ThinkGeek to Make Amends for Defective PF Digital eStarling Photo Frames

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The ugly duckling of digital photo frames, the PF Digital eStarling, has gone into full recall mode, where its online retailer ThinkGeek will graciously exchange all of the original defective units that were shipped with a new version 2.0 model sometime next month. It looks like most of the problems with the first version of the eStarling might be solved, except for one:

PF Digital promises the following improvements in the eStarling photo frame:

- Full Wi-Fi range of at least 120 feet
- New motherboard and updated firmware
- Internal antenna not visible from the outside of the frame
- New front bezel design with no eStarling logo on the front of the frame
- Standalone feature allows frame to pull photos from any POP e-mail address without needing to connect to the eStarling server
- View photos on a media card without needing a wi-fi Internet connection


Unless the eStarling 2.0 has a modification that ThinkGeek didn't mention in its e-mail to disgruntled buyers, one problem that we didn't see fixed is that 16x9 display, which will still show black bars on the sides of most digital photos.

The last we heard from ThinkGeek, a new Wi-Fi transmitter was in the offing, which the company said would be shipped to us within a few weeks. Fast-forward six weeks, when we received this e-mail yesterday afternoon.

Clicking through the link on the e-mail, it was a simple matter to sign up for this recall program, which includes free shipping of the new unit, and a shipping label to return the hapless version 1.0 as soon as version 2.0 arrives. ThinkGeek will also accept returns of version 2.0 if doesn't measure up for 30 days after receiving it.

It's a remarkable effort on the part of ThinkGeek to make good on a product that was certainly not up to snuff. Nice move, ThinkGeek. We'll keep you updated, dear readers and fellow eStarling sufferers, on what happens.

Support (links to press release) [eStarling]



The 16x9 issue is relatively easy to fix, just zoom/crop the picture. Those of us displaying pictures on PSPs and next gen consoles have already figured that one out. I would have assumed they'd be reluctant to get rid of their logo from the bezel, that's actually impressive.