Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Viewsonic 8in Digital Photo Frame (DPX804WH)
Simple and largely unsurprising.
- Adequate format support, decent video playback capability, good display
- No full-sized USB port
Nothing stands out on this photo frame, but it executes its basic function without too many issues.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
On paper, Viewsonic's DPX804WH does not offer any standout features. Nevertheless, the unit does a decent job. It has an adequate display and a good interface.
The DPX804WH has a minimalist design, and we like it. The 8in display is encased in a thin gloss white bezel, though the display itself has a matte finish. Port and button placement is fairly standard, with soft touch buttons sitting on the top of the frame's back panel, making them easily reachable from the front of the frame.
Media support is standard, with the ability to use SD, xD, MMC, MemoryStick and CompactFlash media cards. The frame offers 128MB of internal memory — sufficient for a decent number of smaller photos — but there is no standard USB port, so the frame won't support flash drives. Format support isn't extraordinary either, but it is adequate for most uses. The frame supports JPEG and BMP images, MP3 audio and MPEG1 and MPEG4 video.
The most striking thing about this frame is the lack of a traditional on-screen display. Though it employs a basic file browser as a method of choosing photos, most operations involve a pop-up menu. Unlike traditional photo frame interfaces, Viewsonic's pop-up menu does not distract from media playback, allowing users to continue viewing photos while choosing a different mode. A second pop-up menu serves to control the slideshow or movie currently being played.
Like AKAI's 15in Digital Photo Frame (ADPF15X), the DPX804WH's supplementary features have little to no usefulness. Viewsonic goes one step further than AKAI in providing an attractive clock interface that combines a clock and photo slideshow. However, like the 15in Digital Photo Frame (ADPF15X), the calendar is essentially useless, with no ability to add and edit popular events like birthdays. We would like to see the inclusion of such a basic function.
The frame's display is good. The picture does not suffer when viewed from different angles on a horizontal plane, but when viewed from different vertical angles colours quickly wash out and become unrecognisable. Nevertheless, when viewing the frame as intended, it displays vibrant colours that are mostly accurate. Reds can be slightly under-saturated in some pictures, but on the whole the display is adequate.
Surprisingly, one of the DPX804WH's strongest features is video playback. Though not officially supported, the frame easily played XViD-encoded AVI files that other frames struggled with. The 4:3 display won't suit most video files, but the comparative ease with which it plays videos makes it a decent candidate for home movies and miscellaneous footage.
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