capsule review

eStarling ImpactV 8-Inch Wi-Fi Connected Digital Photo and Video Frame

At a Glance
  • eStarling ImpactV 8-Inch Photo Frame

eStarling promises that you'll get a lot from its frame, but it's unclear how you should go about it. The ImpactV 8-inch frame ($200 as of 5/7/09) came without a manual, but with a quick-start guide for getting the Wi-Fi connected. The company's Web site was similarly unhelpful, leaving me to stumble around using trial and error.

The ImpactV's touch-panel border was hit-or-miss, and I found that the frame was also a magnet for fingerprints. Although the frame does connect to a network and can download pictures from RSS feeds, you can update only 20 at a time. The frame also comes with an e-mail address, so ostensibly people should be able to e-mail pictures to it. However, this interaction, as well as the retrieval of any content from online communities like Picasa, actually takes place through eStarling's Seeframe Live service, which you access from your computer. Once you have created an account there, you can log in and retrieve your e-mailed photos and downloaded photo streams. In my tests, e-mailed images showed up either in minutes or not at all; a little disquieting.

To view pictures stored in the frame's internal memory, you have to be connected to a network. Pictures on removable media, however, are viewable immediately and will start playing in slide-show mode. As is the case with many digital frames, you cannot stream content from more than one place at a time.

The image quality in our slide shows was passable (images had a blue tint). Transition effects are limited, and photos cannot be shuffled. In my testing, the network connection would occasionally drop, and I would have to re-enter the network key.

Because of these flaws and the fact that your photos may sometimes end up in limbo somewhere mean that I cannot recommend this frame.

--Kathleen Cullen

This story, "eStarling ImpactV 8-Inch Wi-Fi Connected Digital Photo and Video Frame " was originally published by PCWorld.

At a Glance
  • eStarling ImpactV 8-Inch Photo Frame

  
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