Hands-on review: Kodak Pulse digital photo frame

Hands-on review: Kodak Pulse digital photo frame

Summary: There are a ton of new digital photo frames out on the market, so here's the lowdown on at least one to make the search a bit less daunting. Let's take a closer look at the recently released Kodak Pulse.

TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility

There are a ton of new digital photo frames out on the market, so here's the lowdown on at least one to make the search a bit less daunting. Let's take a closer look at the recently released Kodak Pulse.


The Kodak Pulse isn't hard to figure out, but thankfully there's a large-print and short manual with diagrams included in the box. After plugging the included power adapter into device and into the wall, the Pulse should turn on. If not, there is a large power button on the back that should do the job.

After that, you'll have to complete some basic tasks like setting the language, connecting to your home (or office) wireless network, and obtaining a security code for your personal frame. At this point, you'll have to activate your digital picture frame online using that code.

For me, using the touchscreen interface was simple and not sluggish at all. The only slow part was trying to connect to my home wireless network, but the blame there could definitely go to the router. Once I set up my own Kodak account and entered the activation code, this was immediately transmitted to the frame and it was ready for use.

Conveniently, the Pulse can be gifted easily and configured without having to take anything out of the box. On the side of the packaging, buyers will find a white label with an activation code, which can be entered at www.kodakpulse.com for setting this frame up before dropping it in the mail.

Note: The activation code displayed when registering the device using the on-screen demands is not the same as the one on the side of the box.


Getting your photos up on the 10-inch LED-backlit display shouldn't be that difficult. Along with being able to make use of the USB 2.0 port and memory card slots hidden on the back side, you can upload photos to your Kodak account at www.kodakpulse.com and have them sent for showing. Supported media cards include SD/SDHC, MMC, MS/MS PRO/MS PRO Duo, and xD.

Even more uniquely is the fact that this digital photo frame comes with its own e-mail address, to which you can email photos from your computer or smartphone for sharing on-the-go. There is 512 MB of internal memory to keep hold of these. You can also invite friends to see your gallery or send photos to the email address, but be careful as they will automatically go to the display. You wouldn't want anything in appropriate to suddenly appear.

And if all that wasn't enough, you can grab shots from Facebook too.

I sampled photos with my SD card first using a small group of test photos. The images on the card instantly popped up on full screen display. I instantly learned that if you have a portrait-angle photo, it's not always going to be positioned correctly automatically, so you'll have to do that yourself on your computer first.

It's easy to stop and start the slide transition by just tapping on the screen, which will also bring up a large-button user interface. After I got bored with seeing the same few photos pop up in either full screen or collage form while playing around with the controls, I uploaded a few from my computer to the Kodak Gallery.

Unfortunately, getting images from the Kodak Gallery wasn't so instant. After adding them to my personal Kodak account, it took several minutes for them to start appearing

Users can choose to have the images displayed full screen or as part of a collage. Naturally, photos can be set into a digital slideshow. Gone are the days of showing of family vacation photos on a rusty slide projector.

But overall, the picture quality was more than satisfactory, even if it wasn't as crisp as a printed hi-res photo. For reference, some of the specs on this mercury-free panel include an 800 x 600 resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio. What is really special about this display is just how many ways you can share photos with the display and how easy it is to set up.


Ready for the taking, the Kodak Pulse has an MSRP of $199.95. Digital frames are going to be costly for a long time to come, and if you just want something more budget-friendly, there are smaller and cheaper options available.

But if you're in the market for a higher-end model, then the Kodak Pulse could be a good way of displaying those photos from your summer vacation at your holiday party this winter given how simple it is to share and get your photos to the screen.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Activation code?

    Its a display device. I bought it, it should just work!

    IMHO only a fool would buy into such a thing!
    • RE: Hands-on review: Kodak Pulse digital photo frame

      @wkulecz Activation code allows the frame to link to photos on facebook and kodak's site. If you don't want to add photos from web, you don't have to activate.
    • RE: Hands-on review: Kodak Pulse digital photo frame

      @wkulecz Thanks for the info. <a href="http://www.replicawatchesbest.org">swiss replica watches</a> <a href="http://www.replicawatchesbest.org/hublot-c-36.html">hublot watch</a> <a href="http://www.replicawatchesbest.org/ferrari-c-41.html">ferrari watch</a> :D
  • Very unhelpful

    This article says nothing about the aspect ratio, the resolution or the quality of the display. I would rather put pictures into a store on the cloud which my friends could access with a password. Then they could view them at the size and orientation they wanted. I have looked at several photo frames and found that all of them have different aspect ratios so one can never tell how much the device will distort or crop the picture.
    • RE: Hands-on review: Kodak Pulse digital photo frame

      @misceng 4:3 and 800x600 it says in the article. no reference to clipping or resizing.
  • MPEG support

    Digital photos is one thing but can this display show movies made with a digital camera?
  • Oh good - a 'simple' device for computer noobs to tear their hair out over

    So, apart from low resolution & non-widescreen, this device costs NZD$400+ and one needs to be a computer whizz to make use of it? I can see 90% of noobs walking out of a shop with this under their arm back inside 24 hours, not being able to figure out how to activate the stupid thing (come on - activation on a photo frame? give me a break!), either because they don't have a wireless connection (most of us in the real world don't, you know that Kodak - right?) or haven't a clue what that even means.
    I appreciate that Kodak is trying to be clever with this device, and for those who can get past it's basic flaws (low screen res & 4:3 aspect) and are computer-savvy, this device might just be ok. But then, I'm sure this device is going to be billed as yet another computer 'appliance', sold by the same people and in the same places as toasters, fridges and washing machines. Next thing you know they'll be expecting noobs to go online to setup their washing machine... :P
  • One for the Father-in-law

    The father-in-law received one (7") as birthday gift in May 2010. Works nicely for his needs to have distant relatives send pix. He is complete techno-phobe, but I was able to set up very easily right out of box. It stopped working at the end of November, called Kodak and ended up sending in for evaluation/repair. They are replacing it, but it is on back-order. From KodakPulse you can manage the frame somewhat, add pictures from your PC, and connect to Facebook and Kodak Gallery on-line pix. One big downfall about the product is that it only displays the pictures on the frame, and you have no other access to the pictures. For example, if you receive nice pictures that you want to share, or print out, you cannot. The KodakPulse web site only provides thumbnails of the pix, you can only delete those you don't want, nothing else. You can get around this by having people send pix to an e-mail first, then you manually send to frame - but then why bother having a wifi frame! ~BB
  • Doesn't work with Blackberry (false advertising)

    OK except no mention is made that photos can't be emailed from a Blackberry. That's false advertising to say "to which you can email photos from your computer or smartphone". From the computer - OK, but not from all smartphones (Blackberry is clearly a smartphone).
  • Newlyweds enjoying it!

    I gave this as a wedding present and couldn't be more pleased. I did have an issue with it not wanting to connect to the wi-fi their network, but after a little reading on the web found the solution and had it up and running in no time. Gave them their email for it and they are having a blast with it!