Smart photo frame company Skylight is launching a new version of its Skylight Calendar, a smart family calendar. The Skylight Cal Max works identically to the current model but has a sleeker, updated design plus a whopping 27-inch screen. It’s available for preorder today starting at $599 and will ship in June, according to the company.
The Cal Max almost doubles the size of the existing 15-inch Skylight Calendar, which is dedicated to showing multiple calendars in a familiar layout and syncing with online services to keep everything up to date. An enhanced 27-inch touchscreen display with a higher resolution (2560 x 1440 QHD compared to 1920 x 1080 HD), provides more space and better quality for easily seeing everyone’s schedules at a glance.
A new etched anti-glare screen and interchangeable frames are designed to help the device fit in better with your home decor. Options will include a classic white or black frame and a shadow box frame in aluminum and charcoal. The frames can be swapped out if you want to change things up and will go on sale in June when the device ships. The shadow box option adds $129 to the cost of the calendar.
I’ve been testing the current 15-inch version of the Skylight Calendar — which has the same features, just a smaller, boxier design and no anti-glare screen — and have so far found it to be the best solution I’ve tested for having one place everyone in the household can see and manage all the schedules.
Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of solutions to this problem, including giant dry-erase wall calendars, digital calendars built into my fridge, smart speakers reading out my kids’ schedules for the day, and setting notifications on their smartphones for events. But for various reasons (too much upkeep, lack of support for one calendar service or another, being too easy to ignore), none of these have worked reliably.
However, since I’ve propped the Skylight Calendar on my breakfast counter in full view of the family as they eat each morning, we’ve had significantly more success keeping our schedules straight. While smart displays like the Echo Show can show your calendar, the trick with Skylight that works for us is that it just shows the calendar — all the time.
This is not a multipurpose smart display, like an Echo Show or Nest Hub, which means no one can watch Teen Titans Go! on it instead of reviewing their day’s events. It’s a dedicated device for your calendar. There are a few other related features — chore charts, meal planning, and to-do lists — but the calendar is the main event. You can also have a photo screensaver if you like, although that requires a $39 annual subscription after the first year.
Beyond visibility, another feature I like about Skylight Calendar is that you can edit and add events right on the device’s touchscreen. You can also scroll through the day and week and see everyone’s calendars simultaneously. The interface looks a lot like the Google Calendar web interface and similarly allows for color coding for different calendars.
Skylight works with most major services — I’ve successfully imported Google, Apple, and Outlook calendars into it (Yahoo and Cozi are also supported) — or you can create your own calendars using its service and also manage them on Skylight’s smartphone app.
While the 15-inch, $300 model I’ve been testing can show five to seven days and about an eight-hour day in time slots, I can see the larger version being helpful for bigger families or those still in that stage of multiple after-school activities.
The sleeker look appeals to me, too; I wouldn’t want to wall mount the model I’m testing. It’s too bulky, and the screen can be distracting (even with auto-brightness enabled). The 27-inch would be too big for my kitchen counter. You can only wall mount it anyway, but mounted vertically you’d be able to see the whole day at once, and the anti-glare screen could make for a better photo frame when not in use.
At $599, Cal Max is pricey, and as there’s a 10-inch version for $159.99 and the 15-inch is $299.99 with the same functionality, you’re paying a lot more for just the bigger screen and nicer look. However, Skylight says that the upgraded hardware will enable new software features coming later this year. That worries me a bit. Based on my time with the original device, its simplicity is its best feature — too much more functionality, and it could lose that excellent focus.
The Skylight Cal Max is available to preorder now for $599 or $629 for the shadow box frame option. It will begin shipping to customers in June.