Portable photo frame targets consumers, but better for business?

What it lacks in cool it makes up for in possible applications.

JOBO S4 Mobile Photo Display
JOBO S4 Mobile Photo Display Jobo AG

Everyone wants a cool device to whip out of a bag or pocket to showcase photos--lord knows I've had plenty of iPhones shoved in my face for just that purpose. But somehow, products like the recently announced Jobo S4, a traditional digital photo frame shrunk to 3.5 inches and powered by a 2.5-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery, don't seem to do it for me. Especially since the Jobo only has 4MB (yes, that's megabytes, not gigabytes) built-in storage, which holds 90 low-resolution photos appropriate for the 320x240 display. That means you really have to store the photos on an SD card. And just it comes in boring old black or white.

But what the Jobo lacks in coolness, it might make up in practicality for certain types of businesses. To me, this class of products seems a natural for using as a point-of-sale tool at craft fairs, flea markets, animal adoption events, low-rent charity auctions; anywhere you display a lot of small items, move around a lot, and don't have access to an outlet. (Though optimally you want user-replaceable batteries, which I think this lacks.) Or as a high-rent wedding-photographer takeaway. Just load it up with photos from the wedding--they're low-resolution enough that you don't have to worry about rights issues--and give to guests on their way out. Like many of its kin, the display can't manage a full gamut, just 65,000 colors, but that should be sufficient. And at $49.90 apiece, the price tag isn't too onerous.

About the author

Lori Grunin is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. She's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 1988.


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