01.Kaiser Baas digital photo keychain
Please note: this information was current as of January 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
The Kaiser Bass is a keyring that can store around 70 digital images and display them on a 2.5 x 2.5cm screen.
While there are a couple of versions around, the Kaiser Baas digital photo keychain and AV Labs digital keychain appeared identical, except for different packaging, although the AV labs model is priced at $39.95 whereas the Kaiser is $29.95.
The software supplied is very limited, with nothing more than a basic cropping and image rotating tool that works simply and effectively. Cropping your images as tight as possible is recommended as the small square screen means you’re not going to benefit much from wide shots.
After navigating to the folder containing the photos on your PC, you select the images you want to carry around, and synchronise with the device.
The images are automatically converted to the appropriate size and transferred across using the USB connection. Colour accuracy and screen resolution are good, although you may want to adjust the contrast levels to suit. The device can be set to step through images every few seconds or so, or you can make it stay at one image until you press a button to move to the next photo.
Turning the unit off is simply a matter of holding down a button on the back for a couple of seconds, but you can’t set the device to turn off automatically.
If you want the photo keyring to make the most impact as a gift, load a dozen or so images onto the device using the software before wrapping it up. This way the recipient can enjoy the display immediately, without having to look at a blank screen.
Also, make sure you load the picture transfer software onto the PC before connecting and charging the photo frame via the USB port, as it won’t work properly unless you exactly follow the setup instructions of the (often confusing) manual.
One final note. Before giving one as a gift, make sure someone in the family has a PC — it won’t work on a Mac. And if you fancy something similar on a larger scale, check out our test of electronic photo frames.
While not indestructible, the unit proved more than able to handle the general hustle and bustle of life in a pocket or purse and should provide good service if handled in a reasonable manner.