The Varnam VM830BT is an 8in digital photo frame with a rechargeable battery that, according to Varnam, offers 90 minutes of continuous viewing time.

With a sturdy looking built-in stand around the back, the Varnam VM830BT can stand alone or be laid flat against the wall. Changing the length of the leg adjusts the angle of the screen.

Once you've plugged in the Varnam VM830BT to the power socket to get it juiced up you're ready to start uploading pics to its 128MB integral memory.

Alas, this is where we hit our first snag. The Varnam VM830BT doesn't come bundled with a USB cable - you'll have to provide your own.

Within moments Varnam VM830BT will register on your PC. Then it's a simple case of dragging and dropping your favourite pictures, MP3s and videos on to the frame. Alternatively you can use the frame's mini USB port. With this you can connect the Varnam VM830BT directly to any other USB device such as a digital camera or mobile phone. There's also a card slot that supports SD/XD/MMC/MS formats.

Once you've disconnected the frame from the PC, you'll have to restart it before you can start viewing pictures on its 800x400 resolution LCD display.

The Varnam VM830BT frame features an LED which glows either red, amber or green to indicate that the frame is charging, on or fully charged.

The Varnam VM830BT's display is clear and bright and doesn't suffer from glare. Using the touch-sensitive menu and control buttons, which are flush to the display, you can change the brightness of images, choose different memories from which to display images, and pick mp3s and videos to play. you can also select certain images to remain static on the frame. The bundled remote control offers access to these functions.

The interface is almost childlike in its simplicity. And while we loved the idea of touch sensitive buttons, the reality is that the screen is left with a number of greasy finger marks, which don't look very classy. We did enjoy the combination of MP3s playing while our photos were being displayed, and the alarm function. The quality of video display is good, too.


While we liked aspects of the Varnam VM830BT photo frame, this a crowded market and if you shop around you may find better value.