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.
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.Read full review.
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.Read full review.
Portable DVD Players BUYING GUIDE
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.
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.
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.
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
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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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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Best Portable DVD Player for Cars
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.
Best Portable DVD Player for Travel
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.