By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New digital frames introduced at the PMA show promise to bring new functionality to the hot-selling category.
Among the introductions include a frame with a built-in photo printer, a 32-inch model and a frame with integrated flat-panel speakers.
The market will also see increased competition from heavyweight brands as both Sony and Hewlett-Packard waded into the market.
Aluratek will offer an 11-inch (ADMPF311F) and 15-inch frame (ADMPF315F) for the market this month.
Both frames feature a panel resolution of 1,024 by 768 and offer card slots for the popular flash-memory formats and include remote controls. They can play back MP3 audio and MPEG, WMV and AVI movie files and have programmable on/off settings.
The 11-inch frame, for $199, features 1GB of internal memory while the 15-inch frame ($299) features 256MB of internal memory.
HP made a quiet entrance into the frame market, shipping two models — a 7-inch and 8-inch — to select dealers in the fourth quarter. The frames feature MP3 and video playback, 128MB of internal memory, 800 by 600 resolution displays and automatic image rotation.
The 7-inch model retails for $129 while the 8-inch frame retails for $179. The frames ship with two interchangeable mattes.
Later in the year, HP will ship a frame with a lower-resolution screen to hit a more aggressive opening price point, a company spokesperson said
Mustek: The PF-E700 is a combination frame, alarm clock and indoor thermometer. The 7-inch model sports a 480 by 234 resolution screen, slots for the popular flash-memory formats, video and MP3 playback, and a calendar function.
It will ship in April for $149.
The firm's 9.5-inch PF-A950PS uses NXT flat-panel speakers inside the screen. The 16:9 aspect ratio frame features an 800 by 480 resolution panel, slots for the popular flash-memory cards, video and MP3 playback, USB host/slave ports and 128MB of internal memory.
It will ship in May for $249.
Norcent's Xias brand expanded its lineup of 8 and 10-inch digital frames. The company now offers 15 digital frame SKUs in total.
The company added a PF-1001 line to its 1000 series of 10-inch frames. The PF-1001 will be available in three styles and features 1,024 by 600 panels with a widescreen aspect ratio. There are slots for the popular flash memory formats and the frames can display up to 12 images at once. Additional features include MP3 audio and video playback. They will retail for $199.
Norcent also announced two new model lines in its 800 series of 8-inch frames, each available in a choice of three styles. All will feature 4:3 aspect ratio panels with a resolution of 800 by 600. They can also display up to 12 images simultaneously and support the popular flash-memory card formats.
The PF-800 will retail for $129. The PF-801 adds MP3 and video playback for $159. They will join the PF-803 series of Wi-Fi-enabled frames announced at International CES.
All of the company's frames are expected to ship by May.
Smartparts: The company unveiled its first frame with an integrated photo printer, a 32-inch model as well as a line of OptiPix and SyncPix frames.
The company's SP3200 wades into the market at 32 inches. It offers a resolution of 1,366 by 768 and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It offers video playback, an RF remote, 256MB of internal memory and ships with OptiPix Pro software for resizing and transferring images, PDFs, PowerPoint files and other graphic files to the frame from a PC. It will retail for $899.
In another company first, Smartparts introduced the 8-inch SP8PRT frame with a built in 4- by 6-inch dye-sublimation photo printer on the back. The printer has a 36 prints/cartridge capacity.
The frame features a screen resolution of 800 by 600 and supports video playback, the popular flash-memory formats and bundles the company's OptiPix Pro software.
The SP8PRT will retail for $279.
The company added three models to its new SyncPix line. The frames feature integrated software for organizing, rotating and resizing images. The models feature a built-in motion sensor that activates the LCD when it detects motion. Additional SyncPix features include video playback, 256MB of internal memory and card slots.
The SPX7 is a 7-inch model with a 800 by 480 resolution, 16:9 screen. It will retail for $149. The 12-inch SPX12 features an 800 by 600 resolution, 4:3 aspect ratio screen for $299. Lastly, for $369, the 15-inch SPX15 sports a 1,024 by 768 resolution screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
In the company's entry-level OptiPix line (which ships with the company's Opti-Pix desktop software) there will be 11 new models. Frames with 8-inch screens and larger will bundle a Pro version of the OptiPix software for converting PowerPoint and PDF files for frame viewing.
All frames feature memory card slots.
The line starts at 15 inches with the SP15MWA with a 1,024 by 768 resolution, 4:3 screen for $299. The 12-inch SP1200 offers an 800 by 600 resolution, 4:3 screen for $229. For $199, the SP1100B features an 800 by 460, 16:9 screen at 11.3 inches (also available in wood). A 10-inch wood version (SP1000W) will retail for $189.
The company will offer three 8-inch frames in black, walnut and wood with 800 by 600 resolution, 4:3 aspect ratio panels for $169. An 8-inch widescreen frame in white will retail for $159.
Finally, there will be two 7-inch, 16:9 frames with 480 by 234 resolution screens in black and natural wood for $129.
Sony is back in the digital frame market with three new S-Frame models, including a 9-inch frame (DPF-V900) and a pair of 7-inch frames — the V700 and the D70. All the frames ship in March and feature 15:9 aspect ratio panels with 800 by 480 resolution and a 400:1 contrast ratio.
They will feature clock and calendar modes as well as slots for the popular flash-memory card formats and the ability to display select RAW image file formats.
The V-series models will offer the ability to remove red eye and correct exposure to images loaded into the frames' 512MB of internal memory. V-series frames will offer compatibility with an optional Bluetooth adapter and feature an HDMI output. The V900 and V700 will retail for $249 and $190, respectively.
The D70 with 256MB of internal memory will retail for $140.
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