So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Kodak EasyShare W1020
A feature-packed photo frame
- Wi-Fi, QuickTouch Border touch panels, media sharing software, good user interface
- Display quality could be better
The EasyShare W1020 boasts enough features to stand out from the crowd and justify its price tag.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Kodak's EasyShare W1020 boasts some fairly high-end features for a digital photo frame and it is worth the asking price.
The W1020 has a fairly minimalist design — a simple but elegant gloss white fascia with bevelled edge that resembles a traditional photo frame. The use of a plastic surround rather than glass is a little tacky but as long as it isn't touched the illusion remains.
Like most photo frames, the W1020's display has a 16:9 aspect ratio, making it particularly suited to viewing landscape photos. Photos with abnormal aspect ratios do suffer as a result — the W1020 increases a photo's size to fill the width of the screen rather than opting for a letterbox approach, causing some photos to be cropped at the top and bottom.
One distinctive aspect of the EasyShare W1020 is the use of Kodak's QuickTouch Border. Rather than offering the sometimes awkward physical buttons like other photo frames, the W1020 boasts touch-sensitive panels along the bottom and right edges of the frame's inner border. There are no physical controls beyond volume and power. Users can swipe a panel to access functions such as changing a photo. When accessing options the edges light up with subdued orange lights, adding to the frame's sense of elegance.
On the whole we liked the user interface of the EasyShare W1020. Like Viewsonic's 8in Digital Photo Frame (DPX804WH), Kodak opts for a semi-transparent pop-up menu as opposed to a full-screen interface.
The EasyShare W1020's Wi-Fi integration is commendable. Unlike the RealEase Shogo, which restrictively ties network access to an online account, the W1020 offers media sharing both locally and over the Internet. On a local network, the frame works with Windows Vista's integrated media sharing capability as well as Kodak's own EasyShare digital display software. There are some limitations in functionality, as the user must return to the root menu in order to access any updates or changes in shared media. Nevertheless, it is relatively easy to set up media sharing between a computer and the photo frame.
Online functionality is also comprehensive, with access to the Kodak Gallery Web site as well as Flickr.
The 512MB of internal storage offered on the unit isn't outstanding, but it still outdoes many other frames. Removable media support is comprehensive, with media card slots for SD, MMC, MemoryStick, xD, CompactFlash and a standard USB port.
The display isn't the best we have seen on a digital photo frame. Photos are slightly under-saturated. This is particularly noticeable with reds and blacks, which aren't very accurate. The display's VGA resolution is sufficient for the 10in screen size, but the frame had trouble displaying-high resolution photos, with some minor pixelation occurring.
Kodak's use of a matte display over a glossy one offers more uniform colours regardless of the viewing angle, although pictures are still washed out when viewing the frame from below.
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