8in Bluetooth Digital Photo Frame
A Bluetooth-capable frame that falls short of its potential
Kaiser Baas has just launched its first photo frame equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, although it isn't the first of its kind — we reviewed the AVLabs 11in Bluetooth Widescreen Digital Photo Frame a month ago. Unfortunately, Kaiser Baas' 8in Bluetooth Digital Photo Frame doesn't differ too much from the AVLabs model. It features many of the same issues in terms of panel quality, Bluetooth implementation and overall experience.
- Bluetooth connectivity, nice design
- Megapixel size limit for photos, internal storage too small
Kaiser Baas offers Bluetooth connectivity with its latest 8in digital photo frame. Poor implementation, an average quality screen and an inadequate overall experience mean this frame falls short.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
The product's design is attractive: a white frame with a detachable black area surrounding it. Some parts are slightly fragile, particularly the LCD panel, which seems to move separately from the rest of the frame when touched.
Media card compatibility is standard; CompactFlash, SD, MMC, MemoryStick, XD and MicroDrive all work. There is also a USB port for PictBridge-capable cameras and mobile phones. The frame can be linked to a computer through a USB cable, which is useful for accessing data on media cards and the frame's internal storage.
Format compatibility is limited to JPEG for photos, AVI for movies and MP3 for audio. This is sufficient for typical use, but we would have like to seen more effort in this regard. We were extremely disappointed to discover that the frame refuses to display photos over seven megapixels; photos above this limit must be resized before they can be viewed. Given that the standard compact camera is capable of 8Mp pictures, this size restriction complicates the frame's use and limits its potential attractiveness for families and the non-tech-savvy.
Bluetooth is implemented much the same as the AVLabs 11in Bluetooth Widescreen Digital Photo Frame. Users pair their Bluetooth compatible mobile phone to the frame, and transfer the desired photos. This can only be done one picture at a time, and pictures must be stored on the device rather than streamed. This is rather complicated and troublesome for use in an everyday situation. A streaming function similar to that used in many Bluetooth audio solutions would be handy. Kaiser Baas offers 256MB of internal storage on the 8in Bluetooth Digital Photo Frame. This isn't surprising, but given its Bluetooth connectivity and the existence of competitors with 1GB of internal storage, more storage would have been welcome.
Menu options can be chosen using either the supplied remote control or buttons on the device. The frame's primary menu is easy to use, with four options accompanied by attractive icons. Unfortunately, selecting menu options is often cumbersome, requiring the user to wait a couple of seconds between each choice. This is understandable when viewing large images, but even changing simple options like the time is just as slow.
The frame's screen is rather average. Although it doesn't compare to Echologic's 11in Digital Photo Frame in terms of picture quality, this device does show pictures in clearly. Colour accuracy is acceptable in terms of blues and yellows, though reds are slightly washed out. Light-to-dark gradients are easily distorted, resulting in a halo effect. Unfortunately, there are no options to adjust the panel's brightness, contrast or colour level. Its 4:3 screen ratio is touted as an alternative to the 15:9 ratio common in the photo frame market and as a way of avoiding distorted or stretched pictures.
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