Wallet-friendly frames

Displays: They cost less that the top-of-the line products and offer many of the same features.

November 19, 2001|By Craig Crossman | Craig Crossman,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

The number of ways to show the images taken by a digital camera have been increased. Your choices include being displayed on a computer's monitor, a TV or printed out on a color printer.

Now add the digital picture frame category. Digital picture frames have been out for a while but as with many such products, they have been a bit pricey for the average consumer. The top-of-the-line Sony digital picture frame cost about $800 when it was available, but it was loaded with features including the ability to display short movies with sound.

Other offerings now include Kodak's Smart Picture Frame ($349) and the Ceiva Internet-Enabled Photo frame ($250). These mid-range priced models offer many of the desired features found in the Sony frame such as removable memory media that lets you expand the frame's capacity.

The Ceiva frame is the first to be able to directly and automatically download digital photos from the Web. It can also bring you customized sports scores, news headlines and local weather reports.

Kensington has just introduced two new digital frames that break the price barrier by not trying to be everything. By offering fewer features, the Digital Photo Album is basically a cool digital picture frame capable of storing 12 images ($79), or 24 images in the Plus version ($149). There's no memory card and no service fees. The frame's matt silver finish gives it a modern, high-tech look. The 7.4-inch diagonal color screen displays a 640 x 480 resolution. The frame's timing can be set to display a different image every second to once every 24 hours. The included Album Manager software lets you edit the photos.

All of the digital frames either directly connect to a computer via a USB connection or require some sort of removable flash memory card reader/writer. A digital frame will make a novel gift for your technology or photography lover this holiday.

Information: www.kodak.com, www.ceiva.com and www.kensington.com

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