By Evan Ackerman
Hopefully, you weren't one of the hapless people who shelled out $250 for an eStarling wireless digital picture frame last Christmas. I myself was suckered in by the 7" screen, the wireless network connectivity, and the automatic RSS feed and POP email syncing. I bought one for my parents, the idea being that I'd get it all set up for them and then be able to email pictures to the frame from wherever I happened to be. Cool!
What a huge disappointment it turned out to be. Firstly, the LCD is 16x9 widescreen (raise your hand if you take widescreen pictures) and has a frustratingly narrow viewing angle. There's also a huge eStarling logo plastered across the front, along with an ugly antenna sticking out the top. Furthermore, I'm a pretty techknowledgeable guy, and this thing took me six hours to set up. Most people couldn't get it working at all, and mine would only function if it was in direct physical contact with my wireless router. Lastly, the slideshow options sucked, and I was lucky if the frame would go for more than an hour without freezing.
ThinkGeek, who were the exclusive distributors of the eStarling frame, were nice enough to get pissed on my behalf, and just announced a free exchange for the eStarling 2.0 for anyone who bought an eStarling frame in 2006. The 2.0 version will have a WiFi range of 120 feet, an internal antenna, no logo on the front, and a better (read: working) motherboard and firmware. 'Course, the eStarling 1.0 was supposed to have all that stuff already...