BEST PORTABLE DVD PLAYERS | NOVEMBER 2017

Why would anyone need a portable DVD player in this age of Smartphones and tablets? There are still folks who are ardently attached to their DVD collections and portable DVD players offer a flexible viewing experience. The ReviewLab team did comprehensive research on the variety of portable DVD players on the market. We looked at budget models, kid-friendly options, players perfect for cars, large-screen units, and devices geared towards people on the move. If you’re having trouble narrowing down what kind of player would be best for you, check out the useful buying guide below for tips on what to look out for in a portable DVD player such as size, compatibility, battery power, and extra features. Individual reviews are intended to further help you in your decision-making process. Read more about our methodology.

Best Overall

95

Which portable DVD player is our overall favorite? The DBPOWER 10.5-inch model has won a spot as our top pick. This unit is just large enough to offer a comfortable viewing experience that’s easy on the eyes while still being lightweight enough to carry around.

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Best Value

91

The smaller screened Pyle 7-inch Portable DVD player is one of the cheaper units available, but the lower price doesn’t mean that quality is sacrificed. The unit still has a few extra features, even though it’s a more affordable model. It’s a great option for those who want a player to use around the home, whether it’s to watch DVDs in bed, listen to audio books on rainy days, or pop in a workout DVD for a quick yoga session.

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Portable DVD Players BUYING GUIDE

  • KEY CONSIDERATIONS

    Size

    Screen size is probably one of the most important things to consider when choosing a portable DVD player. If you’ll be using the device for travel purposes and need to easily store it on the go, a smaller screen size will be more beneficial. A larger screen might better suit those who want to use the unit at home or while camping. Screen size also matters if the intended user has eyesight issues.

    Compatibility

    Another important thing to look for is the unit’s ability to play different file types. You’ll want to pay close attention to what kinds of file extensions the unit supports. Knowing whether the device can play CDs and DVDs might influence your buying decision. If you’ll be playing downloaded content, or you would like to listen to purchased audiobooks, you’ll need to take a look at the device’s specific playback abilities. Knowing whether the player is region-free or not is also important.

    Battery Power

    Most portable DVD players are easily charged by plugging them into the wall with their included wall chargers. The majority of devices on the market today are equipped with rechargeable lithium batteries. Charging is a snap when you’ve near an electrical outlet, which is, unfortunately, not always the case. Take into consideration how long you might want to use the unit on conserved power. Most units can last 3 to 5 hours on a single charge.

    Car Use Capability

    If you want a portable DVD player to entertain your kids on long car rides, you’ll need to ensure the unit can easily be mounted on the car’s headrests. Some units that are not specifically made for cars do come with headrest mounts but the best option for car use are dual screen models. These types of devices allow you to playback DVDs on two screens to make viewing easier for backseat passengers. Keep in mind that in the car you’ll likely want a unit with superior sound quality or one that can be used with headphones.

  • PRICE BREAKDOWN

    You won’t need to spend more than $100 on a portable DVD player unless you’re dead set on purchasing a unit with a larger screen. Units with screen sizes below 10 inches tend to range from $50 to $70. When it comes to cost, the features you get don’t vary too widely. The most expensive players will often be more durable, will play most DVDs and file formats, and will have larger screens.

     

FULL product reviews

We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.

1K products
considered
109K RATINGS
ANALYZED
26 research
hours

Best Overall

TOP PICK

DBPOWER 10.5-inch Portable DVD Player

The DBPOWER 10.5” portable DVD player has a nice sized screen and a variety of extra features that make this unit a great buy. This unit has a good picture and sound quality, and if taken along for road trips, it can easily be charged inside the car. This shock resistant device is a good portable player for folks who want a larger screen but don’t want to sacrifice portability.

  • 95overall
  • 97quality
  • 85value
  • 93brand

Why We Recommend It

  • 3-hour battery life means that you can watch a whole movie without having to worry about the device shutting off. The unit can play two shorter movies or entertain you while you watch ‘Titanic.'
  • 360-degree screen swivel feature allows you to move the screen around so you can find the best viewing angle and position. You can watch the device like a tablet if you so wish. Just flip it down, sit back, and munch on your popcorn.
  • High compatibility. The device is compatible with a variety of disc formats and a bevy of file types so you can easily listen to audio books, music, or watch whatever movie you’d like.
  • USB & SD card readers are also part of this portable DVD player. Have fun listening to your downloaded MP3s or downloaded movies without having to drag around DVD cases.
  • The device is region-free which means you can watch DVDs from any country without a problem. This makes the device perfect for folks who enjoy foreign films.

Other Considerations

  • Does not come with headrest attachment. You’ll have to purchase one separately if you intend to use this device in the car. Thankfully, the unit is shock resistant so should be able to handle car ride viewing without skipping.
  • Not Blu-Ray compatible. For Blu-Ray disc owners this is a definite downside to the unit, but unless you have an extensive collection of those types of DVDs, it shouldn’t matter too much. Most portable DVD players on the market do not play Blu-Rays.

Best Value

TOP PICK

Pyle 7-inch Portable DVD Player

The Pyle 7-inch portable DVD player has a lower price tag and smaller screen, but it comes with a host of features that most large, and more expensive, units have. Also, the little player has a Hi-Resolution LCD screen.

  • 91overall
  • 91quality
  • 95value
  • 87brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Comes with convenient peripherals. The device comes equipped with a remote control for ease of use from afar. It also comes with a set of headphones so you can listen to the player even when the environment around you gets a bit loud. Also included is a travel case.
  • Anti-shock feature ensures that even if you’re using the Pyle 7-inch portable DVD player in a moving vehicle, it won’t skip when bumps in the road.
  • USB & SD card readers included so you can watch downloaded movies easily.
  • Excellent picture quality. Even on a small 7-inch screen, the picture quality of the unit is great. The Hi-Resolution LCD screen makes watching movies on the Pyle player very enjoying.

Other Considerations

  • Cannot be mounted in the car. The unit simply does not fit correctly on headrests.
  • Short battery life. With a 2-hour battery life, it’s not a good choice for long plane rides.

BEST BY CATEGORY

Best Portable DVD Player for Cars

why buy?

When choosing a portable DVD player for your car, you’ll want to go with a design that’s specifically geared towards use in a vehicle. Most units made for use in cars come with two screens; the screens are then to be affixed to the back of the front seat headrests to entertain backseat passengers. Some portable DVD players that are not specifically for car use do come with special straps so they can be mounted inside a vehicle.

Top Pick

NAVISKAUTO Dual Screen DVD Player

The NAVISKAUTO 10-inch dual screen portable DVD player can be used in cars to entertain backseat occupants. These types of units are on the pricier side but that’s because they come with a DVD player and an extra screen to ensure a comfortable viewing experience for two people. A great option for parents who want to keep their kids entertained in traffic on the way to school or daycare.

  • 81overall
  • 86quality
  • 50value
  • 76brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Easily mountable which is no surprise since it’s meant to be used specifically in cars. The screens are mounted on the back of front seat headrests, and the included straps ensure the units are safely secured.
  • Long-lasting battery allows for up to 5-hours of use from the units, but the device also comes equipped with a car charger to easily recharge the battery on the go.
  • Dual HD-screens provide a crisp, clear picture that is not ruined by sunlight streaming in through the windows of a car. The large screens paired with the quality picture make for pleasant movie watching.
  • Memory function means that movies can be stopped when you arrive at a rest stop or your destination and the device can start back from where you left off when you get back into the car again.
  • USB, SD, MMC readers included in the unit allow you to bring movies along for the ride. You won’t need to stash DVDs in the car, just download and go.

Other Considerations

  • Does not play Blu-Rays like most other portable DVD players, the unit is not compatible with Blu-Rays.
  • Cannot be used to play movies for children in rear-facing car seats. The unit cannot be mounted on backseat headrests so it’s, unfortunately, not an option for parents with children in these types of car seats.

Best Portable DVD Player for Travel

why buy?

If you want a portable DVD player that you can take with you while you fly, you’ll want a unit that’s compact enough so you can avoid having to carry extra bulk. You’ll also want the device to be able to deal with a bit of rough handling since you’ll be using it on the move. These types of units are best for fitting into carry-ons. If you’re a frequent traveler and often visit foreign nations, you might also want to consider a player that can play a variety of region DVDs.

Top Pick

Sylvania SDVD7046 7-inch Portable DVD Player

The Sylvania SDVD7046 is a 7-inch portable DVD player with a small compact design that’s perfect for toting around. Whether you’re heading into the wilderness to camp or you want to watch your choice of movie in-flight, the no-frills unit is a great choice thanks to its fairly long battery life and easy to carry design.

  • 88overall
  • 90quality
  • 82value
  • 79brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Long-lasting rechargeable battery. The unit has about a 4-hour battery life, which is superior to many other units. With this kind of battery life, you can easily watch a couple of movies while you’re en route to your destination.
  • The easy to carry device features a unique design. Its circular shape reminds us of retro disc-mans of days past but the best part is its special handle. It doesn’t come with a case but the useful handle makes it easy to bring the player wherever you go.
  • Comes with earbuds so you don’t have to worry about buying your own.

Other Considerations

  • Doesn’t come with a case but that’s not too much of an issue since the easy carry handle makes it just as portable without one.
  • Not suitable for headrest mounting means this device isn’t meant to be used as a car-only unit. Passengers can easily use the unit during a car ride, though.
  • No USB port is probably the device’s biggest drawback. Instead, you’ll have to rely on bringing the DVDs you want to watch with you.

Best Portable DVD Player for Kids

why buy?

These types of players are perfect for parents who want to keep their kids entertained. These units are often outfitted with a simple interface to make them easy to use for children. They often also come in fun, bright colors. These units need to be durable enough to withstand potential drops by kids with slippery fingers.

Top Pick

DBPOWER 9-inch Portable DVD Player

The 3-hour battery life makes the DBPOWER 9-inch portable DVD player a great option for parents who want to keep their kids entertained. The unit comes in several fun color choices for children, and the 3-hour battery life can easily play two children’s movies. The unit is also compact enough for children to easily tote around themselves.

  • 97overall
  • 97quality
  • 96value
  • 93brand

Why We Recommend It

  • 360-degree swivel screen allows the unit to be laid flat like a tablet. This feature is perfect for hiding the device’s controls from little fingers. When the screen is rotated, the buttons are hidden so small children can’t accidentally stop or pause the player.
  • Comes with remote so even when the buttons are hidden, the player can be controlled by you, the parent, when needed.
  • Shock resistant makes this unit appropriate for children of all ages. It won’t skip while used in a car, and even when children are less than gentle with the device, it will play smoothly.
  • Bright colors and graphics make the DVD player attractive to younger children. The colorful hues and adorable graphics jazz up what would otherwise be a boring electronic and make it fun for kids.
  • 3-hour battery life means that you can ensure your child is entertained even when faced with long waits, extended restaurant visits, or when in traffic.

Other Considerations

  • Does not play Blu-Rays or MP4s but with USB and SD card readers you should have no problem getting the most out of the player.

Best Large-Screen Portable DVD Player

why buy?

If you don’t mind a bit of extra bulk, a large-screen portable DVD player can provide a great transportable entertainment experience. These types of units are great for people who are pickier about their movie watching experience and don’t want to squint at smaller screens. Large-screen devices can be used in the home for those who prefer to move around as they watch but they are equally useful for families who want to enjoy a film together while camping.

Top Pick

NAVISKAUTO 12.5-inch HD Portable DVD Player

The NAVISKAUTO 12.5-inch HD portable DVD player is not only a large-screen device it’s also packed with features. Its HD screen provides a crisp picture for viewers that can easily be swiveled 270-degrees. The unit also comes with two remotes and a carrying case for when you need to pack it away.

  • 87overall
  • 93quality
  • 56value
  • 76brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Large 12.5-inch High Definition screen makes this device perfect for movie lovers who want a beautiful picture. It’s also great for couples that want to watch a movie together since two people can easily view the large screen.
  • 5-hour battery life makes this player long lasting and gives users the ability to watch several movies on a single charge. You can easily watch workout videos without having to worry about charging it after each use.
  • Memory recall is a handy feature that allows you to pick up where you left off if you have to stop for whatever reason. No need to remember what the last thing you saw was and no risk of fast forwarding too far and ruining magical movie moments.
  • Region-free means you’re not restricted in terms of your DVD viewing. You can enjoy imported movies without needing to check whether they are compatible.

Other Considerations

  • Cannot be car mounted since the unit is a little too large for such purposes. It does come with a useful carrying case so you can bring along wherever you go.
  • Not compatible with Blu-Ray discs. The unit also does not support MP4 playback but those types of files can easily be converted should the need arise.