Rock Digital Photo Frame
- Attractive design, price, video playback
- No integrated memory, some image quality issues
The Rock Digital Photo Frame isn't the best frame on the market, but it will appeal to those on a budget.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
Commanding a price far lower than its competitors, the Rock Digital Photo Frame is an attractive and affordable solution for displaying your digital photographs. It has an 8in screen capable of displaying images or video, and also plays background music for your photo slideshows. Unfortunately, the image quality is fairly average, the unit has no internal memory, and it is a little frustrating to use - flaws that may cause consumers to look its more expensive brethren.
The key concern for any digital photo frame is image quality. The Rock looks good from a distance of around a metre and will suffice for regular picture viewing, but upon closer inspection, there are undeniable problems with the unit. These include noticeable pixelation, some inaccurate colour reproduction and areas where contrast is lacking. This results in some skin tones looking too red, meaning areas of contrast appear blocky and pixelated. This isn't a massive mess of pixels - not by a long shot - but compared to other units on the market, it comes out second best. Considering the cost of the Rock though, certain quality concerns will need to be somewhat forgiven.
The Rock has no built-in memory so in order to display images you'll need to plug in either a USB memory stick or a supported memory card format (SD/MMC/MS). With competitors offering a paltry amount of storage, Rock has missed a prime opportunity to include a large amount of integrated flash memory as a drawing point; the ability to use the frame as a photo archive could have been excellent.
The speed of the frame is quite good with small image appearing almost immediately. Larger resolution images do take a few seconds to render, but this isn't a problem. The frame only supports the JPEG file format, so you can't use it with cameras that shoot in TIFF or RAW modes.
The Rock also supports video playback in either AVI or MPEG formats and the quality is on-par with the still image quality. Pixelation, colour inaccuracies and contrast stepping are present again. We were a little puzzled as to why it supports video, as this feature makes it more like a portable media player with a large screen, especially considering it supports MP3 and WMA playback as well.
The integrated speakers leave a lot to be desired but music and movie audio doesn't sound completely savage. Music support means you can add a musical track to a series of photos and show them off to friends in a slideshow.
The design of the Rock is very similar to the Philips 9FF2M4 Digital Photo Frame, but the bezel is white instead of black. It has solid build quality with a metal stand. The controls are located at the top of the device but they are a little frustrating to use due to their position and size. The unit is powered by an included AC power adapter.
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