Digital Frame Review
STYLE of the IMPECCA DFM843 DIGITAL FRAME
This unit can be purchased with a 1" acrylic frame in either black or white. The frame is pleasantly rounded on all sides giving even the stark black frame a softer appearance. The dimensions are 8.54" wide x 6.78" high by .98" thick and it weighs approximately 1 lb. The device has a traditional
frame look since there is no visible remote sensor or any buttons on the front.
The USB port and memory card slot, as well as the power input can be found recessed into the left side of the back of the unit. Please note that the SD card and the flash drive both have to be put into the frame in a way that seems to me to be upside down. I am used to pulling out SD cards (which are usually in very small areas on a frame) by putting a fingernail in the little slot towards the end. With this frame, it is difficult to do this because the slot faces downward. This could potentially be a problem for people who have large or arthritic fingers.
The unit has built-in stereo speakers. The sound is actually much better than that of many digital frames I have reviewed.
Buttons & Ports:
All functions can be accessed from the back and there are no buttons at all on the front. A remote control is not included with the package but is available as an option. I had no problem navigating this frame's operating system by just using the buttons on the back. The navigation is very intuitive and with just a little practice, the buttons can be accurately pressed with one hand on the back while looking at the screen in front.
All buttons are simple to understand and to operate.
- The Power button, located at the top (house symbol) is pressed to turn on the frame. Pressing the Power button briefly will take the user to the Main Menu. Pressing and holding the Power button will turn the frame off.
- The Play button located in the center is used to confirm or enter and to play or pause, depending on what mode is in use. Pressing and holding the Play button will bring up a pop-up shortcut menu. Depending on where the user is in the Menu, this could include adjusting the brightness, turning the music on or off, zooming in and out of photos, rotating photos (only for an individual photo, will return to original position the next time it displays) and slideshow transitions.
Information on individual photos and videos can be displayed by pressing the play button on an individual photo or video.
When in eBook mode, pressing and holding the play button enables turning the music on or off, scrolling (slow, medium, fast and manual, font color options of black, white, gray and blue and the option to go to a specific page. Four different background options are also available in eBook mode.
- The Menu button located at the bottom can be used to get to the Main Menu and also to return to exit the current menu and return to the last menu.
The remaining buttons in the center are the Up Down, Left and Right and are used, depending on the mode, as follows:
- The Up button is used for Up, Previous and Rewind.
- The Down button is used for Down, Next and Fast Forward.
- The Left button is used for Left, Lower Volume, back to the Up level and Adjust down.
- The Right button is used for Right, Raise the Volume, Enter and Adjust up.
DISPLAY OPTIONS for the IMPECCA DFM843 DIGITAL FRAME
The stand can be screwed in and out easily onto the back of the unit. This is a nice feature when using the frame as an ebook reader and the stand can be easily set aside. When attached to the frame, the stand holds the frame securely in place whether in landscape or portrait orientation. However, there is no automatic rotation of picture function with this frame (even though the manual states that it is available), although an individual photo may be rotated temporarily. The frame is not wall-mountable.
IMAGE DISPLAY QUALITY on the IMPECCA DFM843 DIGITAL FRAME
800x600 pixels high resolution.
4:3, portrait mode.
Brightness can be changed from none (power off) to 10 (accessed by pressing and holding the play button). The backlight can be set to be turned off automatically.
The frame is viewed best from directly in front.
Screen Backlighting Display:
8" TFT active matrix LCD. Bright, clear, crisp.
The screen surface has a diagonal measurement of 8" and is not covered by glass. The actual viewing area is 6.5"x4'8".
METHODS OF CONNECTIVITY for TRANSFERRING IMAGES of the IMPECCA DFM843 DIGITAL FRAME
USB port for flash drives with a maximum of 32GB and built-in memory card reader. No direct connection to PC.
SUPPORTED FILE TYPES
3 in 1 card reader for SD (Secure Digital), MMC (Multi-Media Card), SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) to a maximum of 32GB.
JPG and JPEG formats up to 30MP. The maximum image resolution is 9000x9000 pixels.
MP3. Plays music as background for photo slideshow if desired.
AVI, MPG, MPEG, MOV. This frame played videos from my digital camera extremely well.
Text & Messaging Files:
This frame is unusual in that it has an eBook function, which actually works very well. It only reads text files so if your eBook is in pdf form, you will have to use a program to convert your pdf to a text file. There are a good number of free pdf to text converters that can be easily found by a Google search. They are extremely easy to use and convert files very quickly. The only problem I found is that the words don't always wrap correctly. For instance, you may find a word such as 'found' broken up as 'fo' on one line and 'und' on the next. I got used to this without much problem and it could have been the converter I used. I would suggest looking for a pdf to text converter (or any file to text converter) that preserves the layout of the text while converting.
For eBook reading, there is a scroll function for slow, medium, fast or manual scroll. The frame itself is very light and if you remove the stand, it is a very comfortable size for reading anywhere. Of course, you will have to transfer your files to a flash drive and insert into the frame so this is not a true eBook reader that can download books from the Internet. On the other hand, with just a few preparatory steps, the price is right!
While in eBook mode, options for changing the color of the text and the background are available as well as the option to play music while you are reading. There is also the option to Go to a Specific Page. The user is also able to automatically start the frame in eBook mode on the last page that was viewed.
Because of its capability of reading text files, this frame could be used for displaying documents in commercial areas such as banks without the need to convert. However, a document that is changed from a text or word document to a JPEG (through a program such as Photoshop) the result is usually much more satisfactory.
PICTURE FUNCTIONS and ADVANCED FEATURES of the IMPECCA DFM843 DIGITAL FRAME
The user can choose which mode and where in the mode to have the frame automatically start with upon booting up. If photo slideshow is chosen, with or without music, it will start automatically when the frame is turned on.
When a memory card or a USB flash drive is inserted into the frame, the device automatically detects the media type and the corresponding icon will be highlighted. The memory capacity can be refreshed by pressing and holding the OK button in the memory menu.
Slideshow transitions include: none, random, bottom to top, top to bottom, left to right, right to left, horizontal door close, horizontal door open, box out, box in, horizontal blind, wipe from top right, wipe from top left.
Slideshow intervals include slow, mid, fast and custom.
Rotate and Zoom:
Both of these can be accessed by pressing the Play button go bring up the shortcut menu when an individual photo is displayed. Since there is no internal memory or backup available, the photos will return to their original position when displayed next.
Can zoom up to 5x and photos can be rotated 90, 180 or 240 degrees.
Copy and Delete:
Copy function is not available, delete can be accessed through the Explorer Menu on the Main menu screen.
Found in the Explorer Menu on the Main Menu screen, a file or picture can be tagged and added to the My Favorits menu by pressing play and accessing the pop up menu.
Photos can be displayed to scale, automatic, original, cropped or stretched.
Not available even though the manual states it is.
Recognition of Files and Folders:
The navigation on the Main Menu screen is very intuitive and files are placed in folders for easy access. Photos are shown as thumbnails and each is accessible by clicking on it as well as to begin the slideshow on that particular photo. This frame will not recognize folders more than 5 deep.
Information about individual photos or videos can be accessed by pressing the play button.
Clock, Calendar, Alarm:
Settings can be accessed and easily changed but since the frame does not have backup batteries, all setting will have to be reset after the power is turned on and off.
During a calendar display, background images are shown automatically in a slideshow.
Power On, Off:
Can set the brightness level of the backlight and can set the time to turn off the backlight automatically as well as set the time to turn the power off automatically.
A remote control is not at all necessary to access the functions of this frame and is not included with the package. If one is desired, it can be ordered separately from the manufacturer.
Accessories Included with the IMPECCA DFM843:
Power Adapter, Manual, Stand. Remote control sold separately.
Uses Fat 32 file system and is compatible with Windows as well as most Mac OS.
1 year warranty and frame can be registered on the manufacturer's site.
KUDOS for the IMPECCA DFM843
I did not find much that I didn't like about this frame. It is a nice size and photos and videos displayed extremely well. Using it as an eBook reader is a value-added feature and quite unusual for a digital frame, although there can be some preparatory work to be done to convert files and download to a flash drive. The ability to boot the frame to the last viewed item is very helpful for getting back to the page or photo last viewed. The frame is well constructed and with no buttons or sensor on the front, it really looks like a traditional frame. I was pleasantly surprised by the good quality of sound coming from the speakers, much better than I have seen in other frames of this size. The menu navigation is easy and intuitive and, with a little practice, the buttons on the back of the frame can be used by one hand without having to look back and forth from the front to the back of the frame (essential when using the frame in eBook mode). I also liked the fact that there are many options for slideshow transitions as well as intervals. The custom setting on the interval menu is my favorite because I have found that many digital frames have intervals between photos that seem either too fast or too slow.
CAVEATS for the IMPECCA DFM843
The viewing angle is disappointing. It is not very wide so it is best viewed directly from the front of the frame. (This is, of course, not an issue when in eBook mode). The clock, calendar and alarm mode must be reset each time the unit is powered on or off. Not having a remote control is not a problem for accessing functions but it would be nice to be able to operate the frame remotely without having to purchase a remote control separately. The frame is not wall-mountable though a frame of this size fits very well on an end table or a shelf. There is no internal memory. I found it difficult to remove the SD card because of its position on the frame.
This is a very pleasant-looking, well-constructed and easy to operate digital frame. It is relatively inexpensive but has options usually found in frames that cost a lot more. Its photo, video and music capabilities are more than adequate and the eBook function is worth looking into. I would recommend purchasing this plug and play multi-media frame, which could be given as a treasured gift with a pre-loaded SD card or flash drive at a very affordable price.
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