Digital Picture Show

Digital Picture Show

With a digital photo frame, you can update the look of your desk after every party.


Don’t let your holiday, birthday party, or happy hour photos waste away on a memory card or on your hard drive. You took your photos so people could see them, so show ’em off with a digital photo frame. Jobo’s PDJ701 and Cenomax’s F7024B are 7-inch frames that you can display on a desk or a bookshelf. They’re similar in size, but offer vastly different viewing experiences.


Jobo PDJ701 Photo Display. We prefer the looks of the Jobo’s brushed silver and clear plastic frame compared to the Cenomax frame and inserts (more on the Cenomax in a bit), but asking us to pick one over the other is like asking us what kind of cough syrup we prefer—they both leave us cringing just a bit. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you just might find these frames handsome. We yearn for a digital photo frame that rivals the style and looks of top-quality (analog?) picture frames.


The 7-inch, 800-by-480-pixel LCD at the center of the Jobo frame has a 400-to-1 contrast ratio, so you shouldn’t see a lot of banding, or steplike bars, in your photos. When we tested it with our photos, the screen was clear and had even brightness without any banding. The Jobo frame has five different brightness levels, and we could see the pictures even in strong sunlight. We were also able to see images at the sharpest of angles.


The 1GB of internal memory means you can store a ton of JPEG or bitmap images
on the frame itself. If you shoot in RAW or some other format, you’ll need to convert your pictures before you can load them on the frame, which has slots for all the popular memory card formats.


The only major annoyance we had with the Jobo frame was the clock display. You have the option of displaying the current time with your picture—unfortunately, it appears as a 2-by-0.5-inch block in the lower-right corner. It doesn’t detract from the photo display, but the clock lacks elegance. At least you can turn it off.


Cenomax F7024B Digital Photo Frame. The 7-inch Cenomax frame has a removable clear frame with four inserts you can slip into it to match your décor, but the look comes off cheap instead of classy.
We wish we could say that the LCD makes up for the frame, but we can’t. The 480-by-234-pixel screen doesn’t create smooth images. From 3 feet, you can notice jaggy edges, and in some instances there’s a moiré effect. On the plus side, color replication is lively and accurate.
The frame has slots for memory cards and there’s internal memory with 15 photo-only slots—we used it to store 15 2MB pictures. The frame does read MP3s, so you can have audio accompany your slideshows. The manual says the frame can also play video from “major file formats,” but we were unable to play an MPEG-4 or H.264 QuickTime video.


The bottom line. When it comes to frames, image quality is the top priority. While the Jobo PDJ701 is pricey at $179, you’ll be pleased with its display. The Cenomax F7024B is a cheaper alternative, but be prepared for the compromises.


The Jobo photo display, left, and the Cenomax photo display




PRICE: $179

REQUIREMENTS: Memory card for photos

Built-in lithium-ion battery. 1GB internal memory. Good image quality.

JPG or BMP format support only. Inelegant clock display. Pricey.



COMPANY: Cenomax


PRICE: $89.99

REQUIREMENTS: Memory card for photos

MP3 support for slideshows. Video playback. Remote control.

Mediocre image quality. Cheesy frame inserts. JPEG only. Internal memory holds photos





+ Add a Comment


I've seen "wireless/Wi-Fi' digital picture frames out there and looks like a great holiday gift. But I did not see any that will work with the Mac's. Can anyone help me find one that will work wi-fi with my laptop?




So how long can your pictures be displayed before the battery runs out?


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