Transcend’s PF720 digital picture frame is quite versatile—it might even offer too much for anyone looking for a straightforward picture frame. It’s also an FM radio, a video player, an alarm clock, and an MP3 player.
The frame’s 800-by-480-pixel screen looked crisp and served up photos with extremely natural-looking color, without the blue or green tint seen on so many other digital frames. Transcend says this is part of its built-in NaturaTone processing. My test unit did have a bit too much contrast, losing detail where pictures had dark shadows, but otherwise the frame rendered images well, and the contrast and brightness are adjustable. In addition, if the frame is kept on its default setting, it will crop your photo automatically to fill the frame. Luckily, this option can be disabled.
The PF720’s built-in 2GB of memory makes it easy to amass a big photo collection on the frame itself. The device accepts a broad range of memory cards, including microSD, microSDHC, SD, SDHC, MMC, MS/MS Pro, M2, and CF, in addition to supporting USB flash drives. It also plays motion JPEG, MPEG, AVI, MOV, MPG, MP4, and 3GP videos.
The included remote control is large and readable, and the frame is highly responsive to it. This versatile remote lets you add photos to your Favorites, adjust volume, and set different modes for photo, video, music, radio, calendar, and slide-show functions.
There’s a lot to like about the Transcend 720, and at about a hundred bucks, it’s a good deal. It doesn’t have Wi-Fi, so it can’t connect to the Internet and stream photos from an online photo sharing account. But frames at this price usually don’t have wireless capability.
Macworld’s buying advice
The Transcend PF720 is a great digital picture frame to have by your bed or sofa. It can display pictures, and you can use it like a personal media player for listening to the radio or your personal MP3 collection alongside slide shows or videos.
[Kathleen Cullen is a freelance contributor.]