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Digital picture frames

Very good models now cost $150 or less

Last reviewed: December 2008
Digital picture frames
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You’ll find more choices than ever in digital picture frames, the displays that continuously show camera images.

In stores, you’ll see frames as small as 3 ½ inches (measured diagonally) costing less than $75 and feature-laden or very large ones costing hundreds.

Resist the temptation to go small and cheap. Such models’ display resolution is too low to do justice to the images of today’s high-megapixel cameras. And think twice before paying extra for bells and whistles you may not need, such as a built-in phone or printer.

For most people, the sweet spot is a 7- or 8-inch frame, like the models listed in the Ratings of digital picture frames (available to subscribers). They display images at about the size of a 4x6 snapshot and offer very good performance for a reasonable price.

HP, Samsung, Sony, and other powerhouse brands known for other gear are now making frames. In our tests, they generally scored better than those from Mustek, Smartparts, and Pandigital, which once dominated this market.

Posted: October 2008 — Consumer Reports Magazine issue: December 2008