Competition is hotting up in the digital photo frame market and, as a result, we're seeing larger frames with more features at not-so-scary prices. The latest through Crave's revolving door is Mustek's most recent offering, the 8-inch PF-D800.
This frame packs plenty of features, which in theory puts it at an advantage over many of its competitors. Not only does it show images, in portrait or landscape mode with the usual options of slideshows, rotation and zoom settings, but it also plays MP3s, shows video and has a TV-out port--not a bad little set for its 140-pound price tag (about $280).
The frame itself is constructed of trendy piano-black plastic and looks pretty stylish, although it probably wouldn't survive a fall unscratched. Setting it up is easy--you simply plug it into the mains and insert a memory card. It accepts SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, MS Duo and CF cards, but unfortunately you can't transfer files directly from your PC, and there's no wireless option.
The 800x480-pixel, 16:9 screen produces bright and clear images--more than acceptable to show off your holiday snaps.
You have the option to add a soundtrack to your slideshow by transferring MP3s to the device. If you'd rather just play a few tunes at your desk, you can plug in some headphones and use it solely as an MP3 player. The sound quality from the speakers isn't outstanding, but it's absolutely fine for accompanying a few snaps.
Video gets airtime too. The PF-D800 supports motion JPGs, which is the format used on many digital cameras. Unfortunately, it's a somewhat outdated format, but if you have a few short, blurry clips of drunken nights out captured on your camera, you can show them off to your heart's content.
The TV-out option, however, is a something of a gimmick--any images that look half-decent on this frame will be practically indistinguishable on a large screen. Crave has four words for you: don't even try it.
We've seen frames decked out in fake leather, wood and even fur, so the PF-D800 is sure to please those who shy away from ostentatious ornaments. It's available now for ?140, making it a reasonable option for a birthday pressie or a well-deserved personal treat.