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Kodak S730 digital photoframe Display Device Review

Kodak S730 digital photoframe Display Device Review - Matt Grayson takes a look at the S730, a new portable digital photoframe from Kodak.

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Category : Display Devices
Product : Kodak S730
Price : £140
Rating :
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Kodak up the ante on the digital picture frame market with a portable unit that has a proximity sensor and can hold up to 8000 images.

Kodak S730 digital photoframe: Specifications
  • Image file formats: JPEG, EXIF 2.2Kodak S730 digital photoframe
  • Audio formats: MP3, PCM, ADPCM, MPEG 1 layer (1, 2, 3)
  • Video formats: MOV, AVI, MPEG, MPEG4
  • Dimensions: 8.9x6.1x1.5in
  • Display size: 7in
  • Display resolution: 800x480px
  • Aspect ratio: 15:9
  • Display type: aSi TFT active matrix
  • Display backlight: LED
  • Display brightness: 250 NITs (typical)
  • Contrast ratio: 500:1 (typical)
  • Memory cards: Dual slot 6-in-1 reader (SD/SDHC, MMC, MS, MS PRO/MS Pro Duo, xD-Picture Card USB mass storage: USB High-Speed Type A
  • Memory: 1Gb* internal memory available
  • Display modes: Full screen, collage, clock, calendar
  • Power consumption: 11.75 watts–frame running and charging battery
  • 5.7 watts–frame running in slideshow mode
  • Battery: Ni-MH (internal, 3.6 V)
  • Power supply: 12v DC
  • Operating temperature: 32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C)
  • Storage temperature: -4° to 140° F (-20° to 60° C)

Kodak S730 digital photoframe: Features

After a lengthy consumer research period, Kodak discovered that digital photoframes are mainly used at parties as a conversational piece and something cool to have in the background. With that, they developed the S730 which they hope is good looking with great picture quality, has excellent features and is at a decent price. The new frame's picture quality has been optimised for the size of the screen, it has great features such as a built in battery for passing round at parties and auto rotation.

A black, glossy frame surrounds the TFT screen while a metal band holds it all in place. The frame has a shiny glass front and, on the surface, it looks like the three buttons, which are found on top of the frame, are the only ones present. These control the power, volume of audio/video files and the display options. Switching on the unit reveals several more buttons down the right side of the screen which glow in a rich yellow and correspond with the icons that flag onto the screen. A white Kodak logo illuminates in the top left corner while the lights are activated. I like this discreet branding as it's so easy to have a badge or to make the lights stay on permanently. I think it shows that Kodak were thinking of the consumer because there's nothing else on the frame to divert your attention from the photographs.

Kodak S730 digital photoframe
The Kodak S730 digital photoframe has a proximity sensor which lights the buttons when your finger gets near.
Inserting a memory card or using the built-in memory will bring the images up as a slideshow which will scroll through the images available from your selected source. If you wish to change the source, move your hand to the screen as a proximity sensor will light the buttons and bring the options onto the screen. You can then make your selections and continue. Bringing up the buttons will freeze the slideshow and allow you to select a particular image for the frame to display related images of.

The first icon is for the main menu. It brings up nine options for looking at pictures, videos or listening to music, slideshow options, copying, rotating and deleting music as well as a settings menu and thumbnail options. There's also an option to select and view multiple images and videos so you can, essentially, keep out the stuff you're not overly bothered about looking at.

You make your selections by pressing the up and down arrows which are the third and fourth lights and pressing ok at the bottom. The second button is to play all images as a slideshow and I think this should be placed at the bottom with the arrow and ok buttons placed next to the menu as they all correspond with each other.

Kodak S730 digital photoframe
There are only three buttons on the back to keep things simple. Everything else is on the screen.
Many people don't know what to look for when choosing a digital photoframe so Kodak have gone to some lengths to make it easier for you. They've made changes such as illustrating the maximum amount of images that the internal storage can hold instead of saying what the memory is and illustrating the amount of pixels instead of the dimensions. They're also looking at ways of using keywords in the same way that the video industry uses HD and FullHD to determine between different quality settings.

Pressing the long button at the top of the frame will scroll through the alternative options that the frame has to offer. This makes the frame a decent present for someone with an office job as they can have the time on display as well as having images of their family rotating through.

Kodak S730 digital photoframe: Build and handling

It's quite a weighty product and the front is lovely to look at. I like the way the branding lights up with the proximity sensor and the buttons are firm and responsive. I think the menu could be a little more user friendly as some of it can be a little confusing. A comprehensive manual is available but who wants to use a manual just to get some pictures on a frame?

The shiny front is lovely to look at but doesn't last long as the first time anyone touches it a fingerprint is placed on it. It's a shame that the proximity sensor doesn't accept instructions without touching the screen but that could cause problems and would need a locking system for when the frame is passed around.

Kodak say that the S730 has a wider dynamic range than other frames and coupled to Kodak Colourscience, this means getting the best colours and best exposure from your images. The maximum resolution of pictures on your camera is inconsequential when viewing them on a frame. Kodak have optimised the frame to get the best quality available but there's only so much resolution it can show. For this reason, when you save the images to the frame's internal memory, it automatically compresses them to the same size. This aids in storage and rotation time. I've used frames in the past where the low key areas are blacked out completely despite having detail on the image and this doesn't happen on this frame.

Kodak are also proud of the ecological aspect of the build quality. They've incorporated LED backlighting which, they say, uses less power. There's also no mercury in LED's which is better than a lot of laptops on the market at the moment. Charging the battery takes a little over two hours. 80% of the battery will charge in this time before the charge changes from speed to trickle while the battery tops up. This is to prevent “peaking” where the battery thinks it's fully charged before it really is.

Kodak S730 digital photoframe: Verdict
With the S730, Kodak have changed the way frames are thought of, from a passive way to a more interactive way. It's reminiscent of getting the family album out and all sitting around the fire getting embarrassed about what you used to wear. This is taking that concept into the 21st century and Kodak think that this is the future.

It's certainly a lovely frame and despite it's UI (user interface) having some issues it's not at all bad. If you're looking for a photoframe with a bit of an edge then spend the extra money on this one. It's priced less than other photoframes with innovative ides such as the eStarling WiFi frame which was around £200 when it came out. There's other touchscreen frames at around the same price but they haven't got the branding power so I'd prefer to spend the extra bit of money.

If Kodak keep releasing products with the kind of quality and good looks this frame and their ESP9 printer have then they're going to be a formidable company in the near future.

Kodak S730 digital photoframe: Plus points
Attractive
Nice picture
Portable
Proximity sensor

Kodak S730 digital photoframe: Minus points
Can get confusing in the menus
Glossy front gets dirty quickly

FEATURES

HANDLING

OVERALL



The Kodak S730 costs around £139.99 and more information is available from the Kodak website.

Kodak S730



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