hp-frameHere’s a little secret about netbooks. You want to know why they all have 7 inch, 8.9 inch, or 10.2 inch displays? It’s because most of them are using the same displays designed for digtial pictrue frames which come in those sizes. There aren’t any 8.4″ digital picture frames, and so there aren’t any 8.4″ netbooks. Maybe one day netbooks will be produced in large enough numbers that netbook makers will essentially dictate the size of digital picture frames. But it’s just as likely that the idea of a digital picture frame that does nothing but display photos will disappear as technology gets cheaper.

Notebooks.com reports that HP is preparing to take the first step down that road by introducing a digital photo frame that has some of the same functionality as a netbook. It will reportedly have a web browser, an email client, and the ability to display news feeds and other widgets like weather or, you know, pictures.

It’s likely that HP would draw upon the same technology used in the HP Mini 1000 netbook, which means the picture frame could have an Intel Atom processor and a 10 inch display, and may run a custom version of Ubuntu Linux. HP is expected to charge about $400 for the photo frame, which is the same price as the base model HP Mini 1000. The rumored device would be controlled by a remote control, but a touchscreen version could eventually replace the remote control model. Or maybe the whole thing’s just a rumor and HP has no interest in a combo photo frame/netbook.

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10 replies on “HP to launch digital photo frame with netbook features?”

  1. This must explain why there’s no high res 10 inch netbooks: no high res 10 inch digital frames.

    1. There are high res netbooks (the HP 2133, for example), but you’re right, those screens aren’t used in photo frames. The net result is that those screens are low-volume items, so the manufacturer pays a premium for them, which jacks up the price.

      If the market increases for $700-1000 ultraportables (right now, there’s a huge gap between netbooks and the typically $1500+ ultraportables), expect to see some with a high-res option. Of course, the problme with filling that gap has been that there’s not a lot of options between the Atom on the low end and much-more-expensive CPUs like ULV Core 2 Duos on the higher end.

      1. Yes, there’s the HP 2133 and the more expensive Gigabyte and Kohjinsha tablets with atom processors and high res screens, but they all have 8.9 inch screens. I’ve yet to see a single thing in the netbook category with a high res 10-inch screen.

        I for one would be willing to pay $100 or $150 extra to get this in a normal netbook, but, as you say, these screens will probably show up in the $700+ category, maybe with other extra features, and I’m sure there’s a limit to the amount people will pay for an Atom powered unit, regardless of features.

  2. https://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/21/we-want-a-dead-simple-web-tablet-help-us-build-it/

    How is this different than what TechCrunch wants to build for 200$?
    Well, besides that one still being vaporware? (or should tha t be both are vaporware)
    TechCrunch’s idea has a good price range, the functionality I want and from the pictures form factor.
    Yeah, I know.., it sounds too good to be true.

    We have a digital pix frame as do our parents and both are on a wall, so Im not sure Id want to either take it down to use it, stand up to check email or carry it around. Because once its portable, that ‘picture frame’ will never remain in the room you want it to be, therefore its main function as a frame is lost. (our netbook has been used in every room in the house.)

    Maybe I’ve got too much of a hardon for the TechCrunch Tablet (just like I did with the Optimus keyboard but at least the tablet has a great price) to be able to give the frame/tablet combo a chance but I’ve tried playing out the different scenarios where this would be useful in the house where we have TV’s and networked computers everywhere.

    Personally, I still think the frame prices are still waaaay too expensive for what they do so maybe its the 400$ that’s making me doubtful.

    Oh yeah, just add a ‘me too’ to all the points that Bolomkxxviii said except that as a lazy bastard, I dont want to have to stand up to be able to check my email….that;s why I have a netbook!

    1. It isn’t supposed to replace your netbook. Imagine having it in your living room while you watch TV, read, listen to music, etc. This thing usually has a picture of your girlfriend/wife/dog/etc but ever so often it is replaced with today’s forecast, then the latest price of your stocks, news, etc. (or scrolls at the bottom) Maybe it flashes to tell you that you have a new e-mail that you can check from the picture frame or your netbook. You can leave messages for other family members and an idicator blinks to let them know. With a webcam you can use it to leave a video message. With a remote you can tell it to show you information from the couch. Something like a large, wall hung chumby.

  3. Instead of a touchscreen ($$$) would you settle for a pull down, membrane keyboard?

  4. 10″ for this application? Am I missing something? How about something 20″ so you can hang it on the wall? It would not need a fast refresh rate and could be run by an ARM, MIPS or even a C7 processor. Something like splashtop would be fine for an OS. It would need almost no storage, just an SD card for the pictures and some kind of limited storage for widgets to be added (weather, stock quotes, headline news, etc.). Touch screen would be essential. The more I think about it, the more I like it. A PDA for your wall (kind of). I hope it happens.

  5. As the person who wants a dual display netbook runs out to buy a picture frame to tear apart. . .

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