For Sony to get away with charging over £200 for a digital photo frame, it needs to produce something pretty special. Fortunately, with the X1000N, it has done just that. Everything about it oozes class, from the sublime, extremely responsive controls to the minimalist design and sumptuous image quality. There’s no video support, battery power or wireless facilities, but in its sole task of displaying slideshows, it performs superbly.
There’s the full complement of card slots, plus a generous 2GB of internal memory. Photos are resized as they’re copied to conserve memory, but only down to 3 megapixels rather than the screen’s native 0.6-megapixel resolution. This isn’t as daft as it sounds, though, as the X1000N can play slideshows on an HDTV via its HDMI output. We’d imagine that most people will never use this feature, but it could come in handy for slideshows when the family comes to visit.
Photos look impressive on the X1000N’s own screen. The 1,024x600-pixel resolution is higher than most and Sony’s superior resizing engine squeezed every ounce of detail out of those pixels. Colours were vivid, punchy and extremely flattering, although very bright tones were rendered as blocks of white, while dark tones appeared solid black. It’s not a terrible failing, but a contrast control to fix it would have been welcome.
There’s a wide range of options to display slideshows beside a clock or calendar, over scrapbook-style frames or as collages. If you get bored of your photos, there are various clock- and calendar-only views to choose from. These graphics are a cut above the norm, and we can well imagine them taking pride of place on a trendy office desk.
For the price as this photo frame, you could buy a 19in HDTV with an SDHC slot for slideshows (Panasonic’s Viera TX-L19X10, for example). However, if you want something a bit subtler to display your photos on, and don’t mind paying over the odds for premium quality, this is the digital photo frame to get.