Kodak Pulse
Wireless Digital Frame Review


NOTE: Please go to Kodak Digital Frames on this site for crucial information on the future of the Kodak Pulse Digital Frames following Kodak's decision to stop making digital frames.


Kodak Pulse Digital Frame

STYLE

Frame Appearance:

The Kodak Pulse is a compact, unassuming frame, suited perfectly for home or office use. The dimensions are 7.5" x 6.1" x 1" deep and it weighs 1.1 lbs. The shiny black outside surface of the faceplate has pleasingly rounded edges. The Kodak logo is barely visible on the frame so as not to detract from images displayed on the screen.

Kodak Pulse Digital Frame The memory card and flash drive connections are located on the left side back of the frame. A flap opens so that memory cards or flash drives can be inserted and then closed again, adding to the Pulse's sleek appearance. I found this works well with memory card insertions. Regular-sized flash drives, however, are too large and will stick out so that the flap cannot be closed when they are in use. This results in the flash drive being annoyingly visible from the front of the frame, possibly detracting from the image viewing. There are smaller flash drives available, which would be much better choices for this particular frame.

Because the Pulse uses the Kodak touch screen interface to access features and functions on the frame, there are no buttons on the front or sides of the frame and the frame does not come with a remote control.

As is common with touch screen interfaces, fingerprint smudges can quickly become a nuisance. Fortunately, Kodak includes a special cleaning cloth which just requires a light touch to easily remove fingerprints from the faceplate as well as from the screen itself.

The frame stand is small and is part of the whole unit rather than one that needs to be attached. This makes for a very sturdy frame but one that is not wall-mountable.


Two small buttons on the back complete the frame. One is the On/Off/Power button. The other is the "Health Check" button which is used to instantly check the status of the network connections of this wireless frame. It can also be used to download any software upgrades directly from Kodak.

All features and functions can also be accessed from the Kodak Pulse website. (Activation through this website is necessary in order to begin sending and receiving photos.)

IMAGE DISPLAY QUALITY

My photos displayed very well on this frame. Options for viewing modes for photos include full screen and collage. Images are automatically resized to fit more of the image on the frame.

Screen Resolution:

The display resolution of the 7" (diagonal) frame is 800 x 600.

Aspect Ratio:

The aspect ratio is 4:3, matching the portrait style of the majority of digital camera images today.

Brightness, Color and Contrast:

The brightness measures 250 NITs (light measurement) and the contrast ratio is an excellent 500:1. Kodak uses its own brand of color technology for crisp and bright colors.

Unfortunately, brightness, color and contrast cannot be controlled from the frame or from the website. Since we all take pictures under so many different situations, it would be nice to be able to adjust some of those settings. I did not have any problems with any of these settings for my own photo displays, though.

Viewing Angle:

I find the viewing angle on this frame to be more than adequate.

Screen Backlighting Display:

Active matrix TFT LCD with LED backlighting for sharp, clear images.

Screen Surface:

This 7" (diagonal) frame has a viewing area of 5.6" x 4.2". The touch screen properties are easily accessed from the very responsive and intuitive interface on the screen.

METHODS OF CONNECTIVITY for TRANSFERRING IMAGES

A USB port is available to transfer images from a PC to the internal memory of the frame or to attach an external flash drive. The 512MB internal memory will allow for up to 4000 photos to be stored and displayed.

The built-in Memory Card Reader is available for adding images from external sources such as cameras.

As mentioned above, these connections can be found under a flap located on the back of the frame, which can than be neatly closed when memory cards and smaller flash drives are inserted.

SUPPORTED FILE TYPES

Memory Card Formats:

Supported memory card formats include Secure Digital (SD), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), Multimedia Card (MMC), Memory Stick (MS), MS PRO/MS PRO DUO, and xD-Picture Card (xD).

External hard drives are also supported but must be self-powered and formatted as FAT32.

Images can be transferred to the internal memory from memory cards and flash drives but transferring from the internal memory to a memory card or flash drive is not supported.

If a memory card or USB device is inserted during an internal memory slideshow, you may have to remove and then re-insert the device or possibly touch the screen to display the menu options, then touch the "Friends" button and then touch "Play All".

Picture Formats:

JPEG and EXIF are supported. (EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File Format and enables information from photos to be displayed such as date, time, camera settings, thumbnails, descriptions and copyrights.)

Audio Files:

No audio files are supported.

Video Files:

No video files are supported.

Text and Messaging Files:

No text and messaging files are supported.

WIRELESS

The Kodak Pulse is a wireless frame. Pictures stored on the free Kodak Gallery site and on Facebook can be sent directly to the Kodak frame wirelessly. Facebook photos can be set up to be updated automatically.

Kodak Pulse Digital Frame

An email address can be set up for the frame and family and friends can be invited to send photos by email from computers and cell phones.

Sending my pictures and those of my friends on Facebook from my computer, as well as sending photos from my cell phone to the frame turned out to be very simple procedures. All my photos loaded onto my frame without a hitch.

This is a great feature for keeping in touch through pictures during vacations, party times and other special events.

Wireless Setup:

Wireless setup is almost effortless and very well documented in the User Guide, which can be downloaded as a PDF from the Kodak Pulse website. Since accessing the Kodak Pulse web site is necessary to activate the frame, downloading the User Guide is something I would suggest doing, even though a Quick Start Guide is included in the packaging.

I have found that keeping the security key to my Wi-Fi network in a retrievable place or memorizing it is a real time-saver since so many of my electronic gadgets are Wi-Fi enabled today. Retrieving a lost key for a secured network can be a hassle and usually it is not free.

After I activated the frame on the web site and started the Wi-Fi setup, the frame showed that all I had to do was push a button on my specific router in order to complete the setup. However, since my router does not have any buttons, I disregarded that step, continued on with the setup by inputting my security key and the task was accomplished.

On the second day of using this frame, it lost the connection with my network. Since it was sitting right next to my laptop, which was definitely on the network, I tried several times to restart the connection with the Network Wizard on the touch screen interface of the frame. Nothing seemed to work so I accessed the User Manual.

Instructions in the User Manual suggested that connection problems can be fixed if the frame is moved closer to the router when attempting to connect. Although I did not think this was the problem because the frame had worked perfectly the day before, I took it downstairs to the router and refreshed the setting as directed.

It took three more times before the frame recognized my network and then two more times before it would connect. I am not sure what the problem was, but I took the Pulse back upstairs to where it had been and the connection has remained stable since then.

The Health Check Button:

This is a great feature which enables the user to check the status of the network connection at any time and, if needed, fix it via a Network Connection Wizard.

Kodak Pulse Digital Frame

When the network connection is broken, the Health Check button will have a red triangle beside it.



An option to download software updates from Kodak is also available by pressing this button or the Health Check symbol on the touch screen. Every time the Health Check Button is pressed, it refreshes the frame's connection with Kodak and allows new pictures to be received from the frame.

PICTURE FUNCTIONS AND ADVANCED FEATURES

Automatic Slideshow:

The frame is pre-loaded with sample pictures which cannot be deleted. These will be displayed if there are no pictures in the internal memory and no card or USB device is inserted. The internal memory has 512MB. This is enough to store and display approximately 4000 pictures. The images are automatically resized by the frame software to fit more of the images on the screen and to save on the frame's memory.

Touch Screen Interface:

Just one touch on the screen will bring up several menu options:
    Left and Right arrows can be touched or a finger swipe left or right across the screen will navigate through the pictures.

    The play arrow starts the slideshow, which can be stopped by just touching the screen.




    Kodak Pulse Digital FrameThere is a "Transition Time" button which will allow for transitions of 3 seconds, 10 seconds or 30 minutes paired with either wipe, fade or zoom and pan features. The "Smart" setting will allow pictures to change every 3 seconds initially. If the screen is not touched, the transition times will gradually increase, up to 30 minute intervals.

    Kodak Pulse Digital FramePressing the "Collage" button will put 5 pictures into a collage and the pictures in the collage will change one at a time every 10 seconds.


    Kodak Pulse Digital FrameThe "Delete" button can be used to manually delete pictures on the frame. If the pictures are displaying from the internal memory, the frame will automatically delete the oldest pictures when the frame is full. Multiple pictures can be deleted from the Kodak Pulse web site.