“cheapism helps you find the cheapest "best buys"” — lifehacker
In this review:
  1. Best Cheap Digital Photo Frames
  2. Digital Frames Reviews
  3. Digital Frame Memory
  4. Digital Picture Frames Features
  5. Digital Keychain Photo Frame
  6. Discount Digital Photo Frames Features Comparison Table

Cheap Digital Photo Frames Buying Guide

Digital photo frames are the best way to move pictures off your camera or out of the computer and display them for the enjoyment of family and friends. But digital photo frames weren't always so popular.

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When they first hit the market, many experts and consumers scoffed at the idea that they could be attractive for home use. But designers managed to marry new technology to traditional frame design to produce digital frames that look like they belong in your home. And consumers have found that cheap digital photo frames provide hours of low-cost entertainment.

The array of choices on cheap digital photo frames can seem daunting, with sizes ranging from 1.5 inches (for keychain models) to TV-size frames measuring 25 inches or more. Some frames come with clock and calendar functions, remote controls, and built-in speakers. But take note: These special features can bump up the price. Once you start shopping, don't be shocked to see digital photo frames going for $200 or more.

But if you've set your sights on a cheap digital photo frame, there's reason to smile: You can find digital frames for prices as low as $30 to $80 that offer some of the same sought-after features and high-quality performance as pricier models. Plus, you'll also find digital photo keychains -- a popular novelty gift for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list -- going for $20 or less.

Review continues below

The most important features to look for in cheap digital photo frames are the resolution (anything above 640x480 is best for a 7-inch frame), a 4:3 aspect ratio to avoid picture distortion, compatibility with numerous file formats, internal memory of 128MB or higher, the option to add external memory, and a lengthy warranty. Of course, extras like remote control, slide show capability, and clock/alarm or clock/calendar functions are also impressive, but they aren't necessary and may boost the price tag.

Our top choices for cheap digital photo frames include three models: the Pandigital PAN7000DW 7-Inch Digital Photo Frame (starting at $60), which supports image, video, and music formats; the highly rated and easy-to-use Sony 7" Digital Photo Frame DPF-D710 (starting at $67); and the Kodak EasyShare P750 7-inch Digital Picture Frame (starting at $77), a simple frame with loads of memory. One model that doesn't meet users' expectations is the Aluratek ADMPF108F 8-Inch Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame (starting at $49), which has generated numerous complaints about its difficult software, impossible-to-follow instructions, and, in some cases, a lifespan of just a few months.

We also researched cheap digital keychain photo frames whose prices are far lower than full-size digital photo frames -- think $10 to $20 at the cheap end and $50 at the high end. The only real difference we found between the cheap digital keychain photo frames and the more expensive ones is the memory capacity. These are novelty items and aren't known for their superior technical specs or picture quality. In fact, after scouring numerous user reviews, we determined that there are only two important features: the internal memory and the battery run time.

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We also found that manufacturers of digital keychain photo frames refer to resolution as "high" or "low" instead of assigning numbers, that aspect ratio isn't discussed at all, and that there's no option for external memory. Of the cheap models we looked at, we found the Tao Digital Keychain, model numbers 80009 to 80016, (starting at $10) to be the most appealing choice, largely due to its 16MB memory and three to four hours of continuous run time. On the other hand, the Shift3 Digital Photo Keychain (starting at $15) has an onboard memory of just 8MB and garners numerous complaints from users about a battery that doesn't hold a charge and other operating issues.

If a cheap digital photo frame fits your budget, keep in mind that you may not be able to score a well-known brand name or a model with all the high-tech options. Never mind. A cheap digital photo frame will showcase good-looking photos over a long period of time.

by Raechel Conover (Google+ Profile)

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Best Cheap Digital Picture Frames

Pandigital PAN7000DW
Gold Medal

Pandigital PAN7000DW

Although some users say the Pandigital PAN7000DW is a bit harder to understand and operate, they still recommend it because the screen images are flawless. With advanced features such as music and video file support, plus 1GB of internal memory, experts deem this cheap digital photo frame a dream for the tech-savvy.

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Tao Digital Keychain
Gold Medal

Tao Digital Keychain

A potential stocking stuffer, this digital photo frame keychain comes in a wide range of colors and delivers clear, crisp images despite its small size. At only 1.5 inches, it has a screen resolution of 128x128, 16MB of internal memory, and enough battery power for three to four hours of continuous operation.

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Good Cheap Digital Photo Frames

Kodak EasyShare P750
Gold Medal

Kodak EasyShare P750

Simple setup, ease of use, and fast image transfer are all features that users mention repeatedly in customer reviews. This frame displays photos in the more confusing "date modified" rather than "date taken" order, but its 800x600 resolution, 2GB memory, Energy Star rating, and remote control translate to a high quality product at an affordable price.

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Sony DPF-D710
Gold Medal

Sony DPF-D710

Users love the clear, crisp, color-saturated images this cheap digital photo frame displays and the stylish, widescreen format it provides without distortions. The frame has a resolution of 800x480 (lower than other cheap digital photo frames on our list), 128MB of internal memory, and the option to add external memory through a USB port or memory card slot.

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Don't Bother

Aluratek ADMPF108F

With lots of bells and whistles -- 512MB internal memory, support for image, music, and video files, and a remote control -- this model should be a promising contender. Unfortunately, reviews say it's not particularly user-friendly or long-lasting, and it doesn't seem to sync with a PC.

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Shift3 Digital Photo Keychain

Even with its low price, users say the Shift3 isn't worth the money. Some report it refuses to hold a charge, others say their PC doesn't recognize the product's software, and still others say loading pictures takes so long it's not even worth messing with.

Read more »

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