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Meural Canvas review – enjoy the world’s most famous works of art in your home

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  • VERDICT

For those who have a true appreciation of art, Meural is an excellent investment that will continue to surprise and delight well into the future by bringing the world's most famous works of art into your home.

If you have a real love for art then you need to take a look at the Meural Canvas – it’s a smart frame that allows you to enjoy the best art and photography from the world’s most famous galleries and museums.

What we’re looking at here is a 27-inch matte screen surrounded by a white border and a white, black or walnut frame.

Naturally there is wi-fi on board to connect Meural to the companion app on your smartphone and link it to a world of art and photography which you can appreciate in your own home.

Meural’s patented TrueArt technology renders each work faithfully so you’ll think you’re looking at the real thing with accurate textures right down to the brushstrokes.

Through the app users are able to browse various works from various galleries, museums and collections and send them to the Meural canvas.

With streaming music we are used to enjoying numerous playlists.

Well it’s the same with Meural except the playlist we are talking about is a group of relevant artwork or photographs.

And when uploaded to the frame, it will scroll through each work for as long as you choose.

The app will focus on various styles of art and photography, feature foundations, museums and galleries as well as focus on particular artists and photographers.

For us, it’s been an educational journey and given us an all-new appreciation for art and photography.

And the beauty of Meural is that not only can you admire the work you can also learn more about each piece thanks to the built in gesture controls that allow you to navigate the various works and playlists.

Users are not meant to touch the display to keep it free of fingerprints and smudges.

That’s why a special sensor has been built below the display whether it has been hung in portrait or landscape mode.

This way simple gestures will allow you to access the settings and the information about each work.

Swipe up to read more about each piece and then swipe down to hide the text again.

It’s also possible to scroll through various playlists by either swiping left or right in front of the frame.

You can also use Meural as a digital photo frame as well and upload your own playlist or photographs that are displayed beautifully on the screen.

The app also provides full control of the canvas like a remote control with the on-screen trackpad giving users an easy way to move through the menus, playlists and artwork.

The app will also let you control how long each piece is displayed and whether you want to randomise the order the images are shown within a playlist. Meural is also smart enough to detect its orientation with the built-in accelerometer.

Users can also link Meural to an Amazon Echo speaker and control it with their voice.

Set up is really easy and users can choose to hang Meural on the wall in either portrait or landscape.

Coming soon will be a wall mount that will allow users to hang the frame on the wall and be able to move it between portrait or landscape.

For our review, we hung the frame on our wall in portrait mode as we were told there was a larger percentage of art and photographs to choose from in this shape.

Meural can also display your own photographs

The frame is also smart enough to display work that will fit with how Meural is being displayed. This  orientation setting can also be controlled within the app.

Meural comes with everything you need to hang it on your wall including the wall mount and screws and even a tiny spirit level to make sure you’re hanging it perfectly straight.

Of course, it needs power and there is a cable that needs to be connected to your power point so you might need to go to the trouble of dropping the cable down the wall to keep it out of sight like you would when mounting a television.

Once installed, you simply download the free Meural app and follow the step-by-step instructions to connect to the frame and then to your wireless network.

When we were all set up we were really impressed by the screen quality and how realistically Meural renders each piece of art.

Also onboard is a light sensor to automatically adjust the screen to suit your room’s brightness.

And when you turn the lights off in the room or when it’s dark, the Meural screen shuts down as well.

After recently visiting the Louvre in Paris, naturally that was one of the first curated collections we uploaded to the Meural via the app.

Of course it included the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, The Bather by John Auguste Dominique Ingres, St John the Baptist by Leonardo da Vinci, The Death of the Virgin by Michelangelo and The Virgin on the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci.

Each of these works were obviously scaled to fit into the frame but looked as genuine as the real thing.

They don’t let you get too close to the Mona Lisa at the Louvre – you have to stand behind a rope about 5m away from the painting itself which is also encased in a glass cabinet.

The ambient light sensor

But with Meural we were able to examine it up close to see and appreciate all the detail on the painting right down to the minute cracks of the paint which can be seen on the subject’s face.

We also uploaded the curated pics from the Musee d’Orsay which includes Olympia by Edouard Manet, The Pink Dress by Frederic Bazille and The Escape of Henri de Rochefort also by Edouard Manet.

Meural has a matte screen that creates a realistic look of the artwork

The Meural frame itself is available now from Harvey Norman and is priced at $1,199 which includes a three-year subscription so you can access all the artwork available on the service.

Meural

Price: $1,199

VERDICT

For those who have a true appreciation of art, Meural is an excellent investment that will continue to surprise and delight well into the future by bringing the world’s most famous works of art into your home.