Monday, February 15, 2010
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM
Product Category: Digital Media Frame
Where to Buy: Amazon.com [Affiliate]
Price: $208.82 USD
Specifications: 10.1 inch LCD screen, 2 GB on-board storage, 802.11b/g WiFi, 10/100 megabit Ethernet, memory card slot (SD, CF, MS, XD), infrared remote control.
- Gorgeous screen and overall design;
- Easy to use user interface unites social networking, media playback, and more;
- Handy remote that stores in a compartment in the frame.
- Sluggish performance;
- Incredibly limited video support (no HD!);
- Unintelligent software design.
Summary: HP describes the DreamScreen 100 as a "wireless connected screen", and in some ways the vague nature of the product name defines the experience using the product. Even HP is a bit confused, because they don't list the DreamScreen with the rest of their digital photo frames. The DreamScreen, available in 10.2 inch and 13.3 inch screen sizes, is a device that, while ambitiously trying to do more than any digital media frame before it, manages to fail at pretty much everything. It's a shame because the product looks fantastic and has a beautiful screen. That, however, is not enough to save it.
Getting the DreamScreen Set Up
Unpacking the DreamScreen was a fairly luxurious experience - the inside of the box is lined with what feels like velvet. Swanky! In the box you get the DreamScreen itself (I'm reviewing the 10.2 inch screen model here), a screen stand, power adaptor, remote control and battery, miniUSB cable, a cleaning cloth, and the paperwork and software on CD you'd expect. The hefty-feeling stand screws into the back, meaning you need about 5.5 inches of depth wherever you decide to put this.
Figure 1: The stand after it's been screwed on.
Figure 2: The remote control in its holder - a great design decision.
Figure 3: The left side of the frame.
Figure 4: The right side of the frame.
The small remote has a holder in the back of the frame, which is a nice touch. From the back of the frame, if you look on the left side, you'll see a 10/100 Ethernet port, a USB port, a miniUSB port, a headphone jack, and the power button. On the right side, there's a CompactFlash card slot (type I/II), and a memory card slot that supports SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, and xD cards. This is one well-equipped frame - and it also has 2 GB of built-in storage (1.5 GB is available for user storage), built-in speakers, and 802.11b/g WiFi. You can check out the full specs at HP [PDF].