Photo frames are pretty much commoditized at this point, but the subtle differences among them still make it difficult to choose the right one. I recently tested Aluratek’s 11″ product (MSRP $230), and while it doesn’t offer anything revolutionary (still waiting for a workable frame that receives emailed photos…), it does an elegant job of displaying photos, and it requires virtually zero technical ability. Bottom line: It’s a great photo frame for mom’s living room.
The Aluratek comes with a power cord, USB cable, remote and 1GB memory card in the box. In my case, I plugged the frame in and then connected a USB flash drive. A library of my photos popped up immediately, and by clicking “enter” on the remote I got the full-screen visual. The remote also has a handy “slideshow” button for one-click slideshow action. No need to drill down into menus. I have to admit I had momentary difficulty getting the remote to work until I realized the need to remove a plastic covering. Chalk that one up to user error.
Manipulating photos on the Aluratek frame is extremely easy. Pressing “enter” a second time zooms in on photos, and pressing “up” or “down” rotates them. For complicated maneuvers you can go into the menu to do things like add photo transitions. You know, if you want to get fancy.
My one beef with the Aluratek is that if you get up close there is some graininess. (Click on the thumbnail right for a close look.) Photos look perfectly fine at a distance of a foot or more away, but if resolution is your thing, the Aluratek is not the best choice. There I’d still go with a Westinghouse. (Similar frame sizes are comparably priced on Amazon under $190)
Other cool features on the Aluratek include video and music modes. I plugged in my Flip video camera and instantly had access to the video stored there. (Some digital photo frames still don’t support video.) Unfortunately I couldn’t hear the sound on the videos, but I’ll give Aluratek the benefit of the doubt on that – perhaps it had something to do with the Flip, rather than the frame. In slideshow mode when the frame was just showing demo images from the Flip the demo music was perfectly audible. Decent quality too.
All in all, I’d recommend the Aluratek frame. It’s stylish (I like the cherry-wood color) and it’s easy, easy, easy to use. Lots more photos after the jump. Full specs available here.