Ipevo Kaleido R7 Digital Picture Frame
The Ipevo Kaleido R7 ($200 as of 5/7/2009) is beautifully designed--even if it doesn't particularly resemble a picture frame. Black and white with attractive touchpad controls, it is somewhat reminiscent of Apple's "iLamps" of a few years ago. The Ipevo Kaleido will look right at home on a desk or in modern décor. The 7-inch widescreen can rotate on its solid, heavyweight stand and automatically orients pictures accordingly. In my tests, the Kaleido rendered pictures slightly cooler than our originals. There was very good detail retention in midtones, and well-exposed pictures looked dynamite on the matte screen--a good thing, since this frame offers a control only for brightness--not color, tint, or contrast. Like most frames, you can opt to have your pictures either fit the screen or fill it (and be cropped as necessary). Interestingly (and potentially useful to types like pro photographers and art directors), you also have the option of viewing metadata on-screen alongside your photos.
With the built-in 802.11b/g wireless connection and the machine's EyeStage software, you can stream photos from iPhoto or RSS feeds. The Kaleido accepts SD/SDHC, MMC, and MS memory cards and USB flash drives, and offers 512MB of internal memory.
I liked the Kaleido's intuitive menu operation and power on/off interval settings, and I also found the Wi-Fi connection simple to set up. However, it's hard not to wish that this device had audio and video support, given its steep price--but hopefully an R8 is on the horizon.