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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Cagic Digital Photo Frame review:

Cagic Digital Photo Frame

There are a few ways to get photos onto the frame. First, you can just take some pictures, remove the memory card from your camera, and stick it into the frame. Second, you can leave the SD card in the frame and copy photos to it from another memory card (in addition to SD and MMC, the frame accepts CF, xD, MemoryStick, MemoryStick Pro, and MemoryStick Duo), your camera, or your computer via the USB connection (an adapter is provide to go from a standard USB cable to the mini USB connection in the frame).

To maximize space, the frame automatically resizes your photos to the frame's resolution when you copy them over to the frame's SD card. We did appreciate that in the settings you'll find a few choices for how your images are resized. You can choose between Pan and Zoom (the frame determines the most interesting part of the photo and zooms in to feature this area); Fill screen with photo (the frame crops your photos so they fit perfectly on the screen--but they do get trimmed); and finally, Letterbox view (the frame shows the entire photo and adds black borders around the photo to make it fit the screen).

Beyond the resize settings, the frame offers a few slide-show customization settings, brightness, contrast, and color temperature adjustments for the LCD, and the ability to display your photos in sepia tone or black and white. You can also choose a batch of photos you want to display--or all of them. On top of that, you have the option to select all horizontal or all vertical photos, as well as by date. Swiveling the stand on the back of the frame allows you to easily switch the frame from a horizontal to a vertical position.

As for image quality, the test pictures we looked at appeared sharp with natural-looking colors. At 800x600, you're not going to get a tremendous amount of detail, but the pixel density was tight enough that it was hard to see individual pixels when you examined the screen closely.

In the final analysis, we liked Cagic's 8.4-inch digital photo frame. It's a well-built, stylish-looking frame that offers good image quality and a well-thought-out set of core features. As noted, we didn't have any major complaints about the user interface--it's fairly user friendly--but it's not idiot-proof. You can get photo frames in this size range with more features for about the same price or slightly more. But if all you're looking for is an attractive frame that can display digital photos, the frame measures up to expectations--and the competition. However, Cagic may have to shave a few bucks off the list price to gain a broader audience and secure a foothold in the market.

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