"Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Samsung's new 1000P Digital Photo Frame!" Okay, so maybe the 1000P can't fly, but it certainly has many talents that elevate it to 'super' status in the usually somewhat humdrum photo frame market. These include a relatively high-resolution 10.1in display, media playback of audio and video, a dinky remote control, Bluetooth for wireless connectivity and - last but certainly not least - its ability to act as a secondary monitor when hooked up to your PC or laptop via USB. Read on to find out what else makes this 10in photo frame just a little bit special.
Well, first off there's its design, which is head and shoulders above a lot of the competition in terms of looks if not usability. The piano black frame is mounted on a similarly-finished flat base via a single chromed hinge. The screen, which can be tilted at any angle or folded flat, is framed by a transparent cover that extends beyond its edges and is only 7mm thin (though the full thickness of most of the display is 12mm). This has been achieved by integrating all the 1000P's connections, processing and speakers into the rather thick base. Samsung calls it 'Crystal Swan design', and while we're not sure about the fowl connotation, it's certainly very attractive.
Build quality doesn't hold up quite so well. The frame and base are as solid as they come, but the hinge creaks and doesn't feel as sure as we would like. Another minus-point is that its unusual two-part construction prevents the 1000P from being used in portrait orientation, something most photo frames will allow.
Samsung bundles the frame with everything you need, including its power adapter, a USB cable for using it as a monitor and the remote. One neat (if somewhat gimmicky) little trick is that turning the collapsible box inside out turns it into 'gift packaging', thanks to attractive colour printing on the inside.
The 2GB of integrated memory is not overly generous, but fair by photo-frame standards where 1GB is still the common norm. You can add more storage through the USB port or SD/HC memory card slot, which are neatly housed in the back of the stand. Here you'll also find a mini USB connector for using the frame as a monitor, and a 3.5mm headphone jack to hook up external speakers or headphones.
Thanks to Bluetooth 2.0, you can not only instantly and wirelessly send pics from your mobile to the frame, but you can also listen to music stored there wirelessly using Bluetooth headphones. This provides for pretty much everything, though we would have liked to have seen CompactFlash-card compatibility.
Unfortunately, the 1000P takes a step back from Samsung's previous photo frame we reviewed (the SPF-105P) in not integrating a battery, so it needs to be plugged in at all times. This misses one of the main conveniences of its predecessor, where you could carry it about and pass it along to others for closer inspection of your latest snaps.
However, having a remote control makes up for the lack of portability somewhat. In fact, with the 1000P its remote is more of a necessity than we would like, as the white-backlit touch controls integrated into its base might look great but aren't the most responsive. Especially annoying is that they require you to pause between each touch, which can be tiresome and frustrating when wanting to navigate quickly.
Thankfully then, the slim, light remote is mostly decent. It's solidly built and well-sized to fit nicely in your hand despite its slim profile. Its soft-touch buttons are large, clearly labelled, and logically laid out, with crisp feedback. It takes a cell-type battery though, so no chance of using rechargeable units here.