AVLabs 11in Bluetooth Widescreen Digital Photo Frame
- Good format support
- Poorly implemented Bluetooth, poor quality screen
The latest offering from AVLabs should have plenty to offer in theory, but poor implementation and a disappointing LCD ruin the overall experience.
Price$ 349.95 (AUD)
This digital photo frame from AVLabs offers the unusual feature of Bluetooth connectivity and supports a wide range of video formats. However, some flaws with the Bluetooth implementation and a poor quality display mean that the frame does not live up to its potential.
For the most part, the photo frame is standard fare. Supported media include USB PictBridge, CompactFlash, SD, MMC, XD and MemoryStick. There is also 256MB internal storage available. One uncommon feature is the ability to connect to the frame to a television.
Given that the frame's interface is optimised for a relatively low-resolution display, output to a high-definition television did not produce flattering results. Nevertheless, we found the actual displaying of photos to be of an acceptable quality, despite the translation from a small to large screen.
Although pictures are limited to JPEG, the frame supports a variety of multimedia formats including MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4 and AVI. Audio files must be in MP3 or ASF format. The combination of the frame's video codec support and its audiovisual output could allow the frame to be used as a basic form of video player.
The quality of the frame's display is disappointing. Colour reproduction was quite poor, with unnatural, washed-out colours. Reds and yellows were harsh, and the picture as a whole was overly bright, despite varying brightness and contrast settings. Pixelation occurred on most photos, something which is particularly noticeable on standard 8-megapixel pictures. While the frame handled standard portrait and landscape photos with ease, uncommon photo sizes were awkwardly stretched to fill the entire screen.
The frame's name seems to indicate it's a Bluetooth-enabled device, but this isn't entirely true. Rather, the frame comes packaged with a standard USB Bluetooth dongle that plugs into the frame's USB port. The fact that it isn't actually built-in means that the USB port is unnecessarily occupied, and the software isn't optimised for proper Bluetooth activity. As a result, there were quite a few issues when testing this feature.
Connection was relatively easy, but files were saved rather erratically — while one image was saved to the frame's internal memory, another photo was saved to the SD card without warning. Although AVLabs showed the potential place that Bluetooth has in the digital photo frame market, its poor implantation in this particular product is disappointing.
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