Most helpful critical review
134 of 142 people found the following review helpful
Decent hardware ruined by lousy firmware
on October 20, 2012
Screen is bright and crisp, but suffers from limited viewing angle. But the hardware is not the issue. As others have noted, "random" slideshows are not really random and exclusively display only the older pictures in your set. Transitions are also irregular and can become quite long. My theory is that the unit assumes all pictures it will encounter will have the same JPEG properties (compression etc) as the first one it happens to open. When it finds pictures that do not conform, it can't open them, and thus hangs on the current picture for more time until it finds another picture it can open. Finally, since even in random mode it ALWAYS starts with the exact same picture, it always initiates with the same JPEG settings. This may be right or wrong as to the reason for the unit's behavior, but accurately describes the net results: some pictures are on for 3 seconds (or however long you set the delay), while others are on for long enough to become quite annoying (10 - 30 seconds). In a large group of pictures, the sequence is obviously non-random and the unit completely fails to display the more recent shots (even after leaving it running all night, dividing up pictures among different sub-directories, writing them to the internal storage in different orders etc - you get the picture, I put in some time and effort and tried everything I could think of to work around the issues and make this thing behave like it should).
Another issue is the auto on/off functions. You can set it to turn on at a set time, and off again later. I try to conserve energy so this is important to me and I do not want it running when no one is around to see it. It can only run on the same schedule every day though, no weekdays vs. weekends etc, and only one on and off event per day. Other digital picture frames I have seen support more detailed scheduling with the ability to run mornings and evenings but turn off in the middle of the day or use a different schedule on weekends, and this thing has calendar and clock functions so it has the hardware capability - they just chose not to make very good use of it.
Returned it. With a firmware update to address these problems, it could be a pretty good product, but I am not keeping it "at risk" as to whether Nix gets off its duff and issues one. Failing to display any recent pictures is kind of an important defect for a product whose entire raison d'etre is displaying pictures.
Wish I could point you to a better frame in this size range, but thus far I have not found one. Ironically, the smaller, less expensive frames (e.g. Pandigital) seem to be much more polished products than the larger ones.
UPDATE 2/14/2014. Decided to give the Nix X15B another try since there are few alternatives. The same problems were present of course. I upgraded firmware using a link sent from Nix customer support. The frame would still hang on particular photos for very long (30-45 second) periods, and the order was still not random. I renamed and resized all my photos using the FastStone batch processing software, so they all had consistent format, JPEG settings, and sequential names. This also did not fix the hanging or "non-random random" problems. Finally, I stopped using the internal memory and instead used a Class 10 SD card. This considerably improved the main issue of hanging for long periods on particular photos. As others have noted, the random is still less than random, but for me the pausing on particular photos was the main issue and this is now improved. Based on this I am increasing my rating to 3 stars. Nix still needs to provide much better firmware including more flexible and powerful scheduling and random functions. To this we can add a hardware issue - very slow internal memory - that limits the experience of using their digital frame.