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My husband and I must have hundreds and hundreds of photographs hidden in files on the computer. The jump to the digital age over the past 15 years has brought the welcome relief of not having to buy film for the camera and as a result you can click away happily, ending up with much more photographs than the ’24’ you were constricted to with a film roll. Unfortunately the cost of printing photographs has not reduced over the years; even printing at home is a costly endeavour. I welcomed digital photograph frames and I wanted one as soon as the first ones started appearing on the market, they offer a wonderful solution; allowing you to display all your favourite pictures in one place and enjoy seeing them in the same quality that you get on the computer screen. You can get some amazing frames these days, ones that play video, music and come with a remote control. We wanted a very basic one for the bedroom and we did not want to spend too much money. The CnM one ticked a lot of boxes so we bought it and we were really pleased with it.
We got an absolute bargain with this frame and we only paid £16.99 from a place called Robershaw’s, which is small independent electrical store close to where my mother lives.
This frame is glossy, black and looks a lot more expensive than it was! It has a thick shiny frame that sets the photographs off lovely and boasts an 8 inch screen with a resolution of 480x220. It runs on power through an AC adapter which is supplied in the box and the lead is long enough to comfortably reach the plug socket. The frame is supplied with the stand that clicks into place and holds the frame at an angle which makes the frame viewable from most locations around the bedroom. If you want to, you can mount the frame on a wall, however the wire would be trailing down and it would not look very appealing.
The frame has very basic functions which is good as I hate overcomplicated technology. It has the following control buttons – On/off, play/pause, previous, next, exit, time and menu. When you click menu you can then use the same key to shift the options.
The machine is easy to set up so firstly plug it in and turn it on. The main menu should appear on the screen; this is sky blue with white icons. The menu has four icons which represent picture browsing, calendar where you can view a complex view of the calendar and pictures. Favourites, where you can select some of your favourite images rather than the whole album and then there is the settings icon where you can alter the functions of the machine.
The machine supports USB and SD cards so when you have your album on the one of these formats all you need to do is insert the flash drive or card and the frame will play the images directly from here. SD cards are so cheap these days that you can afford to have one permanently in the machine. There is 8 mg of internal memory and to upload straight onto the machine you need to use a USB cable with a micro USB end, once connected the computer will then find the new hardware and install the driver. You can then drag and drop your pictures. I only use SD cards in my machine though as it is a quicker way of changing the images and you can have much more on display.
I love the simplicity of the machine, from the luxurious black finish exterior to the basic menu layout; I can not fault this machine for being complicated. It has focused itself on doing what it is supposed to do and that is showing my lovely pictures off. It looks expensive, a lot of the cheaper frames around look cheap and made from cheap plastic with a flimsy construction. This is the sort of machine that you are proud to have on display and the perfect setting to show off your lovely pictures.
The screen is superb and the photographs are bright, crisp and detailed. They do not look like they are made from hundreds of pixels and all the lines are crisp. There is no blurring at all and all the colours are so vivid that you want to stare at the pictures. It illuminates our bedroom we our favourite snaps and it looks wonderful. The only niggle in terms of quality is that sometimes if you stand side on to the screen, the colours darken and you need to reposition yourself to get the best possible viewing angle.
My favourite feature is the favourites option. When you scroll though all your images you can select your favourites and then these can be shown in a slideshow together. There is the facility to rotate your images and you can have these at 90, 1 80 or 270 degrees. Before viewing the slideshow or clicking through the pictures you can view the whole album as small thumbnails which is a useful little tool. There is also the facility to enlarge some of your images but I find that when I do this through the machine the quality drops a little bit. I usually use my camera to do any enlarging and cropping therefore when I insert my SD card, the images are just how I would like them to be. It is useful though to just have the ‘auto fit’ selection on though as this blows the images up to fill the screen.
In summary we are more than happy with this machine, it has all the range of features that you need from a photo frame without it being too complicated and this is turn keeps the cost down. At this price you can afford to have one in every room and then you can always have your pictures with you! I would definitely recommend it, the screen quality is brilliant and the whole thing looks good. Definitely one to recommend!