Meural's second-generation Canvas digital art screen is now available, and I've been testing one for a few weeks to see how it overlaps. That's my first experience with any type of digital canvas product, and I have to admit that I had very little expectations about it – but the Meural is actually an exceptional gadget, provided that you have the means to do this, including the basic purchase price and the additional subscription that Meural has also launched to keep it populated with an extensive content library.
The Meural Canvas sells for $ 595 or $ 695 depending on your favorite frame finish, and includes a full HD (1080P) display of 27 inches diagonally. The screen has a glare-free finish, with a maximum brightness of 300c / m2 and an automatic dimming function to adapt to the ambient light in the room. The frame also includes Wi-Fi connectivity, with speeds up to 802.11 ca on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels, and an inside computer powering it all with a Quad Core ARM processor 1.8 GHz, a Cortex-A17 graphics chip, 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of integrated storage.
The specs are good, but the best part about them is that once you're up and running with the Canvas (and setup is easy, using the companion mobile app to connect to your Wi-Fi network in minutes), you never have to think about it again. Canvas does his job so well that you forget that it's a computer hanging on the wall, and that you think more like a magic painting whose contents may change, in the manner of Harry Potter, in an instant – and that even supports works of art with movement elements, including large format cinemagraphs.
Canvas's real strength lies in its exclusive display technology, which combines an anti-glare screen with intelligent lighting for room lighting and an amazing ability to give the impression that digital images are printed or painted: depending on your room lighting, the Meural hardware store looks like a real paint, and the effect is particularly impressive in well-lit rooms with a lot of natural light.
All of this has a minimal cost in terms of installation requirements, as there is a power cord providing the energy needed to operate the Canvas. The included cord is a case of braided white nylon that is durable and relatively easy to hide, however: I ran a cable holder as you could use for a wall television to disguise mine, and I've received a number of compliments on how it merges with the rest of the decor. And in terms of energy costs, they are minimal – the Canvas uses only the equivalent of less than half of that of a standard bulb.
The physical dimensions of the canvas itself are also something that you need to take into consideration when you plan to buy this because it is 30.4 inches by 20 inches, which is likely to take a good amount of wall space for a lot. This was perfect for my high ceiling apartment on the main floor of a house, however, and really stands out as a decorative element regardless of what is shown in the frame, especially in the "Winslow" model finished in walnut.
To choose what your Meural Canvas displays, you can navigate to the web interface or use the mobile application. On the Web, you can browse a wide variety of collections organized by Meural, some of which are limited to its subscription service, which is available for $ 4.95 a month or $ 39.95 a year. Wall membership gives access to the entire library, and exclusive feature collections and editorial preservation, however. Plus, if you do not want to pay, you can also upload your own creations and rank them in playlists.
Meural also offers a number of different options for how it displays art, including adjustable brightness (or adaptive auto), the duration of each piece in a collection is displayed, if it will rotate through the different collections you have on your Canvas, and whether it will display horizontal / vertical / cropped images or any mix of the above.
In the box, there is included mounting hardware which makes it easy to install even if you are not particularly practical, and you can rotate the Canvas at any time using the clever design of the anchor and frame.
Some critics have noted that Meural's Canvas might not have the highest resolution display (that's HD at the time of more and more 4K and retina screens ), but that turned out to be a problem for me. The viewing distance of the screen is such that you will not notice any rasterization, and the Meural team is focused on more important aspects, including backlight, adaptive brightness, rendering colors and viewing angles.
An unexpected benefit of the Meural Canvas: It allowed me to do it with my own photography in addition to storing it in the cloud. I always have good intentions of printing some of my favorite snapshots of my travel photos, but I never do it – on the Canvas, it's as simple as uploading the images via the browser your desktop and create your own playlists. You can even include photo credits and contextual details, in case you really want to show it.
This could be the real target of the target demo for Canvas: Artists and photographers who want a personal showcase without printing. But it's actually a fantastic addition to any household, provided you spend $ 600 or more on a screen with a very specific purpose makes sense to you. Honestly, I did not think it would be the case with Meural Canvas, but testing the latest generation of the digital image proved the opposite.