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Geeks 7" Picture Frame

Have you bought into the digital photography craze hook line and sinker? Do you have hundreds or maybe even thousands of high-res images sitting around taking up space on your hard drive that you are fond of and don't want to get rid of, but you have no idea what to do with them, either? I do. I have tried using them to make windows backgrounds, digital photo albums, family picture websites. I used to print off so many of them searching for a perfect display medium that I even bought my photo paper in bulk. After a while I realized that I was making my hobby nearly as expensive and as frustrating as traditional 35mm photography I was fleeing. Worse, I was afraid of becoming like your one desperate relative most families have who spent so many hours cataloging and organizing their vacation photos that you were going to sit through and watch their long boring slide show presentation whether you wanted to or not. Enter Geeks 7" digital picture frame. Can it make productive, economical use of your digital photo collection?

Photo Frame Box

The Geeks 7" digital picture frame is an unbranded OEM model, unusually though it is packaged in a colorful high gloss retail box with lots of padding. Looking inside, we find a 7" LCD Digital Photo Frame & MP3 Player, Power adapter, Remote control, AV Cable, and User's manual. All of this was pretty standard fare except for the welcome addition of a media player. Extra credit needs to be awarded, though, to the manufacturer for including a well-written paper manual--something of a rarity these days.

Photo Frame Box     Photo Frame Box

Specs/Features:

-7 inch TFT LCD display panel
-Stylus credit card sized remote control
-Plays MP3, AVI, WMA, MPEG-1, MPEG-II, MPEG-4, DIVX5.0
-Displays digital pictures without a PC
-Supports wide variety of memory cards

The 7" LCD is bright and clear and free of pixel defects seeming up to par with those found on portable DVD players. While I am not overly fond of the widescreen style aspect ratio I have to admit that I am apparently in the minority as it is obviously the most popular one today. Pictures in the one to two megapixel range look fine although some of the six megapixel images that I had on my USB drive look a little pixelated when compressed to fit the screen. Pictures display reasonably quickly and the image transitions are attractive. As you would imagine you can chose to display single images as well groups of images. You can also chose from several settings, how long each image should display as well as how long until the whole unit powers down.

Photo Frame Front     Photo Frame Back

The Geeks 7" digital picture frame comes with a 32-button credit card sized remote control. The remote uses the popular CR2025 battery. If you happen to misplace the remote most of the important functions can be accessed through buttons on the back top of the unit--a nice touch found on many higher end consumer electronics. The back top of the unit also houses the slots for the wide variety of memory cards. Since the Geeks 7" digital picture frame doesn't have any built in memory itself I found myself spending a lot of time back here, while at least 256k of built in storage would have been most useful here to stop the constant memory card shuffling, it would have likely raised the price point here as well.

Photo Fram Remote

When I saw that the Geeks 7" digital picture frame was supposed to handle playback of MP3 and several video formats I was initially quite skeptical. Not that media playback is taxing these days for a portable device, but rather what type of sound would you get out of a unit that has its speaker on the back of the unit pointed away from the listener? Unfortunately, not very good is the answer. While the Geeks 7" digital picture frame does sound better if you turn the unit around you lose half of its functionality when it is used in that manner, so I can't recommend this unit for those looking for even a mediocre MP3 player. That being said the sound works just fine to add some ambiance to a picture slide show, which I would imagine was its intended use.

Conclusion:

If you are looking to display your digital photos in a easy, attractive, and economical manner the Geeks 7" digital picture frame is a good choice and is likely to remain on my desk after this review is posted. The quality and brightness of the display as well as its lack of defects was quite welcome for a product in this price range. Unfortunately its poor speakers and lack of built-in memory means this unit is not really suitable for anything more than occasional use as a media player, or to provide a background music ambiance to a slide show, which it does quite well.

Pros:

  • Accepts wide variety of memory cards
  • Bright defect free screen
  • Well written manual

Cons:

  • No built in memory
  • Marginal speakers

I would like to thank Geeks for providing us with the Geeks 7" digital picture frame for review. The particular OEM model I reviewed is no longer available. Its replacement looks to be nearly identical and features 128 MB internal flash memory, at 71 usd is only a couple dollars more than the model I reviewed.

Geeks

Added: January 20th 2008
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 8  
Hits: 8081
Language: english

  

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