HP Smart Wi-Fi Frame
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
The HP Smart Wi-Fi frame is a futuristic-looking device. The 8 inches of its frame is wavy black plastic with a silver border. It sounds okay but in practice, I felt it looked somewhat cheap, especially for its $145 price tag. However, the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame is easy to use, having a clearly set out interface on which simple icons will take you to its video, audio, Web and photo features.
You don’t even have to be next to it to use it, as it has a user-friendly remote control. I had no difficulty setting up Wi-Fi; the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame is able to auto-detect any available local networks, then all you have to do is enter a network key. HP’s website allows you to link the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame to Facebook, Photobucket, YouTube, Picasa, Internet radio or other online content. If you wish, you can even set the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame up to receive MMS photos from phone numbers you have designated via your HP account.
The internal memory of the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame is 512MB. The 800-by-600 display will run video files in motion JPEG, MPEG-1, and MPEG-4 formats. The HP Smart Wi-Fi frame plays WAV, WMA, and MP3 audio files and will take USB devices, MS, CompactFlash, xD, SD and MMC cards.
The display quality on the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame is adequate rather than excellent. My photos appeared sharp, slideshows were easy to watch and video clips played seamlessly. I had no difficulty watching videos from YouTube; the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame streamed them smoothly, but the image quality, as always with YouTube, was extremely variable.
I had more difficulty trying to choose a radio station, as you have first to choose a genre, then the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame’s display offers you a huge choice of stations within that genre. And although the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame gives you the standard option of simultaneous slide viewing and music playing, the experience is let down by the fact that sound quality on the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame is thin and tinny. In tests, I much preferred HP’s DreamScreen.
HP has made a mediocre stab at a multimedia picture frame with the HP Smart Wi-Fi, and on the plus side, the device is easy to use and has that additional MMS feature. But on the downside, I did not like the obviously plastic construction or sound quality. In my opinion, these drawbacks make the HP Smart Wi-Fi frame a little too much money for the machine.