Cons: Limited control over photos and other media; Poor AVI support; No built in battery
Bottomline: The DPF-A01 has its faults, but if you're planning on using it primarily for photo display the screen quality and design more than makes up for them
There are quite a few digital photo frames about now that offer extra features in addition the basic display of photographs.
The 10.4in Genius DPF-A01 from Genius falls somewhere in the middle, and is finished with a rather large faux-mahogany bezel.
A quick peek around the back reveals a multi-format memory card reader, full-sized USB port for connecting a USB memory key, a mini-USB socket for connecting to a PC, and a speaker.
Photos are transferred by dragging and dropping them in Windows (the frame appears as a disk when plugged into the PC) or can be copied to the frame directly from memory cards. The frame cleverly resizes them as it goes, to make the most of the 128MB of internal storage.
We were very impressed by the image quality despite the large display having a resolution of only 640x480 pixels, and it can be adjusted for various environments thanks to the flexible brightness control.
The frame offers three different views: full screen, a three-to-four-photo montage and a nine-photo grid for browsing. In terms of slideshow control you can adjust the timings but there's no facility to change the type of transition between pictures.
This isn't the only problem we encountered. First of all there's no battery, so it needs to be connected to the mains when in use. There's also no real interface through which to browse pictures, so everything is lumped into one display, which will be frustrating if you expected to be able to separate pictures into folders and then choose a specific collection to view.
The same goes for MP3 files, and while the frame claims to be able to play back video, we failed to get any of a number of AVI files we tested to work. Finally, in the absence of any controls on the frame itself you need to use the supplied remote control, which we found a bit unresponsive, to access everything.
The 'extra features' on offer with the A01 are a bit of a token effort, then, and those expecting a decent amount of control over video, audio or large collections of photos will feel let down. On the upside it looks great, has a very impressive display and is reasonably priced for its size.
If you're in the market for a photo frame to leave in one place, use for its primary purpose and don't expect to be fiddling with much, you'll be very happy with the DPF-A01.