CES: ViewSonic offers digital picture frames

ViewSonic, best known for making Mac and PC-compatible display systems, is now offering LCD digital picture frames. The company is offering seven and eight-inch models for $99 and $119 respectively (estimated street prices -- the prices on ViewSonic's Web site are higher).

The widescreen displays can communicate with a host Mac or PC using USB (they're recognized as mass-storage devices when connected), or can load images directly from a camera's memory card. They include CompactFlash, SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro and xD-Picture card support.

The digital picture frames sport 128MB of built-in memory standard, and can browse and display photos individually, display thumbnails of all photos in memory, or will show them in a slideshow complete with transition effects. While the resolution of the displays is limited, they will scale down higher-resolution images to display on their screens.

The 7-inch DP701W4WH has 800 x 480 pixel resolution, 220 cd/m2 brightness and 400:1 contrast ratio. It's embedded in a white acrylic bezel and can display either BMP or JPEG images; it also incorporates a clock and alarm.

The 8-inch DF88W-523 is a widescreen model; the 8-inch DF87G-533 uses a conventional 4:3 aspect ratio. Both frames can display JPEG, BMP and M-JPEG files, and the DF88W also displays MPEG2 and MPEG4 video. The DF88W features 800 x 480 resolution and 300:1 contrast ratio; the DF87G has 800 x 600 resolution and 500:1 contrast ratio. Both integrate speakers for MP3 sound, a remote control and clock, alarm and calendar.

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