Top positive review
124 people found this helpful
Good Resolution, Basic Features, Some Limitations
on November 4, 2008
This frame has a very good screen resolution (800x480) for its price range. Also has very simple controls and operations. If you are looking for a feature-rich frame with sophisticated on screen menu, this frame is not for you, but if you are looking for high resolution frame with basic features at a reasonable price, this frame fits the bill.
While the majority of digital cameras shoot with the aspect ratio of 4:3, this frame as well as almost all other frames are wide-screen, with the aspect ratio of 5:3. I don't understand why there should be some conflicting standards for two items that go hand in hand, it reminds me of the packaging buns and hot dogs. In any case, this frame shows the pictures in landscape only. If you want your landscape pictures to be shown in full with no white space around them, you have to manually crop them to give them a 5:3 aspect ratio before you put them on the memory card. Otherwise, you have to use the frame's Mode button to use either of its three display modes (Full, Auto-fit, Pan-scan). The Full mode will stretch the picture to fit the width of the screen, thus to some degree distorts the image. Auto-fit shows the whole picture, therefore showing a 4:3 picture on a 5:3 screen will leave white space (actually black space) on both sides. Pan-scan, which is the default mode, matches the width of the image with the width of the frame, thus to show a 4:3 picture, the fame crops from the top and bottom of the image to bring it to 5:3 aspect ratio, so the crop is done automatically, but not at your discretion.
It has auto slide-show with nice random transitions to show pictures at three preset speeds. The default is fast (6 seconds on each picture). By pressing the Time button on the back of the frame, you can switch to medium (15 seconds), or slow (30 seconds). For the slide-show, if you want the pictures to be shown in a specific order, there is no control for that. To achieve that, you have to copy the pictures to the memory card one by one in the order you want them to be shown, because the frame shows the pictures based on the copy date/time stamp.
The frame can only show pictures in JPEG format, but for many that shouldn't be a problem, as this is the most popular format. However, you need to know something that I learned the hard way. I had many JPEG pictures that this frame could not show. These are normal JPEG images that can be shown by all browsers and graphic program in the computer, yet the frame could not show them. I played with their resolution and other properties, to no avail. Finally, it turns out that if an image has been saved by a photo editing software (I use PhotoImpact), although it is saved in JPEG, the frame cannot show it. The frame can only show the images that come directly from a digital camera, or saved by Microsoft Paint program. So when I called the images the frame could not show into Windows Paint program and saved them with Paint, they could be shown in the frame. I contacted Aluratek's technical support, but they responded that they do not have any solution for this problem yet.
Another thing that I learned by experience is the that Off button (holding the Play/Pause button for 3 seconds) turns off the screen, but does not reset the circuits. In few cases the frame showed a distorted image. I turned the frame off using this button, to no avail. When I unplugged the frame and plugged it back in, everything turned out OK.
Another behavior about this frame which I do not like is that when you turn it off (unplug it) it looses all its setups and when you turn it back on, everything goes back to the default. For example, if you change the transition speed to medium (15 seconds) or slow (30 seconds), when you turn it off and on, it is back to fast (6 seconds).
Overall, in my view if you can live with a few small flaws, it is a good frame with very good resolution at a reasonable price.