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Kodak EasyShare M1020
As DPFs go, the Kodak M1020 is one of the larger ones I’ve had the opportunity to review. While that holds true, it also comes equipped with some trendy technology that is taking this industry to a new level. Here’s what I have to say about the new DPF.
The M1020 has a large 10.2 inch aSi TFT active matrix display with an 800 x 480 pixel resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. What makes this DPF stand out are the touch-sensitive controls on the bottom and side of the display that offers users a slide control option for scanning through images. Kodak calls this Quick Touch technology. It's kind of like the iPhone's but on a really large scale. Do keep in mind that the screen isn’t touch-sensitive, however.
It’s a very neat and slim design with no untidy buttons and slots. On the rear, at the top, is a power button, an SD card slot, and volume controls. There are two sockets on the side of the rear panel for audio in and audio out. A CF card slot, USB, and Mini USB port are located on the other side. The stand is easy to use and can be rotated for portrait mode or extended to suit your preferred angle. Since it needs electricity to function and has no provisions for batteries, the input socket for the adapter is just under the stand. It also has nail slots in case you’d like hang it on the wall.
Features and Performance
I like the touch-sensitive feature and though the navigation is smooth the interface is a bit complicated – it won’t even show you the folders when you access the external card or the internal drive. It'll take a bit of getting used to. Although the viewing options when accessed from an image don’t allow you to change the orientation of the display, don’t fret – you can simply access the Menu screen and rotate the image. You can also zoom in to the picture (only a little though) and adjust its position for a better view.
With the settings appropriately adjusted, all the images stored on the device or on the card will fill up the screen perfectly, so you won’t have any issues with black bands and such. You may just find a bit of the edges cropped, but it's not too much to be a bother. The images appear crisp and clear, and look really good. The funny thing is if you change the viewing orientation to portrait, only the images will be adjusted – the entire menu system remains unchanged.
The M1020 reads video files in MPEG1 and MPEG4 formats, so you can watch videos. It also supports MP3 music playback through its built-in speakers, and you can opt for a little background music while viewing slideshows. The playback is a bit tinny, so don’t expect loud or crystal clear music from the speakers. It doesn’t sound too bad via earphones though. The M1020 also has a Clock and Timer, so the device can automatically shut down at a designated time chosen by you.
The DPF can be hooked up to a printer directly for printing, and of course connected via USB to a PC for data transfer. With 128MB of onboard memory there’s plenty of space to store images without having to worry about storage cards. Another good feature is the SD card slot. The card slips completely into the slot that’s spring-loaded for retrieval. Simply push the card in and it pops right out.
I was a bit disappointed, however, to see that this DPF requires to be run on DC with no provisions for batteries. That means you’ll have to keep it near a wall socket all the time. This is one of the few DPFs I’ve seen that doesn’t come with a remote control or a bundled USB cable.
I think the M1020 is a really good lifestyle product. It has a large, clear display that brings out the best in your photos. Music quality isn’t too great, but then it’s not a PMP, right? And videos, although they’ll need to be specially encoded, don’t look too bad either. It costs Rs 10,999, so it’s quite a good choice for those of you who can afford it.