Five Digital Photo Frames Reviewed

Westinghouse DPF 702 7

Westinghouse is a name more commonly associated with HDTVs than photography, so it came as a surprise that they have a line of digital photo frames. What was more surprising is that the DPF 702 appears to be a cost-reduced version of the Pandigital 7" photo frame we also reviewed in this roundup. Though missing some of the features of the Pandigital frame, Westinghouse included a couple of unique features that may help it find its niche in the 7" digital photo-frame market.

Product Tour

Front view of the Westinghouse DPF 702 7

Front view of the Westinghouse DPF 702 7" digital-photo frame

The Westinghouse DPF 702 has the same 7" (diagonal) 16:9 widescreen format LCD panel found on all of the widescreen frames in this roundup. Unsurprisingly, it has the same relatively low-resolution 480 X 234 pixels as the other widescreen models. Measuring 8 7/8"x6 1/8", the DPF 702 is smaller than the Pandigital frame - largely because it does not include an interchangeable frame as the Pandigital frame does. Also missing from the DPF 702 is a remote control. Some features found on the Pandigital’s remote control such as zoom, rotate and volume control are just omitted from the DPF 702 altogether. While you can control the frame with the four buttons on the rear of the unit, it’s much more difficult to control than with the remote control. This resulted in a lower "ease-of-use" rating in the features chart compared to the Pandigital.

Rear view of the Westinghouse DPF 702 7

Rear view of the Westinghouse DPF 702 7" digital-photo frame

The back side of the DPF 702 is virtually identical to that of the Pandigital. Only the colour and the logo are different. It has the same four navigation buttons and brightness control found on the Pandigital frame. The adjustable stand allows for vertical or horizontal orientation, but there’s only a single wall mount hole for horizontal mounting.

Hands On

As with most of the frames in this roundup, the basic operation of the frame is simple. Just plug in a support memory card or a USB flash drive, turn on the power and a slide show of your images starts automatically. If you need more information, the included multi-lingual instruction manual has a quick start section as well as a description of all of the features.

MosaicView is the one feature on the DPF 702 that differentiates it from the other frames in this roundup. When enabled through the setup menu, MosaicView randomly fills the screen with multiple images during the slide show. You may see a display with a vertical image plus two horizontal, two vertical or four horizontal images (see examples in the slideshow). Only one of the images changes during each transition. In MosaicView mode, as well as in the traditional single-image mode, you have the option of viewing the image with its original aspect ratio, or viewing it in full on the screen.

Westinghouse also chose not to include a music mode. The video player appeared to be the same player found on the Pandigital frame, and it played our 640x 480 30-FPS clip without a hitch. Unfortunately, there was no audio. Apparently, with the elimination of the music mode and the remote control, audio was also eliminated from the DPF 702. The user manual that we downloaded from the Westinghouse Website offered no remedies for the problem.

Like the Pandigital frame, the DPF 702 includes 128 MB of memory for image storage. You can either copy them from your inserted memory card via the setup menu or from you computer. You can attach the DPF 702 to your computer via a mini-USB cable (not included) and to each of the memory slots, while the internal memory appears as a drive letter in Windows Explorer. As was the case with the Pandigital, neither of our test computers recognized the frame as a USB 2.0 port, and indeed, the file copy speeds appeared to be at USB 1.1 speeds.

The Westinghouse DPF 702 seems to be a "feature-reduced" version of the Pandigital frame, yet it has the same suggested retail price. It is missing music, sound, a remote control, a bevelled-glass insert and a mini-USB cable, which the Pandigital offers. Unless you find the MosaicView feature compelling, the Pandigital represents the better value of the two.

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