take some adjustment on my part as I tended to want to touch the on-screen icons rather than the border button. Other than this initially problem, there were no issues with the use of this digital picture frame. Pleasingly, with the constant touching of the frame, the expected collection of fingerprint smears failed to materialise thus adding to the attraction of this device. Kodak has priced the EasyShare S730 at £119.99 and will make available a carry-case at a price of £14.99.
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