Toshiba DMF82XU 8-inch Digital Media Frame review:

Toshiba DMF82XU 8-inch Digital Media Frame

The menus are reasonably straightforward lists with only an occasionally unclear name. Toshiba put Menu, Options, and Mode buttons on the remote, too, which can get confusing if you don't know what you're looking for or can't remember what to press for a particular function. Menu is for general settings, while Mode is for accessing different media types as well as all of the same stuff the single-function buttons do, and Options is for displaying photo info or saving a photo to the frame's 1GB of memory. Sacrificing one of these for a direct link to the online services would be welcomed.

Connecting the frame to a wireless network is fairly painless, even if you have to input everything manually. If you have a Wi-Fi router or access point with a Wi-Fi Protected Setup button (WPS), the configuration can be done automatically. While the network access can't be used for pulling content from network computers or storage devices, it allows for access to up to three Picasa accounts and a FrameChannel account, both of which are free. FrameChannel gives you access to Facebook and Flickr photos in addition to your own photos uploaded to the site. The service also comes with an e-mail address so friends and family can send you photos to instantly add to your frame. There is other content available through FrameChannel, too, such as popular blogs, comics, news, sports, and weather, and you can adjust how often you see content from all your channels. You can also create and view custom photo and text RSS feeds. However, I never could get any of the text-based channels to show up, regardless of settings. (Note: During testing, use of FrameChannel would cause the frame to inexplicably crash, forcing a reset with the frame's power button. Thankfully, the frame starts up reasonably fast.)

File support on the Toshiba is above average. Images can be in JPEG, BMP (800x480), and TIFF (800x480). Music can be in either MP3 or WMA, and MPEG-1, -2, and -4 videos can be viewed, too, with MPG and MPEG extensions. (Contrary to what the manual says, it does not support AVI files.) Unsurprisingly, DRM-protected files cannot be played back.

Performance is generally very good. Slides transition smoothly and menus are responsive with an average delay of 1 second when using the remote control. Video played without any issues as well, and though the speakers are tinny sounding, they're sadly on par with most digital-frame speakers. The color, contrast, and brightness are all fine, though it would be nice if there were some fine controls for color. Viewing angles on the Toshiba are decent, too, with only slight changes in brightness off to the sides, top, and bottom.

Toshiba includes only a 90-day warranty on its digital media frames. This is standard for the industry, but that doesn't make it right. The included manual is comprehensive, but should you need customer support, the company does have a toll-free phone number and an e-mail address available on its site.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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