47° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

Gadget Guy: eStarling Impact V

Published On: Dec 23 2008 06:12:06 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 24 2008 01:17:44 AM CST
gadget guy

eStarling Impact VRating: 4 out of 5 Price: $199

Ever wanted to get a digital picture frame for a relative, but worried they wouldn't be able to use it? Here's a gadget that can put those fears it rest. It's the Impact V from eStarling. It looks like any other digital picture frame out there, right? There's one important difference about this one that will make a big impact on the user: It has WiFi! That means it can connect to the Internet opening it up to a whole wide world of additional options.

VIDEO: Watch The Report

So, first things first. Like a traditional digital picture frame, it does allow you to insert your camera's memory card and instantly start playing it. With an 800x600 resolution 8-inch screen, the pictures look great. You can also show a slew of video files and formats from your phone's 3GP videos to DVD-quality mpegs.

But here's where things get interesting, set it up to connect to your home wireless internet connection and get ready for some fun. Because now you don't ever have to physically put a memory card into the frame. Instead, visit from anywhere in the world and upload your pictures or videos.

Or, simply e-mail them to your frame. That's right it has its own e-mail address and will check the mail every few minutes, download the pictures attached and then store them on the 512 MB of internal storage and display them on the screen.

Think of how great this would be to give as a gift to grandma and grandpa and then send them photos of your kids for instance. And since it's an e-mail address you're sending to, all of the grandchildren could send those pictures in as well.

Or, sign up for a feed from Flickr. It lets you receive everything from nature images to pictures of holiday lights. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed and even have pictures from Facebook automatically transfer.

The Upsides: It's very easy to use, once you hook it up to the wireless network. Essentially, if it's given as a gift, it could be set up and then left on, or put on a schedule to turn on and off at a given time and then left alone. Uploading is easy via the Web or the device's e-mail address. It has a great picture quality and the video playback is good as well.

The Downsides: Deleting pictures isn?t quite as intuitive as you might hope. It connects to four types of wireless networks, WEP and WPA, but not more unusual ones like shared WEP connections for instance.

The Bottom Line: All in all, this would be a great, last-minute gift for a relative that really the whole family could use.

  • PHOTOS: Viewers drop off sensitive documents for Shredfest

    The WISC-TV studio parking lot was busy with hundreds of viewers bringing their sensitive documents to be destroyed as part of Shredfest with the Better Business Bureau Saturday morning.

    A combined 1,295 cars dropped off bags of papers at WISC-TV on Raymond Road and SVA Certified Public Accountants firm on John Q. Hammons Drive.

    News 3 and Better Business Bureau team members unloaded bags of documents from viewers' cars and Pellitteri Waste Systems' Data Destruction team put the papers into the shredding trucks.

  • Earthquake in Nepal 12

    Omar Havana/Getty Images

    Earthquake kills hundreds in Nepal

    A 7.8 magnitude earthquake centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu rocked Nepal with devastating force early Saturday, killing at least 1,400 people -- and probably more -- in Nepal's capital city, authorities said. 

  • Bruce Jenner

    Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational

    Most memorable celebrity interviews

    Bruce Jenner will talk with Diane Sawyer in a highly anticipated interview on Friday night. Look back at some of the other memorable celebrity interviews from over the years.