Pros Photo frame, clock, iPod dock, music player, video player, all in one.
Cons Picture, video and sound are good; not great
Summary Firmware update allows you to delete preloaded pics from slide show. Night mode is easy to access and allows clock to be viewed without being too bright. Very customizable, wake up to chosen music and picture. Can set it to show a new picture once a day (nice for your bedside). Very easy to transfer pics from SD card to internal memory. Plays video from iPod (although I don't see a huge value in this since it is a clock radio). Overall I am very happy with the purchase and think it is well worth the money.
Pros OK. Simply wonderful device with almost comical oversight.
Cons When the alarm goes off, the screen is in full brightness, and you can't turn down the brightness whatsoever. It's like they never tested the beast. Really, what were they thinking. Great clock if you don't ever need to snooze.
"Seriously?"on by Speedriff
Pros Nice Display and overall nice look with reasonably good sound for a clock radio.
Cons Can't delete stock pics from slideshow(confirmed by Sony). No volume control on alarm buzzer and it is way too low. Alarm screen is too bright(think flashlight being shined in your face and no, you can't dim it even with snooze).
Summary This would be a great electronic frame if you could delete the stock photos from the memory. What this means is if you load a few pics onto this unit and enter slideshow mode(like an electronic frame)your pics and the stock photos are displayed including some kid. He is cute but I don't know him and I really don't want to have to see their photos. There is also no option for a black background so just the clock display shows over it. To get this you would have to load a black jpeg file and have that as the displayed background picture.
Now onto the alarm. This unit has many functions for alarm sounds and they all have volume adjustments except for the buzzer, which is stupidly low. What were they thinking? There are two alarms and both can be set to different sounds with options for weekdays and weekends or just on/off. Now, when your selected alarm sounds, the big 7 inch display turns bright white and light blue. It is like looking up into the sky mid afternoon or having someone stand next to your bed shining a flashlight into your face. Hitting the snooze button doesn't return it to it's dimmed setting, oh no. Matter of fact, if you try to dim it(note:the dim function is done by hitting the snooze button and selecting several presets)using the snooze function, you just changed your snooze settings from 10 minutes to 20, 30 or 40 minutes etc. Now this may not seem like a big deal but if you fumble around still half asleep, blinded by the flashlight effect and hit it more than once, watch out, you may oversleep(providing that you have a pillow or blanket pulled over your face). Another thing of note is that when you turn off the alarm the screen reverts back to full bright mode. Not a problem if you and your significant other get up at the same time but remember, this 7 inch display is bright and lights the room. Of course after the flashlight effect, all other screen settings are dim in comparison. I asked Sony tech support about this and they referred me to page 14 in the manual which says to use the snooze button. In other words you are stuck with high beams in the early a.m. hours.
The iPod dock hides when not in use if you are so inclined to stow it daily but when it is out it has no type of back support and the unit only comes with two inserts. If you have an over zealous child they could easily snap the connector or damage your iPod. Of course that being said, most of the iPod docks are the same way. I have an iPod Touch and the insert is clearly for the iPhone so it is a little shaky.
Don't expect to upload the pics from your iPhone etc., into this unit. It doesn't do it and that may be because of Apple. I do find it odd that a Sony unit doesn't even have and aux in so you can hook a Sony MP3 player to it.
In closing I have to say that I wanted to like this unit, It looks great and sounds pretty good for what it is. Oh and btw, I am a musician and former recording studio owner with pretty good ears. Unfortunately this edition of the Sony Dream Machine is really disappointing only because the engineers clearly didn't think things through and obviously never used any prototypes(if they even do prototypes). Basically this unit seems like it was rushed to market and I have to wonder if it was designed in China as it is in fact, made there. This doesn't seem like Japanese design and Sony has dipped another notch in my opinion. As I said, it does sound reasonably good and does have a nice display and if that is all you want then it will fill that role nicely. At $150 you can find something just as good sonically at a lot lower price. I am taking mine back.
Pros Combines iPhone/iPod Charger, A Digital Photo Frame (With Excellent Display), An Incredibly Versatile Alarm Clock, Music/Video Player (iPhone/iPod), Along With An FM Radio
Cons Goes Back To "Default" Display After Turning Off The Alarm. Is A Little "pricey" for some people. (Read-on, though.)
Summary No matter what you're partial to in an alarm clock, (wake-to-music/buzzer LOUD/soft / A Family Members Recorded Voice ... or choose from many different built-in sounds) it'll fit your style. Too, the alarm clock settings has the versatility of 2-5-7 wake-up time settings.
If you've been itching to get one of those photo-slide-show frames, this unit can be your decision maker to finally do it. I think the display is incredible. (Very Crisp/Clear/Bright)
If you listen to/wake to your iPhone/iPod to fall asleep or wake-up to, this unit not only gets rid of the iPhone/iPod charger on your night-stand - it too let's you wake to/fall asleep to your (Apple) media device.
I feel it takes care of my (higher-standard) for an alarm clock, photo-frame, (my higher-standard media device needs) iPhone/iPod charger/display - all in one. There are some other "neat" features above and beyond those devices I mentioned that it replaces (Like a video display, wake-to-fun-sounds, etc...)
If you merely "settle" with a simple alarm-clock, simple Picture Frame, and could "settle" for one of many hundreds of iPhone/iPod docking stations - you'll probably pay about the same amount of $$ this unit costs.
If you're (very) discriminate and have a very "high standard" for your "Geeky-Toys"...this device, is a very practical, and "Must-Have!" appliance.
Pros Bright screen that can be dimmed for nighttime, customized alarm using voice recording
Cons Cannot remove default images, display setting changes after alarm goes off, yet another Sony product that will dock an iPood device but not one of their own .mp3 players
Summary Sony almost had something great with this product...an alarm clock, digital photo frame and mp3 docking station...the problem is they just glued the three different components together and didn't put much thought into the usability.
The display screen is nice and bright, decent resolution, and the default clock setting has digits large enough so that they can be seen from across a large room, although when set that large they pretty much obscure whatever image you have in the background.
The clock comes with 6 preinstalled images for the demo mode and a few nature sounds to help you fall asleep. The images are actually very nice landscapes, but there is one image of a curly haired blond kid about 3 years old. The problem here is that the default images cannot be removed, so as I'm watching my images play in the slide show I find myself suddenly explaining to my fiancee that no, it's not my kid that I didn't know I had. It's a tad annoying.
The clock display has three different settings. The above mentioned large digit display and then two other where the digits are displayed smaller an out of the way (lower right corner for example) that make it easy to see the image. This was my preferred setting since it allowed me to see the images and the clock without issue....until the alarm went off. Once the alarm goes off the display returns to the large digit default display which means, yes, you have to navigate through the menus to reset the display to the way you want it after every time the alarm goes off.
One of the alarm functions is the "Fun Alarm" which allows you to record a message and then have that message playback with a selected picture when the alarm sounds. As a test I recorded a message saying, "Wake up! You're late for work!" and set it on my fiancee's alarm (there are dual alarms on this clock). It was pretty funny when she shot up in bed after hearing my voice tell her she was late for work...well at least I thought it was funny.
Typical with Sony products the memory cards need to be a sony type memory stick...this thing won't take CF or SD type cards, but it does have a usb port that you can plug into. The onboard memory is 1GB which will hold a fair amount of music and/or images.
The one thing I still don't understand is why Sony keeps making products that won't even dock their own mp3 music players. I still like Sony portable music devices, but hey, I might as well buy an apple device if Sony is going to make anything that docks their own brand...and apparently there's a problem with the iPod dock anyway.
Long story short...for the money paid it's not worth all the hassle and I returned mine. Maybe when they fix the issues I'll go back and get another one.