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As far as controlling the frame's functionality goes, Samsung's Starlight Touch Control system works beautifully. When you touch the right side of the frame, the controls light up in white. From top to bottom we have icons for Menu, directional arrows, Enter, Back and Slideshow. The icons are instantly recognisable and spaced well apart so that you never press the wrong one accidentally.
The touch recognition is very responsive and allows for multiple rapid taps, with icons flashing once to indicate a press. Though turned off by default, you can also activate audio cues for button presses, which are a bit more subtle and varied than the usual annoying efforts.
Menus are also logical and very easy to use, as well as being aesthetically attractive. Functions are basic but include almost everything you could reasonably want from a photo frame, including a clock, calendar and alarm. Though it does support MP3 music playback with a very attractive player including spectrum analyser, unlike some photo frames such as the Kodak EasyShare W1020, the SPF-105P doesn't support any kind of video playback.
There's also no sign of a remote as seen with the Jessops LCD Picture Frame we looked at a while back, so despite the nice interface the SPF-105P's use as an MP3-player is limited. It also means you have to be sitting close to the frame to pause slideshows or change albums.
However, Samsung does bring some high-end features to the table. A built-in rechargeable battery of unspecified capacity powers the frame wirelessly for around 55 minutes at a perfectly usable 50 per cent brightness. This makes the lack of a remote less of an issue and allows you to pick the frame up or take it to your guests sitting on the couch - you know…the things you would be able to do with a good old non-digital photo.
Another ace up the SPF-105P's sleeve is that it can be used as a PC monitor using USB DisplayLink, rather like the secondary display of Samsung's own SyncMaster 2263DX we looked at a while back. After installing the supplied FrameManager software and plugging in the frame, you're given the choice between activating it as Mass Storage or as what Samsung refers to as a Mini-Monitor - you can switch between either at any time.
Because it receives its video signal over USB the SPF-105P will work with almost any PC, notebook or netbook. As a secondary display, we found it very useful for displaying things like IM conversations, status indicators, toolbars and widgets, though others may find it a superfluous addition.
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