GiiNii 8-inch Ultra-thin Digital Picture Frame review: GiiNii 8-inch Ultra-thin Digital Picture Frame

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The Good Thin; reasonably priced; removable wood frame; landscape/portrait autorotation.

The Bad Poor photo compression; confusing menu systems; only a 90-day warranty.

The Bottom Line The GiiNii 8-inch Ultra-thin Digital Picture Frame is a good, pop-in-a-card-and-view photo display, though the execution of its features is disappointing.

5.8 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 6
  • Performance 5
  • Support 6

The GiiNii 8-inch Ultra-thin Digital Picture Frame (it's pronounced "genie") lives up to its name. Indeed, it is an 8-inch LCD (diagonal) that is less than half an inch deep, and does display digital pictures in a frame. If only the company had kept things that simple. Instead it loaded the display with a bunch of features that, even if you could locate them in the muddled menu system, are likely better left disabled.

The GiiNii's chassis is almost entirely white molded plastic with a brushed silver frame surrounding the 8-inch, 800x600-resolution display. A spring-loaded wood frame is included, taking the frame from modern to more traditional with a double-matted look. The overall dimensions are 10.6 inches wide by 8.9 inches high by 0.4 inch deep, so yes, it is thinner than most digital photo frames. And though it's plastic, the back is very clean looking as the controls blend in. (An included remote has all the same buttons except for Power.) The stand attaches to the back of the frame with a giant screw, and can be left off for wall mounting.

The multiformat memory-card reader is tucked under a ledge along with the power input and a mini-USB port for connecting directly to a computer. It accepts all major card types. There is also a USB port in a well on the side for viewing images off an external drive. The frame has 128MB of built-in storage, too.

For the best picture quality you'll want to skip copying photos from a memory card directly to the frame's memory. In order to fit a lot of images into that limited amount of space, the software that's used to compress images destroys a lot of detail and turned several of my test images into a posterized, blocky mess. I recommend connecting the GiiNii to a computer and transferring images manually. It won't fit as many, but at least they'll look good.

The quality of the panel itself is OK. Colors are accurate, but it has a limited dynamic range causing a loss in shadow and highlight detail. It's also not very bright, so putting it in a sunny room could be a problem. One nice extra is the inclusion of an autorotation feature. You can turn the display from landscape to portrait and photos will automatically rotate.

There are three menu systems in the GiiNii. Hitting the Exit button while the frame displays photos drops you into a content selection screen with options to view photos (JPEG, TIF, or still GIF), listen to music (MP3 and WMA files are supported), watch AVI or MOV videos, or access a Favorite folder you can fill with selected photos.