Kodak EasyShare W1020 Wireless Digital Frame review: Kodak EasyShare W1020 Wireless Digital Frame

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Kodak EasyShare W1020 Wireless Digital Frame

(Part #: 8594798) Released: Jun 11, 2008
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Relatively large screen area; solid display quality; built-in Wi-Fi; zippy performance; easy to set up; supports MP3 and video playback.

The Bad Cheap plastic frame; no remote; Mac owners can't wirelessly connect to their computers.

The Bottom Line Kodak may have cut some corners on the build quality of the EasyShare W1020 Wireless Digital Frame, but it offers decent image quality, performance, and a strong feature set for the money.

8.0 Overall

We recently reviewed Kodak's cutting-edge OLED Wireless Frame, which costs a whopping $1,000. That model has a 7.6-inch screen; it's pretty spectacular, but for $800 less you can step down to the more reasonable 8.2-inch EasyShare W820 or the 10.2-inch EasyShare W1020. While these models use standard LCD screens and don't have the slick cosmetics--or impressive build quality--of the OLED frame, their feature sets are virtually identical, plus they offer support for all memory cards, not just SD cards.

Some digital photo frames have real wood or metal finishes, but this is strictly a plastic affair. With its simple black border, the frame looks elegant enough from afar and comes with a red and a silver stick-on matte that allow you to customize the frame's look. The kickstand on the back swivels, giving you the option of locking the frame into landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) orientation. On the back of the frame there are keyhole slots for mounting the frame to a wall with screws, along with a threaded tripod mount if you want to prop it up with a tripod.

The frame is loaded with features. For starters, it comes with 512MB of internal memory and built-in Wi-Fi. That 512MB allows you to store about 4,000 images resized to the frame's 800x480 resolution (the images will automatically resize when you copy them to the frame if you select that option from the settings menu). But if you want to show off more photos, the frame accepts all memory cards, including CompactFlash, MemoryStick, SD/SDHC, and xD-Picture cards. There's also a USB connector for plugging in thumbdrives (or your camera).

This frame, like several other new frames, uses a Touch Border interface; you touch the bezel to access menus and settings. With this frame, the various touch points along the bottom and right side of the frame light up when you touch the bezel. We're not sure about the whole touch-panel concept, but Kodak's is one of the best implementations we've seen, particularly because the touch points are sensitive and the frame is very responsive.

That's another one of the frame's strong points: the performance is quite good. Even photos with large file sizes load quickly, and menus open and close with limited lag. This is a zippy frame.

Obviously the wireless connectivity plays a key role. Once you connect to your Wi-Fi network (you input any security keys through a virtual keyboard) and install the Kodak EasyShare desktop software on your Windows PC, you can wirelessly transfer photos from your computer to the frame. You can also access photos you've stored on your online Kodak Gallery account, as well as access friends' albums that are linked to your account. You can also tap into Flickr and FrameChannel and subscribe to Photo RSS feeds. FrameChannel also provides RSS feeds for news, weather, and sports scores. Mac users can't transfer photos from their PCs to the frame wirelessly, but they can take advantage of all the online services. The interface isn't quite Apple-like, but it is pretty easy to use. No major complaints there.

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