As for the remote, it has its pros and cons. On the positive side, it does make navigating the frame and controlling its functions easier. On the downside, it's small, which makes it easy to lose, though Pandigital smartly equipped it with grooves that allow you to store it in the CompactFlash slot on the side of the frame when not in use (it's hidden if you use the black wooden frame, but it does show through the acrylic border). You also have to point the remote directly at the IR sensor on the frame at a fairly close range (within 5 feet or so) to get it to respond to your button pushes.
At first we thought you could only access set-up options from a button on the remote, but after consulting the manual, we discovered you also can hold down the exit button to get into this all-important menu that allows you to make adjustments to slide show effects (there are six), copy and delete files, and make picture tweaks.
As noted, the display is pretty sharp, and while it didn't quite measure up to the Philips photo frame we had on hand, it was pretty close. One thing we did notice was that because of a lack of pixel density, the frame exhibited some stair-stepping in images where there was a curved line, such as the outline of a person's shoulder. In other words, that line wasn't a smooth curve but a slightly jagged one.
Fans of Ceiva photo frames, which allow you to automatically "push" photos to them via the Internet (a good option for those who want to send regular photo updates to a grandparent or other family members), will note that this model doesn't offer that feature, (which Ceiva does charge a fee for). Nor does it have built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to tie into an online photo gallery like Kodak's frames will.
If you don't care about that sort of functionality and are fine with simply playing back files from flash memory or a hard drive, then the Pandigital 8-inch digital photo frame's solid feature set, decent picture quality, and straightforward operation make it a reasonable deal at its online price of around $175. But if that online connectivity is something you crave, it will lose some of its luster.
Editor's note: Along with this 8-inch model, Pandigital also makes 5.6-, 7.2-, and 9.2-inch digital photo frames.