Bring your favorite pictures along for ten bucks or less!
Over the years, as a traveling dad, I have found it extremely useful to pack plenty of diversions for the kid or kids tagging along. I haven't sprung for a Sony PSP or a Nintendo DS because I know how addictive they can be even for adults. But I share my iPod classic with my daughter so she can watch cartoons and listen to her favorite tunes. And often I'll pick up a cheap gadget to bring on a trip, something that has the flash of the new.
This little 1.4-inch digital picture frame from Royal is a toy in terms of specs, but at a retail price of $7 to $10, it's a great value. My daughter loves it and she can't wait to hook it onto her backpack the next time we take off, bringing photos of all her friends and grandparents along for the ride.
Set-up was dead easy. There's a mini CD that installs the program on your computer. Then you plug in the device, select the photos you want, and sync it up. The photo frame gets the time and date from your computer and charges up via the USB cord. Your photo library is presented in the software in the normal folder system. When you select a photo the software puts a cropping box over it (which you can move around) to size it for this device. In other words, you get the faces, not a shrunken version of the entire photo.
The picture quality is not going to win any awards, but it's pretty good for the price. You can scroll through the pictures manually, or just sit back and let it go in slideshow mode. After a period of inactivity it shuts off by itself. Thankfully Royal resisted the urge to add a bunch of useless features to it, but there is an alarm clock, so I guess this qualifies as a double-duty item for packing light. The clip also doubles as a stand.
There aren't a lot of good travel gadgets that will cost you an Alexander Hamilton or less. This is one that delivers.
Get the Royal PF140 Digital Photo Frame at Overstock.com
Get it at Amazon
*Subscribe to the Practical Travel Gear Blog*