Smartparts Digital Picture Frame


Green or waste?–I bought a Smartparts Digital Picture frame
because I had so many images on my hard drive which I can’t possibly print out. This device allows me a way to see the pictures even if they’re just for a few seconds.

For a while now I’ve been eyeing one of these wondering if I should get one.

I have thousands of digital pictures scattered across my numerous hard drives.

I even toyed with making my own digital picture frame.

I have a 10-year-old Powerbook which is sitting in a closet taking up space.

Recently I coughed up $80 at Costco to get one of these.

As far as features are concerned, this one seems to have what I need.

The fancier ones are Wi-Fi enabled so that you can connect to it via your local Wi-Fi network.

It has a built-in capacity to store 1GB.

picture_frame5If you load it with WMA audio, AVI videos and JPEG pictures expect not to be able to hold as much.

The box says you can store 4,000 pictures, but they don’t give the specs of the size of each picture.

It’s probably true because each image only needs to have enough resolution to display on the 8.4″ LCD.

Anymore will be overkill.

Your picture won’t look better and you’ll lose storage space.

There are slots for the countless memory cards that are out there:

  • Secure Digital
  • Multi Media Card
  • Compact Flash Card
  • xD-Picture Card
  • Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro,
  • Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro
  • and USB Flash Drives


The picture on display of the butterfly settling on a banana flower I took while in Malaysia during my 2007 trip home. The display is actually quite nice and bright. Colors are vibrant.

If you run out of storage space, you can always stick any one of the above flash memory based storage devices and you’ll be off and running again.

As expected the Smartparts Digital Picture frame is Windows-centric.

It was easy enough to connect it to my Mac and just drag images from my iPhoto library or any folder on my computer to the digital picture frame’s internal storage folders.

What is Included

Remote control
USB cable to connect to your computer.


picture_frame2The power connector, a 2-prong variety, doesn’t hog up the entire power outlet.

This picture frame doesn’t run on batteries, so it has to be plugged into your electrical outlet.

On the box, there’s a sticker that says it’s Smart & Energy Efficient and has a Built-in Light Sensor but the documentation doesn’t explain what that light sensor does.

I’ve used this for a couple weeks.

The picture quality is a lot better than the earlier ones.

It would be a major disappointment if that weren’t the case since this is a tech device.

The front of the frame is wood with a decent finish.

The back is plastic. Nothing much to complain about.

Is it time to buy one of these?

I suppose they’re cheap enough that you can buy one.

I still like seeing a picture of mine printed, matted and framed but if this is the only way to see the “others,” then this a good compromise.

10 thoughts on “Smartparts Digital Picture Frame”

  1. Hello Tina,
    Thanks for taking the time and trouble to comment.Dare I say it? I have mine on sometimes but it hasn’t seen much use mostly because it’s a hassle to take the memory card out and then load new images. The better solution now that I have a HDTV and Apple TV is to link a screen saver to an online gallery which I can update from iPhoto or even Flickr. Take a look below.

  2. I had bought one of these. it didn’t take long before it malfunctioned. when I turn it on now it flashes on and off with the logo and nothing else. I tried to contact the company but all phone numbers listed on the website are “out of service”. and the email for tech support comes back with unknown. funny. they’re still selling though. I don’t recommend buying anything from this company. who would you talk to if there’s a problem?

  3. Patricia,
    If you look carefully at my picture of the digital picture frame, you will see there are actually 2 USB ports. One is regular size port and the other is mini-USB. Either one will work.
    Without looking at your thumbdrive, it’s difficult for me to guess what you have. Here is one possibility.

    Or another possibility is to just connect your USB card reader directly into the back of the digital picture. A card reader like this:

  4. I bought a smartparts digital frame. It came with a cable that connects directly into a thumb drive and into the frame. I would like to purchase another for another frame I have but don’t know what this cable is called. Can you help?

  5. Beyond that 1GB storage, there’s a energy saver mode. It turns itself off from inactivity. It doesn’t have WiFi capabilities like the fancier ones.
    I’m not blown away by its features but the picture quality is good. I don’t mind not having the WiFi capabilities since transferring files that way tends to be slow.
    I don’t think they can improve on this product any further. What other features do you think you might want to see?

  6. F8LEE,
    That’s a good point you raise. Even though I’m on a Mac, I know I’m not immune to such threats. I don’t run my Mac in the Administrator account. If anything wants to install, it would always require authentication. The digital picture frame came with some software but it only works with Windows so I didn’t install anything. I’m basically “writing” to the onboard RAM built into the picture frame and not reading from it.

    I also have a firewall application called Little Snitch which always tells me whenever some application wants to connect to the internet to call home. It’s a good little app for the paranoid.

    It’s definitely a good mindset, being vigilant when connecting devices to your PC. I think I would be more concerned about thumb drives or flash drives that you “find”. You might pop them into your computer because you’re curious as to what’s on it and just double clicking it. That can trigger an executable especially if you’re in a hurry.

    Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving your comment.

  7. Peter, I have heard about cases where some digital frames (made in China) came pre-loaded with a keylogging virus that would download automatically to the host computer (or an SD card) when the frame is connected, and after which the purported perpetrators would be able to either steal data or at the least use your computer as part of a bot-net. Have you any idea as to whether this has happened with your unit?

  8. Jo,
    Great points about waste of electricity and resources. The picture frame turns off from inactivity.
    I’m afraid once you shoot with a digital camera, there’s really no other way to display your images.

    There are models which use rechargeable batteries.

    As for the SUV, it’s a necessity for me since I need a vehicle that can haul the equipment I use.

    A good alternative to driving your own vehicle is to take public transportation like buses. You sit higher and you have a good vantage point.

    Growing up in Malaysia, that was how I got around. Sadly public transportation in Southern California is non-existent. The whole mentality and lifestyle here centers around a car and fending for yourself.

    105 is normal summer temperatures here.

    Hooray for Saina Nehwal in securing India’s 1st major victory in badminton at the Indonesia Open over the weekend!

  9. Personally, I think this is another way to waste electricity. You leave it on all the time, right? Even when you aren’t in the room?

    Living in India, where global warming is SO obvious (we have daily power cuts of up to three hours, with temps over 105), even a little bit of waste seems too much.

    And about that SUV . . .

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