Not Your Grandma's Digital Photo Frame

Digital photo frames have become a holiday gifting staple. Younger generations think of the digital photo frame as a charming idea for parents or grandparents, and promise they’ll help keep the photos on the new frame (with its paltry bit of internal storage) up to date with new family portraits and vacation pictures.

 “Digital Picture Frame” is the tenth most popular holiday shopping search term on Google. Prices have come way down, too. A basic 7-inch frame from a non-name brand goes for about $50. Some accept only camera memory cards, while others can display photos from USB drives as well.

But while these basic frame models have gone mainstream by ending up in every living room in America, the frame-makers have been busy creating ever-fancier devices. So, just what has been going on at the top of the line? The biggest innovations have been in the areas of screen size, screen materials, and Internet connectivity options. The pricing on these high-end digital frames makes them all but invisible to consumers looking for a nice holiday gift, but like all technologies, we know that the high-end products of today will eventually end up in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.

So, today we look at three of the priciest digital frames, with the knowledge that at some point soon the technologies in these frames will probably be standard.

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  • sacre
    Its amazing how fragile technology is getting. Back in the day them black and white pictures were tough, and always there. Now, our pictures are all digital, on digital frames, etc. If we have a large war that wipes out all technology, we lose so much.. even our own pictures.. The more technology we get, the more fragile our society and way of living becomes.
  • engrpiman
    I fail to see the point. I take pictures at 8MP (3264 x 2448) in RAW format then post-process them. I Think that resolutions and sizes discussed above are worthless. With such sizes even a bad picture would look sharp. I take Macro pictures of insects and enjoy looking at hidden details; which such small resolutions this is impossible.

    $3 for an 12" x 18" print seems like a much more suitable solution.

    NOTE: why hasn't someone just sold a regular 19" LCD display in a frame with some memory for $300. It would be much more feasible then.
  • SeanFL
    I've owned 4 different frames over the past 3 years; they keep getting better. The most recent purchase, a Pandigital 10" frame ($165 or so at my local Costco) is fantastic. The screen is the best I've seen, very vibrant and easy to see at multiple angles. It doesn't have built in wireless...I'm anxious to try the Samsung SPF-83V wireless frame when I can see it local.
  • I agree, with the first poster, this is the most unneeded tech out there. Think of the waste produced to make these, the electricity it takes to keep it powered, and yes, the fragility of the data in such a format. I still think that photos worth framing, should be printed on a quality paper and framed in a legitimate frame.
  • Yagame
    IMO, it is far more costly for a person to run slide-shows on a computer than it would be to have it on a digital frame. One way or the other (lcd or Paper) resources will be used & the potential for waste will always exist. A digital frame has multiple advantages that can be perceived as advantageous on other levels that I can cite if anyone really cares.
  • Tomsguiderachel
    Paper is great, but it doesn't change like a dynamic slideshow. Computer-screen slideshows are great, but many people don't keep a computer in the living room (yet). That's why people like digital photo frames--they are entertaining to watch, and they fit in with the decor.

    Rachel Rosmarin, Editor of Tom's Guide