Christmas gift idea – Kodak Pulse picture frame

For my birthday, Robin and the kids got me a Kodak Pulse digital picture frame. I adore it.

Years ago, we bought my grandmother a Ceiva frame. One of the advantages to the Ceiva is that it doesn’t require Internet access – you just plug the frame into a phone line, and it updates nightly. For my grandmother (who didn’t have Internet access when we got her the frame), this was an ideal answer. No setup required, and she got (mostly) regular updates from us when we sent pictures. Each year at Christmas, we renew her subscription – Ceiva charges $100/year for the service.

Well guess what? For the exact same amount of money, I can get a far better photo frame that has no additional yearly subscription fees. In addition to card readers that can read photos directly from your memory cards, the frame also has a wifi radio that will receive photos via e-mail (you get a dedicated account) or from your Facebook account.

This last point is both a highlight and a frustration for me: I love the simplicity of linking my frame to my Facebook account. Last night, I uploaded pictures from our Disney vacation, and when I got to work this morning, they were already on the frame. I get the choice of adding pictures from other Facebook friends as well, so as Robin adds photos to her account, I’ll see them on the frame too.

The frustration is that it doesn’t support other photo services. In the past I’ve used Flickr, and more recently use Picasa – though other frames support those services (even other Kodak frames), that doesn’t seem to be a priority for the Pulse frame at this point. In the end it’s frustrating but not a deal-breaker; though Picasa is where I store my photos, the vast majority of photos shared with me are via Facebook.

Overall, I highly recommend this frame. Surprisingly affordable, extremely easy to set up and a great way to share family pictures. (Interestingly, there’s also a 10″ version, if you want to spend a bit more for a larger display.)

For more on the frame, you can visit Kodak’s site.