The digital photo frame market isn't exactly enormous, but there's certainly stiff competition from a decent number of manufacturers. Nixplay and Sungale are both popular brands you might be familiar with if you've recently been shopping for a new frame, but they aren't the only ones that can help display your memories on a digital screen.
HP's DF1050TW digital picture frame is a moderately-priced alternative with a big display, simple controls, and a few other extras that are designed to entice buyers. Is it worth your money? Let's find out in this review.
10.1-inch digital picture frame
Bottom line: HP's 10.1-inch photo frame is simple to set up and use, but its "modern" look might turn some away.
- Setup can't get much easier.
- 8GB of internal storage.
- Large, high-res display.
- Simple Android and iOS app.
- 16:10 aspect ratio leaves black bars.
- Tablet-like look might turn some off.
- Glossy finish causes glare.
What you'll love about HP's DF1050TW photo frame
Ease of use is an important factor with digital frames — they're often given as gifts to family members — and here HP succeeds. The frame comes out of the box, gets plugged in (with a very short cable), and is ready for setup. You choose the language, timezone, and Wi-Fi, and you can then easily download the app on your Android or iOS device by scanning the QR code displayed on the screen. In under five minutes, I had already transferred images from my phone and had them running in a slideshow on the frame. I have no complaints about the mobile app, and no complaints about tweaking settings on the frame.
|10.1 inch IPS touch
|1,280 x 800
|JPEG, JPG, BMP, PNG
|USB-A, SD card reader, 3.5mm audio
|10.39 in x 7.56 in x 0.31 in (264 mm x 192 mm x 8 mm)
The 10.1-inch touch display with 1,280 x 800 resolution offers beautiful images that are true to the originals. There is a power button and volume control — you can choose a song to play in the background of a slideshow — on the back of the frame, but otherwise, the touch display is used to navigate. The glossy display will need a wipe if you want to do much more than tap a few times, and you'll also want to keep it out of direct sunlight. Glare is definitely an issue, though adaptive display brightness helps.
Inside, you have 8GB of internal storage on which you can store photos sent from your phone or transferred from USB drive or SD card. Up to 20 different devices can be synced with the frame, and moving images over (in the form of adding them to favorites) from a USB stick is simple. Just don't try using an external hard drive, as it won't be recognized.
Finally, the extra goodies aren't plentiful, but they are thoughtful. An alarm is perfect if you keep your frame next to the bed, a screensaver can be set up to run between two specific times of day (like overnight), and a calendar can be displayed on its own or over slideshow images. You can't add appointments or events to the calendar, but it makes a nice addition if you keep your frame on an office desk.
What you'll hate about the HP DF1050TW
Compared to plenty of options out there, HP's frame has a more modern look that I imagine might be polarizing. To me, it looks like a tablet propped up on my table, with the glossy touch display and white finish. Below the screen is an HP logo on a button that takes you back to the top menu (very handy), and there's also a wide blue LED that stays lit whenever the frame is on. It seems unnecessary and detracts a bit from the images on display.
Because of the 16:10 aspect ratio, my phone photos and DSLR photos are displayed with black bars on either side, something that again will likely disappoint a lot of people. Going with the black finish option at checkout would no doubt make the black bars less noticeable, and it might even make it look overall less like a tablet.
There are some smart settings you can tweak to get your slideshow perfect — like transition effect and timing — but I couldn't seem to get images that displayed on their sides to rotate and stay rotated when they came back around. This no doubt has to be taken care of with other editing software on a PC.
Finally, there's no built-in battery here despite the rather large rear end, but that's not such a big deal. The short cable (about five feet), however, means you'll need to keep it close to an outlet or you'll need to invest in an extension cord.
HP DF1050TW bottom line
HP's 10.1-inch digital photo frame took me under five minutes to get set up and displaying images, and there are a decent amount of tweakable settings to get your slideshows looking how you want them to look. The phone app is likewise easy to use, and you can also quickly add images to the 8GB of internal storage from a USB thumb drive.
The touch display's 1,280 x 800 resolution makes pictures look crisp and natural, but the 16:10 aspect ratio means you'll probably be seeing a lot of black bars, which are very noticeable if you get a frame with white finish. I don't necessarily mind the modern tablet look of the frame, but if you're in the mood for something a bit more traditional, there are certainly plenty of other options out there.
Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.