A fairly measly 32MB of memory is all you get internally but, considering the relatively low 800 x 480 resolution of the display, if you resize and compress images before adding them, there should be room enough for several hundred photos. However, there’s no way of directly putting photos on the internal memory without using the online services. Instead, you have to select each image individually from your memory card and add it to the frame’s favourites one by one. With the slow menus this is painfully tedious.
As you would expect, the i-mate has plenty of slideshow options, including nine transition effects like barn door and diagonal slide, as well as settings for transition frequency – the maximum is one hour. Of course, you have full control over all these so you can turn all the fancy effects off, if you like. There’s also power saving options that enable you to adjust brightness level and power the frame down over night and mp3 volume can also be controlled. It’s all very easy to use and you should be ready to go in no time.
The ten inch screen is fairly low resolution, at about half the pixel density of a normal monitor, but it is very bright and when viewed from a distance makes images really come to life. Colours are incredibly strong, much more so than you’d be comfortable with on a monitor, but this is great for a potentially well lit room where there’s bound to be all sorts of reflections. Viewing angles are also good enough for having the frame sat in a corner – where the horizontal angle should never exceed 90degrees – but beyond that the image quickly darkens. Also, the panel does have a tendency to exaggerate image noise, particularly on fine gradiants of colour, so you’ll have to make sure you edit those pictures just right.
This brings me nicely back to my main gripe with the i-mate. All this Wi-Fi wizardry may be quite useful but the lack of any simple drag and drop way of getting photos onto the device means you’re left having to either view pictures unedited, straight from the memory card, or resort to using Windows Media Player to organise all your files. When you consider the hefty price of £165 and average usability and screen quality, the i-mate doesn’t make for a convincing whole.
The momento i-mate 100 has some really innovative Wi-Fi enabled services that make sharing photos with family and friends easier than ever. However, the fact you have to pay for these services combined with mediocre screen quality, sub-par usability, and a high initial outlay, means the i-mate is hard to recommend.
Score in detail