Review: Digital Foci 8″ Portable Digital Photo Album PBK-080

Review: Digital Foci 8" Portable Digital Photo Album PBK-080

It has been a while since I reviewed a product form Digital Foci.  I liked the Photosafe II and I decided, when offered, to check out their new product, the 8 inch Digital Photo Book.

The Photo Book actually looks more like a book than a digital picture frame, which makes sense gives its name.  Once you open the cover of this “book” you see an 8 inch LCD panel and a set of controls on the right hand side of the LCD.

Review: Digital Foci 8" Portable Digital Photo Album PBK-080

On the right hand side are two covers.  One covers the SD/MMC/MS/MS-Pro slot and the USB port.  The other cover is for the Compact Flash slot.  The USB port is a multi purpose port.  To hook it to your computer you just connect the standard mini USB cable.  When you have a thumb drive full of pics you would like to look at, you plug the USB to Go cable into the port and then a USB thumb drive into that.  When any device is plugged into the frame, the screens shows another icon to indicate that the media is mounted and browseable.

Review: Digital Foci 8" Portable Digital Photo Album PBK-080

On the bottom, there is a power port for charging the frame and the power button.

There is no prop which would make the Photo Book much more useful.  Instead, most people would probably treat this device as a book or photo album passing it around when checking out a prospective photographers work, or just passing it around at a family gathering.

When you first turn the PhotoBook on, it takes a while for it to boot.  Too long in my opinion.  However, while it’s powered up, it is pretty responsive when switching between albums. Navigation is very intuitive and my Mom picked up on it right away and had no problem browsing pictures with the Photo Book.

Review: Digital Foci 8" Portable Digital Photo Album PBK-080

There are two included themes with the Photo Book.  One is a brown theme that is a little old timely looking and the other is a white theme that is suitable for weddings, but isn’t labeled as such so you could use it for any purpose.

Review: Digital Foci 8" Portable Digital Photo Album PBK-080

To create an album, you connect the Photo Book to your computer with the included cable.  It mounts as a mass storage device so it will just show up like any thumb drive.  Once connected, you just create a folder and drag the pictures to the folder.  One neat trick is if you drag some mp3 files to the folder, when you browse the album, it will start to play the music.  There is a total of 4 GB storage on board plus you can look at pictures through the media slots as well.

If your camera supports video, you can also view video on the frame as well.  It was enjoyable watching the episode of Fraizer that Digital Foci included on the device.  The only thing missing is a headphone jack.

Lastly, as this frame’s target is pro photographers, it also supports raw formats for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Kodak and many other cameras.  To see if the frame supports your camera’s raw format, check out the Digital Foci web site.

The Digital Photo book isn’t the first frame that I have seen that is portable, but it’s one of the best.  I just wish the price was better.  At $189 direct or $169 0n Amazon, you are spending a good chunk of money on it.  That’s kind of expensive for something that only has 3 main functions.  I see a product like this being replaced by the iPad which can do all that this does and a whole lot more.

What I like: Beautiful 8 inch screen. 4 GB of built in storage.  Nice “case”.

What needs improvement: Price.  At $169 it’s a bit expensive for all that it does.

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.