Hewlett-Packard DF820A4 8-inch Digital Photo Frame
At a Glance
With its real wood, double-matted, and glassed frame (interchangeable mats are included), HP's DF820A4 ($150 as of 5/7/2009) looks about as close to a traditional picture frame as you can get. The only giveaway is the telltale dangling AC power cord (if the frame is hanging on a wall).
The DF820A4's 7-inch, 800-by-600-pixel display produced excellent results in our tests, with natural-looking, saturated, and detailed pictures. It also displays video (in MPEG or motion JPEG) and plays MP3s with your slide show or video. The sound on this unit was a little tinny, but not terrible, which seems to be standard in digital picture frames.
What I liked best about this unit, aside from its excellent image quality, was that it is exceedingly simple to create slide shows; you simply plug in a memory card and use the touch-activated border to customize both the time between photos and the transitions used. The frame has 512MB of internal memory and accepts a wide range of storage cards (CompactFlash, MicroDrive, MemoryStick, MMC, SD, and xD). It also connects with your computer via USB. HP throws in its PictBridge software, too, so if Mom wants to print a photo of you and your sister, she can do so instantly without a computer.
My biggest gripe: You can't change the order of your pictures, nor can you shuffle them. They stubbornly appear in the order of loading. Additionally, the only way to power on the unit is via a switch on the frame itself; this function is absent on the remote.