SmartParts SPX8WF 8-Inch Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame
At a Glance
With its wooden frame, the SPX8WF ($160 as of 5/7/2009) looks like a traditional picture frame sitting on your desk or mantel. Inside, however, it has 512MB of internal memory, and it accepts SD, CompactFlash, MMC, xD, MemoryStick, and MS cards, as well as USB. Images on the 800-by-600-pixel screen appeared quite similar to the originals on our test PC, though with a slightly green cast if you looked with a keen eye for comparison.
Wi-Fi is a nice addition to digital photo frames--when it works. Fortunately, setting up Wi-Fi on this frame was pretty simple: It automatically scans for networks and then asks for the network key. The SPX8WF is integrated with Windows Live, through which you can set up photo streams and view news headlines. And if a friend wants to share a photo with you, they can e-mail it directly to your frame--a pretty cool feature. You can also listen to an MP3 or WMA soundtrack while viewing a slide show.
The frame's included SyncPix software automatically adjusts pictures to the correct orientation so that they are viewed properly on the screen. You can specify whether to view photos filling the frame or in their original proportions to avoid cutting off anything.
The motion sensor is an especially helpful feature on this frame. You don't have to remember to turn the frame on or off, and you avoid wasting electricity and the frame's lifespan.
However, the menu can be slow to respond. And occasionally, I ran into frame catatonia when the remote wasn't aimed directly at the sensor.