GiiNii 8-inch “All-In-One” True Video Digital Picture FrameCool Tech, Digital Photography — By David Larner
The GiiNii “All-In-One picture frame is easy to setup and has a number of convenient features to make viewing your digital images, movies, and music a piece of cake. The unit includes a simple start-up guide a robust multi-language manual and a nice little demo that starts automatically the first time the device is turned on.
Most digital picture frames (DPFs) are relatively similar in what they can do. The major differences are the screen size, the level of functionality and the user interface. As with most DPFs the unit includes a remote control for easy access to a drill down menu system that holds the keys to the unit’s versatility. It offers a well finished solid wood stand that can be set to display in either portrait or landscape mode and mounted on the wall or on a table using the adjustable stand. There are two interchangeable mats that can be installed using the EZ Lock frame, which make setup a breeze.
This particular unit has an 8 inch screen with a resolution of 800 x 600, an aspect ratio of 4:3 and automatic picture rotation when the device is switched from portrait to landscape view. The picture quality was good and the response time was reasonable. The unit also includes 2 gigabytes of internal memory which can hold up to 10,000 low resolution images. There is an optional feature that can automatically resize higher definition images when they are imported from the card reader. This does not appear to be the case when downloading pictures directly from the computer. For optimum performance and storage capacity, you may want to resize the pictures before you transfer them to the internal memory.
One nice feature of this unit is the built in digital clock which acts as a timepiece, alarm clock and auto timer. Multiple on screen clock designs are included with additional downloadable templates available online. One of the designs even displays time zones in two areas simultaneously. The timer has several preset modes which allow the unit to automatically shut off during a factory preset period which is between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or adjust energy usage levels. Note: The energy saving mode restarts the frame but does not auto restart the slide show.
Menu options include setup and selection for: energy saver features; clock selection; scrapbook selection, photo slideshow capabilities, photo album adjustments (including: tagging, cropping, rotating, applying photo effects, etc.). The media center icon allows users to select desired videos and music and there is a general toolkit icon to adjust other setup options. There are also a variety of animated digital scrapbook background themes available for download. Managing photos is a little cumbersome, however pictures can be tagged and stored in file folders which can be custom named by the user. In addition, there is a handy timeline that offers select viewing by selecting your desired date range.
The remote control is simple and straight forward and there is a convenient magnetic attachment to store the remote on the back of the picture frame. Don’t lose the remote as you won’t be able to adjust the volume without it.
The unit contains a built in 6 in one card reader which accommodates SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, MS Duo and xD-picture cards). Although no computer is required to load this device (using cards or directly from your camera), there is a Mini USB to USB port which facilitates pain free transfer of photos from your computer. Once the supplied cable is plugged in, just drag and drop pictures onto the frame as if it were a local hard drive.
Supported picture formats include: JPEG – BMP, GIF, TIFF, Progressive JPEG and EXIF and the unit supports the following audio formats – MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV. Stereo sound is included with two built-in speakers. The unit can display videos encoded in either MPEG4 or Motion JPEG formats (which includes videos shot using Flip Video camcorders).
Overall the GiiNii 8” “All-In-One” offers a solid value with a variety of options for those interested in displaying their latest multi-media efforts in their home or office. Enjoy!
Retail Price – $109.99
Street Price $89.95