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Samsung, Sony in Wi-Fi Photo Frame Shootout

One of the big holiday gifts over the last couple of years, digital photo frames are a convenient way to show off photos that might otherwise languish on your hard drive. But a lot of them are sold by no-name companies at budget prices with limited feature sets.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

One of the big holiday gifts over the last couple of years, digital photo frames are a convenient way to show off photos that might otherwise languish on your hard drive. But a lot of them are sold by no-name companies at budget prices with limited feature sets. Other manufacturers like Kodak and D-Link figured out a great way to improve the device is by building in Wi-Fi, which opens up a lot more sources to display photos from than a memory card or the frame's internal memory, whether it's from your PC or online. Now, the heavy hitters are joining the fray, as Samsung and Sony have announced new Wi-Fi-enabled frames that will be available this fall.

Samsung is offering two different wireless frames—the 8-inch SPF-85V and the 10-inch SPF-105V—while Sony is introducing the 7-inch VAIO CP1 (pictured). The two electronics giants have each decided on a different online service to emphasize with their frames, with Sony offering Google Picasa support and Samsung choosing Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces. Both companies are taking steps to move these frames beyond mere photo duty, as they all have support for RSS feeds to keep you up-to-date on news and critical information like ZDNet blog posts. Using UbiSync technology, Samsung's devices can also function as secondary displays for your computer. Perhaps more practically, Sony equipped the CP1 with stereo speakers and the ability to stream Internet radio, a feature that more wireless frames will no doubt adapt in the future.

This coming from Sony, however, means that you're going to pay more for that feature, despite the CP1's smaller screen size: It's expected to retail around $300 when it comes out next month. If extra room to display bigger shots matters more to you than Internet radio, then you can grab the SPF-105V for $289.99 on November 1. And if you're looking to save some cash, the SPF-85V is the cheapest of the three, coming in at $199.99 when it becomes available on October 1.

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