Digital Picture Frames: My Christmas Experiment or Gadgets as Gifts

So I don’t think my parents or sister are going to read this and now I won’t be able to tell them about it until after Christmas.  (NOTE TO FAMILY:  If you read this, pretend you didn’t.  ;-))  I was at Compusa the other day and they had a stack of these 7″ LCD picture frames (link goes to Amazon) with SD/CompactFlash card readers by the check-out for $99.  I was like, hey that’s cool.  I have followed Ceiva, the original digital picture frame maker (sounds like a cheesy tagline, but it’s also true as far as I know), but never bought one because they always required some whacky service plan (more on that in a minute).  But I always wanted one.  So when I saw this stack of digital picture frames with card readers for $99 I bought one.  I wanted to play with it and I thought it might make a great Christmas gift for some members of my family.  I took a trip to Cairo and Luxor in Egypt for Memorial Day and have some great pictures to show off. 

So I ran this thing in my living room for a week and it is actually pretty cool.  It’s widescreen so I’m going to have to crop my pictures to make them look right.  For my starter experiment I just popped the SD card with all my pictures out of my camera (a Canon SD700 if you must know) and into the frame.  Worked great, except for the black bars (because of the widescreen). 

To turn this into a great gift I bought some 1GB SD cards for about $30.  I’ll then load a nice selection of pictures from my various travels.  And walaa, a customized, unique, fun Christmast gift.  It’s like making a scrapbook, except cooler and more appealing to the inner geek.  So if you are looking for a really cool Christmas gift with that personal touch and a shiny tech component there it is.

Looking around online reveals this must be the year of the digital picture frame.  There are bunches of options.  There are all sorts of cool things, like this: Digital Picture Keychain.  Here is a list from Amazonwith some of their picture frame choices.  I’m kind of having picture frame envy.  I might have to get a 4:3 aspect ratio one so I don’t have to spend as much time editing the pictures.

So, what do you think ?