Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Transcend Digital Album
- Great for viewing photos, remote control, ease of use, extensive Memory card slots
- Size, lack of MP3 features, interface lacks colour depth, screen size, battery life
A good device for viewing photos, but let down by a lack of other features and a poor battery life.
Price$ 439.00 (AUD)
The Transcend Digital album is a photo viewer, MP3 player and digital storage device which would serve a photographer on the move, but lacks some distinctive features.
At first glance, the Transcend's metal casing looks sleek and well rounded. However the device is quite bulky and is a struggle to fit in your pocket. Weighing a hefty 231 grams and measuring 83.7 mm x 24.5 mm x 111.4 mm, you can't help but feel that the screen could have been much larger, considering the empty space below and around it.
The crisp, high contrast 294x 228 pixel screen measuring 2.5 inches is still excellent for viewing photos, although sunlight can be a problem. The photos we uploaded to the device were clear and bright.
Under the screen is the five-way navigation button and four other buttons (two on either side) for Select/Copy, Exit/Delete, Memo/Record and Menu/Power make the controls simple and easy to use, although these buttons are very small and may present a problem for someone with large fingers. On the right side on the unit are slots for the DC charger, USB connectivity, volume buttons, the lock key and the reset button. Also included is an internal microphone, but we found the recording quality quite poor and muffled.
On top of the unit is a MicroDrive Slot and and SD/MMC slot is available on the left side of the unit. The AV Out slot allows you to connect the Digital Album to a television to view photos and doing so gives you an exceptional presentation tool, boosted by the addition of a slim remote control. Browsing through your files is easy, with the files displayed in either thumbnail or list form. Photos take about three seconds to load and if your finger is quick when browsing, then you will be disappointed with the response time of the Digital Album. The slide show is an excellent feature, where you can create an album of photos to show to your friends or family.
The Digital Album supports only MP3, JPEG, and M-JPEG files. MP3 playback is poor and the controls are very limited - simply locating and playing a track means shuffling through folders. The device is also let down by no playlist or equalizer and not being able to browse through photos while listening to music is also a downside.
The sound quality of the MP3's is average and the volume lacks depth, while the headphones shipped with the unit don't provide enough bass. The external speaker on the device is of poor quality and doesn't provide much of an alternative to the headphones.
Battery life on the Digital Album is poor, with only 3.5 hours for continual music playback and even less for a photo slide show. When you consider the main use of this device is clearly a photo viewer, the battery is vastly disappointing.
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