If you've ever shopped around for digital frames, it's easy to say that you've probably experienced how underwhelming the offerings can be. Generally the digital frames are small, with horrible resolution displays and they usually only allow you to upload your photos via USB or some very bad software.
Wouldn't it be great if you could upload your photos to a digital frame that was housed in a wooden frame with a matte that was suitable for display in a fine home, art gallery or luxury hotel?
Wouldn't it be great if you could not only upload your photos from your computer and have them automatically downloaded to your frame from anywhere in the world with an internet connection?
Wouldn't it be cool if you didn't see the same photos all day long, but could also see the work of others fine art paintings and photos?
Most digital frames suck, does this one?
When the folks from Meural contacted me about reviewing a frame that could do all of this, I was highly suspicious that the quality and user experience would be terrible. I'm a NEC Color Visionary and X-Rite Coloratti Pro with a history of working with display manufacturers. I’ve attended display technology conferences, so I know what good quality displays and accurate color look like. As a result, I'm used to being underwhelmed and very disappointed by bargain displays that look terrible to my eyes.
I'm happy to report that when my frame arrived I was very pleased and my "geek with a new toy" smile hasn't left my face since it's arrival.
For starters they did a fantastic matte finish that avoids reflections without destroying image quality. They also did a good job of calibrating the color from the factor, so the images on the frame were on par with my calibrated NEC PA Series displays.
What I wasn't expecting is that the wood and matte that surrounds the frame is very well done and feels like something I'd get from a high end framing studio. I've spent $450+ on custom frames of this size, and while I wouldn't say that this frame is as good as some of the ones I've purchased - it's very close. Keep in mind though that those were traditional frames that just housed and protected one photo. This is a digital frame that looks great on the wall, even when it is off, and even better when it is displaying lots of my images and fine art.
Using my Meural Canvas
The Canvas List displays all of the canvases that you've registered
I've been using my frame for a couple weeks, and even though I typically wait longer to do a review - I love this product so much I felt compelled to write my review right away. Part of the reason for this is that it not only performed beautifully displaying my images and the art of others, it did so with zero noise and no noticeable heat. This is a HUGE advantage over using a smart TV or building your own PC to display images - both of which I've already done before myself.
When I first got my canvas and started using it, I was disappointed that the phone app and gesture based UI had no mechanism for editing important settings like slide duration and off hours. Fortunately all of these settings are easily accessible via the web site and included even more than I could imagine. Rather than spend a lot of time talking about them, here's a screen shot of the behind the scenes controls I have over my canvas:
In addition to being able to specify exactly what art collections are stored on my canvas, I can control when they are displayed as well as when the frame sleeps thanks to the handy timeline feature. If you’ve ever used other frames or tried to build your own, this is the key thing that the others fail to offer. This is the game changer feature that really sets this frame apart!
My family really loved how we could enjoy our family photos during meal times but then enjoy other art during the day so we didn't get bored seeing the same photos all day long.
While recording a video of any video display is the best way to make a display look terrible, I decided it was important to show off some of the features of this frame. Please know that the image quality of this display is outstanding in real life – much like a high quality computer monitor, so don’t be misled by the video quality.
I also show the iOS and web apps that complement this device. It should be noted that while I demo the iOS app, there is also an Android version too.
If you are a geek like me then you want more technical details about the display specs and the hardware, so I've created this link for you to get that info including a video that shows how they are built.It's fun to watch so check it out!
The highlights are the 27” 1080p IPS Display with Anti-Glare Technology, 1920 x 1080 Full HD Resolution and 8GB of storage.
Yes, you can use your Smart TV (or device connected to your TV), your iPad, an old computer or a new fanless PC to have your own digital slideshow solution. What makes this product unique is that you get a fine art quality frame that just works without any heat or noise issues, and great software and stock that keeps things interesting.
It's nicely designed UI makes it simple to see the photos you want when you want them - including art made by others. The simplicity and quality of this all-in-one solution is what makes it unique. The performance of the 27" 16:19 aspect ratio calibrated color display is what makes it feel like a 23x13" print hanging on the wall.
I expected to be underwhelmed, but I can't say enough about how much I love this frame. In fact, now that I have one I seriously want another one so I can dedicate one to landscape photos and another to portrait photos elsewhere in my house. I want one for my elderly parents house too- that's how much I love this product!
If you've been underwhelmed or disappointed by digital frame offerings in the past, I'm pleased to say that the time has come to finally get one. This is the one I've been waiting for! Even if you don't own a camera - it's useful at displaying lots of great (and currently free) stock art available on the Meural web site, as well as digital art you purchase off the web.
Verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Where to order (SPECIAL OFFER)
I love to take care of my faithful blog readers, so I've arranged a special offer for you when you CLICK HERE and use my coupon code RONMARTBLOG
If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this. I was also provided with a review version of this product.