Simple Digital Photo Frame for Grandma?
June 19, 2007 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for a cheap, simple, easy to use digital photo frame that runs off a thumb drive and is beloved by grandmothers?

I want to get my mother a digital photo frame for her 80th birthday in 3 weeks. I have this idea in my head that there should be one that will run a slide show of about 30 - 40 .jpgs that I can put on a thumb drive and then take over to her house and plug in, thus letting me change the pictures fairly frequently. She doesn't have a computer; I don't have a way to transfer pictures to a memory card (except by taking them with my camera and I want more selectivity than that) - that's why the thumb drive. I've been googling but the options are overwhelming me and I've never actually seen one of these things in the electronic flesh so I don't know how they work or how hard they are to operate.

I don't need or want it to play .mp3s, make phone calls, light up, beep, wash the floors or do anything except display pictures of the dogs, the grandchildren and the garden. It has to be totally simple to operate, like, an on/off switch is about all she can handle. Oh, and it needs to be less than $125. Does such a thing exist? Have you ever given one to a determinedly Luddite elder? And/or, what options should I be looking for?
posted by mygothlaundry to Shopping (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Why not get a card reader for whatever type of memory card that the frame uses and write the pictures to that. It would be the same as using a thumb drive.
posted by buttercup at 6:37 PM on June 19, 2007

Response by poster: Money, plain and simple. This is a significant expense for me and I don't want to have to buy a card reader too. I already have 2 or 3 thumb drives lying around doing nothing much.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:46 PM on June 19, 2007

Like this?

Unless I am missing something, I don't think it's too hard to find. I just Googled. I mean, this one WILL play MP3s but she never has to know that.
posted by The Deej at 6:52 PM on June 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to pay for it, a number of photo frames (such as this one) will let you email the photos from your desk.
posted by jbickers at 7:10 PM on June 19, 2007

I bought this frame for my mom for Mother's Day, although I got mine at Target. I just verified over the weekend that it will take a USB drive, but the documentation does not make that clear at all. The picture is okay, not great. It seems easy to use, and my mom was able to figure it out on her own.
posted by cabingirl at 7:19 PM on June 19, 2007


Unless I'm mistaken, one must have a Wi-Fi connection for such an emailable picture frame to work. Since the asker's grandmother doesn't have a computer, it's doubtful that she has a Wi-Fi connection.

I second the card reader idea. You can get them very cheap from a place like Wal-Mart, and they usually come with the needed card.
posted by DMan at 7:19 PM on June 19, 2007

I guess I could have given more details about operation. Basically you plug the thing in, turn it on, and use buttons on the (credit card sized) remote to tell it where to get the pictures and which mode to use (single photo or slideshow). I did not spend alot of time working with it, so I am not sure if it can be simplified.
posted by cabingirl at 7:22 PM on June 19, 2007

We got a Kodak EasyShare frame for my in-laws - it's pretty easy to use. Amazon has it for $113.89 and that includes free shipping.
posted by candyland at 6:09 AM on June 20, 2007

If you haven't acted yet, did you see today's woot?


It's 7in, has built in memory (128mb), and works with USB thumb drives, for $70+$5 shipping.
posted by Salamandrous at 3:54 AM on June 21, 2007

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