Review Price free/subscription
Internet services include being able to connect to your Flickr, Webshots, Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket, or MSN photo sharing services. There are also news, weather, and sports channels and you can add RSS feeds of your favourite websites. There's a fair amount of signing up and logging in to a variety of different auxiliary services to get everything working but once set up it's easy to switch between viewing your favourite Facebook pics to quickly checking the weather before you head out.
In truth, the news and sports feeds, in particular, are of little use as each story is presented on a separate page yet consists of little more than a headline. Couple that with the fact it takes a few seconds to load each page and things can quickly become tiresome when just trying to catch up with half a dozen stories. Still, if you don't have a PC, notebook, or phone to hand, the W1020 does at least provide a way of accessing an impressive level of functionality.
Of course, all these extras would be pointless if the W1020 couldn't provide half decent picture quality so it's good to see that Kodak hasn't totally let itself down on this front. As mentioned before, detail isn't incredible, but images are bright with vivid yet reasonably natural colours, black levels are good and backlight bleed is minimal. Viewing angles are also decent with images remaining visible with minimal colour shift when looking at the frame from the left, right, or top (when the frame is in landscape). However, looking up at the bottom you basically can't see anything. Now, this may not seem like too much of a problem at first but if you turn the frame to portrait, the bottom now becomes the left, leaving you with severely diminished image quality when looking from any position left of the frame.
It's for this reason, along with the resolution issues, that we're still not convinced that forking out £107 for one of these frames is entirely good value. Not until the resolution improves and the screen technology moves to something that isn't affected by viewing angles (i.e. OLED, or colour e-ink) will we consider it. That said, if you are in the market for one of these frames, this is among the best we've seen. It's full to the brim with useful features, looks elegant, is well made and has reasonable image quality.
Kodak's EasyShare W1020 is as feature-packed a digital photo frame as we've seen and, although some features may not prove to be overly useful, we can't help but be impressed by this. Add in a comparatively fair price and you have a frame that's definitely worth considering.
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