Transcend 720 7-Inch Digital Photo Frame
The Transcend 720 ($95 as of 5/7/2009) does seem serious about transcending genres. Not only is it a digital photo frame, but it is also an FM radio, a video player, and an MP3 player. The device's built-in 2GB of memory makes it easy to amass a big collection without using any cards or a PC (although you can do that, too).
The frame's 800-by-480-pixel screen looked crisp and served up photos with extremely natural-looking color, without the blue or green tint seen on so many other digital frames. Transcend says this is part of its built-in NaturaTone processing. My test unit did have a bit too much contrast, losing detail where pictures had dark shadows, but otherwise the frame rendered images well, and the contrast and brightness are adjustable. In addition, if the Transcend is kept on its default setting, it will crop your photo automatically to fill the frame. Luckily, this option can be disabled.
The Transcend device accepts a broad range of cards, including microSD, microSDHC, SD, SDHC, MMC, MS/MS Pro, M2, and CF, in addition to supporting USB flash drives. It also plays motion JPEG, MPEG, AVI, MOV, MPG, MP4, and 3GP videos.
The unit's remote is large and readable, and the frame is highly responsive to it. This versatile remote lets you add photos to your Favorites, adjust volume, and set different modes for photo, video, music, radio, calendar, and slide-show functions.
The Transcend 720 is a great device to have by your bed or sofa because you can use it like a personal media player for listening to the radio or your personal MP3 collection alongside slide shows or videos. Another boon: It also functions as an alarm clock.
There's a lot to like about the Transcend 720, and at about a hundred bucks, it's a good deal--even without Wi-Fi.