We'll get this out of the way at the start: this is an expensive photo frame. The £250 price tag for the Parrot Digital Frame by Andrée Putman -- yes, that's its full name -- is sure to dissuade most casual digital photographers from popping down the shops to buy one. If the price wasn't enough, you can only buy it from one place at the moment -- a concept store called Few and Far in London.
The design is courtesy of interior designer Andrée Putman, who has had a hand in the interiors of some posh hotels, mostly based on black and white checks. She made this unintentionally hilarious comment about the frame: "Storage fans will be the most vulnerable to the charms of this object, which will overcome any problems of arranging photo souvenirs". Storage fans? Really, what constitutes a 'storage fan' exactly? People with a fetish for boxes or just obsessive hoarders?
With the moaning about pricing and initial availability out of the way, we're free to genuinely like it. For your massive chunk of change, you get a 7-inch screen, which is mounted in a larger plastic bezel. It looks good and feels sturdy. You also get Parrot's Bluetooth expertise, which means sending pictures from a phone or computer with a dongle is really, really simple.
The frame has 10MB of storage, which is enough space for about 400 photos. This is made possible through a combination of magic and compression. It's flexible too, including an SD card socket that can be used to display photos.
The power switch will turn the frame into a clock with one press. Pressed for longer, it'll switch the whole thing off. We liked this setup, and being able to use your £250 photo frame as a £250 clock is sure to be of interest to someone, somewhere.
Of course, Bluetooth on this photo frame doesn't need to be paired in order to send photos to it, so there is massive and potentially hilarious scope for in-shop abuse. Not that we'd condone such a thing, of course, nor would we want you to send us photos of such shenanigans.
We recommend you give the manual a flick-through before use, if only to enjoy the full-name references. For example: "If you rotate the frame, the photo displayed turns to match the new position of the Parrot Digital Frame by Andrée Putman". It made us laugh, anyway. -Ian Morris