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If you really want to show off your picture collection this is definitely the way to do it. This rather swish offering from Kodak has a couple of features that really make it stand out, a 54Mbps wireless capability and a first rate screen. In fact it is far more than just a digital picture frame, as it will not only display your favourite jpeg images, but can play movies and music. The EX811 can play .MOV, .AVI, and MPEG 1 & 2 movie formats and MP3 audio using the pair of built in speakers. Files can either be copied straight into its 128mb internal memory, or copied via an assortment of memory cards, or even directly from a camera.
The EX811 certainly looks the part, simple lines and a clean finish, offering an almost conservative look and feel when compared to some of its more flamboyant counterparts. Because of its practical style it would quite happily grace most mantelpieces without looking out of place. Let’s face it, you want heads to turn because of the image displayed not the eye-candy lines of an over-designed frame. If that’s not the case then this item also offers a rather novel design concept via optional interchangeable ‘faceplates’ which unfortunately are not yet available, with no indication on Kodak’s website as to when they will be on sale.
Build quality is generally excellent. The unit feels reasonably durable, but I do have a couple of concerns. A bit more attention should have been put into the flip out stand, which is definitely on the flimsy side, but the major design oversight is the remote control holder, which can’t be used when the unit is hanging on a wall. The holder clips on top of the screw hole for hanging it up. It seems obvious to me, but surely the one time you will need somewhere to put the remote is when the frame is hung on the wall?
While the controls built into the unit are perfectly adequate, they are situated on the rear of the frame which can make operation a little awkward until you familiarise yourself with the layout of them. This is why the heart of the control system for the EX811 is small, flat, and very easy to lose, namely the remote control. The unit is certainly intuitive to control via the icon and text driven menus. To play a slide show from an SD card, simply switch the unit on, insert your card, highlight the appropriate icon, press play and then press slideshow. It’s that simple. Pretty much all of the controls are the same simple routine.
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