GiiNii GN-812 8-Inch Digital Picture Frame
At a Glance
The Giinnii GN-812 ($50 as of 5/7/2009) looks respectable from a distance, but up close you'll realize it's fairly lightweight and feels as if it's made of inexpensive plastic. It does have an 800-by-600-pixel display.
One of its major weaknesses is a weird semicircular array of function buttons on the back, buttons that are impossible to operate without scrutiny--something their location hinders. Luckily, the GiiNii 8 comes with a remote that works reasonably well.
In our slide-show tests, I noticed that the frame tends to crop images quite heavily if you don't tell it to fit, not fill, the screen. It will not automatically resize verticals for the display, although the unit will sense when it's been rotated and attempt to compensate. Color in our photos was accurate, if a little on the cool side, but still vivid. The GiiNii 8 has adjustable settings for brightness and contrast. I found that the frame's matte screen was sharp and viewable from multiple angles.
The GiiNii 8's menus could be a bit slow to respond and sometimes tricky to navigate, but once I got the hang of using the remote (the key was patience in learning its orientation), I was soon able to adjust slide-show transitions and set the photos to random or linear order. I could add MP3s to the slide show, but with tinny results. The frame also features a clock, calendar, and AVI and MOV video playback, and supports the usual array of media cards and USB inputs.
At 128MB, the GiiNii 8's internal memory storage is unimpressive, and its menu structure may not be perfect, but for $50, it's not too hard to live with.