PORTABLE DVD PLAYERS
Entertainment For Adults And Kids
FeaturesAside from the obvious ability to play dvds, most are also able to play your favorite music CDs so you don't have to take one of those along as well. Many will substitute for the regular size dvd players if they have output jacks that will plug into a TV at your motel or your final destination. Your kids can still be entertained when visiting Grandma, especially if she doesn't happen to have a dvd player. Portable dvd players should also have headphone jacks, so you can listen privately. Many will also support jpeg photos and MP3 audio as well.
Portable DVD Manufacturers and Basic InformationHere's a list of manufacturers of portable DVD players, including their basic models and features. Sites we looked at for reviews included C/Net and Portables.About.com
- Phillips Pet 1002 got the best reviews from C/Net. Somewhat pricey at between $330 and $400, this model got high marks on picture quality and battery life (between 4 and 5 hours). It carries a 10-inch screen and can play CD's and MP3 files as well as DVD's. The only bad marks it got from C/Net was the price, but if you are looking for picture quality and don't mind spending the money, this one should be at the top of your list to consider.
- The Sony DVP-FX810's picture quality isn't as good as some, but it's strong points are in its above-average battery life (4-6 hours) and lower price (around $200). It also offers dual headphone jacks, MP3/photo CD compatibility, among other features.
- Audiovox makes a couple of different models that should be considered. Their model D2016 has a 10.2-inch screen with pretty good picture quality, dual headphone jacks, plays CD's and MP3's, has an SD card slot, and battery life of about 2.5 hours. Priced at around $200, most people would be happy with this model. Their model D2011 also has a 10 inch picture, but is a little cheaper at $159-$200.
- Initial IDM-1731 is priced at under $140, and gets good reviews from C/Net for its low price, good picture quality and long battery life. It features a 7-inch screen. Some downside comments had more to do with the battery and recharge function.
- Mustek MP72 sports a 7-inch screen, supports the widescreen format as well as MPEG-4, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, JPEG. Prices range from $85-$120.
- Toshiba's SD-P1850 is priced under $200, features an 8-inch screen and supports CD, JPEG photos and MP3 audio formats. It also has a 4-in-1 memory card slot which allows one to view photos from digital cameras.
- And finally, if you're looking at REALLY small and portable, consider the Phillips PET 320. With a screen size of 3.5 inches, it's more on the order of the portable CD players, size-wise. Priced at around $130, the main drawback is that it doesn't do a good job with wide-screen dvd's. Battery life is rated at 2.5 hours, but closer to 3.5 hours is what the C/Net reviewers mentioned.
Online and Onsite Sources for Portable DVD PlayersWith their amazing popularity, shopping for a portable dvd player is as close as your neighborhood Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples and other dealers. Additionally, if you're not close enough to one of these stores or are lacking time, there are some online possibilities as well. The above retailers will also sell you one online. Additional online sources include TigerDirect.com, MSN.com, PriceGrabber.com and more.
In ConclusionIf you travel frequently, or even not-so-frequently, you should find plenty of uses for a portable dvd player. Most will do more than just play dvds, are useful when you have access to a standard TV set, and can keep kids and adults both entertained on a long trip. Prices range from under $100 to $400 or more, so you should be able to find something to meet with your budget and other needs.