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Just one of a group of technologies aimed at the less than tech-savvy of the population that have sprung up in the last decade - the digital photo frame needs to be fit for a market where simplicity and discretion are the names of the game. The P86 is definitely easy to use, a simple four direction button setup with ‘ok’, ‘mode’ and ‘back’ keys are tucked away on the back (there’s the discretion) and they control a fairly self explanatory menu setup on the front. It’s easy to change options, import photos and move between them.
The choice of buttons rather than touch-screen functionality is presumably a cost saving decision, bringing the Easyshare P86 down to an affordable price of around £70, but it does make for a little fiddlyness when navigating. Rather than just poking the screen then choosing what you want you need to: Flip over, open the menu, flip back, look at menu, decide where you want to go, flip over again and move ... aaaand repeat until you’re satisfied, or infuriated. As far as the actual viewing goes its pretty fine, with high res screen and something called ‘colour science technology’ which is probably just an advertising slogan. It looks good whatever it is, presented in a charcoal-grey border with a good variety of wierd and wonderful ways for your photos to fade into eachother, scroll along the screen and generally mess up your head .
The stand is an issue though, with a pole stuck oddly out the back it has fallen over once or twice, mainly when someone is attempting to access the fiddly buttons. The upside to this is that we have been able to witness the frame’s good durability, with not a scratch or skewed pixel on it.
I started by saying that simplicity is the be all and end all of the photo frame and I will finish by saying that I think the P86 was close to hitting the nail on the head, but then along came all of the little modes and functionalities. From similar picture grouping, to on/off schedules to different viewing modes, this is not one of the more simpleton-friendly products available at the moment. It has to be said that a decent sized memory and cheap price make it a serious contender though.
Specs, according to Kodak: Screen: 20.3 cm (8 in.) high-resolution 4:3 viewing screen Storage: View up to 1000 images easily Compatibility: xD, MMC, SD and SDHC cards and USB device transfer Power economy: Energy star qualified