It's been a while since the first introduction of digital photo frames into the mass consumer market, and to be quite honest, we've been a little let down by the hype that came with it... until now. We've always been critical to every frame we review, since they come a dime a dozen, it takes quite a bit for us to step back and applaud some truly great work. Could Sony's wireless frame offering be the best digital frame yet? Here's our impressions of the CP1...
Updated with links for all ;)
Unveiled at the CEDIA EXPO, we were excited to finally get our hands on Sony's wireless VAIO CP1 WiFi digital photo frame. The Sony VAIO CP1 comes with a 7-inch 800×600 LCD display that offers 16 million colors. VAIO CP1 offers also Internet radio player, RSS reader and integrated stereo speakers. It has 128MB internal storage and supports Memory Stock, SD card as well as Compact Flash (CF) cards. With all bases covered, we loaded our photos from our digital camera SD card and the frame immediately picked it up.
Plus, thanks to the built-in WiFi support, the VAIO CP1 is able to stream photos from a VAIO PC. It can also connect to Google's Picasa online photo album service for viewing and uploading photos. We tried this is it worked flawlessly with no hitches whatsoever.
Now for the remote. We wished for a better experience, but we were honestly a little let down the build quality and IR consistency. While the elegant glass finish of the frame will stop a guest in their footsteps, the remote is made of a cheap plastic with hard pressed buttons. At times, we were unable to get the frame to pick up the remote standing less than 2 feet away from it. Other times, it works just fine. This inconsistency shouldn't be present in a high-end frame and it certainly shouldn't be the case with one of Sony's products. That said, it still beats having to constantly go up to the frame and manually fondle with buttons every time you want to change a setting, song, or photo.
Nitpicking aside, the performance itself is top notch. We love how the option menu scrolls, the quality of the LCD itself, and the incredibly convenient integrated WiFi. The sound quality is decent - though anything with heavy bass causes distortion - classical music sounds great.
Overall, we're thoroughly impressed. Sony did a great job with this one and it'll be difficult to review other frames in the future because it was so close to being perfect. Aside from the remote control issues, we found Sony's digital frame to be one of the very best frames we've tested at Unplggd and highly recommend it to all of our readers.
Sony VAIO VGF-CP1 WiFi photo frame is available now for $299.