The best portable DVD players

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The best portable DVD players
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6 of the best portable DVD players to buy

Budget tablets may be taking over, but Portable DVD Players are still a popular choice for mobile entertainment, particularly for kids in the car on long journeys. Some models come with car chargers and headrest attachments precisely for this purpose, though they’re just as handy anywhere where there’s no Wi-Fi for a more hi-tech option — and a stack of DVD movies takes up no space at all when they’re removed from their case. Many models aren’t restricted to DVDs either, and can play movies from an SD card or USB flash drive. Interested? Tech expert Stuart Andrews helps you make your choice.

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Sony DVP-FX780

Sony DVP-FX780

eBay loves: Virtual surround sound through headphones.
Watch out for: The low-resolution screen.
RRP: £74.99

While many big brands have abandoned portable DVD players, you can still grab Sony’s compact 7-inch model. The low-resolution 480 x 234 pixel screen may disappoint those who remember Sony’s high-definition Blu-ray portables, but there’s compensation in the quality of playback and four sound modes, including virtual surround sound. The batteries last four hours from a single charge and a car charger is included. As a bonus, the DVP-FX780 can also play XviD videos, MP3 audio and JPEG photos from a USB flash drive.
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Philips PD7030/05

Philips PD7030/05

eBay loves: Streaming DivX format videos through USB.
Watch out for: You won’t make it through some epics on a single charge.
RRP: £99.99

The Philips PD7030/05 has a 7-inch LCD panel with punchy colours and a reasonable brightness level. It has the same 480 x 234 resolution as the Sony, but battery life is a little worse at three hours — or two films, if you’re lucky. However, the PD7030/05 makes up for this by being DivX-certified, so you can rip your DVDs using your PC and  play them from a USB flash drive through the built-in USB port. Philips also bundles in a car adaptor, making this one ready for the road.
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Philips PD9030/05

Philips PD9030/05

eBay loves: Having a screen that’s big enough to share.
Watch out for: There’s only one headphone output.
RRP: £129.99

If a 7-inch screen isn’t big enough for you, then the Philips PD9030/05 gives you an extra two inches and a 640 x 220 resolution. Battery life is a little better than the 7-inch models, at around 5 hours, and an in-car charger is included. As well as watching DVD movies, you can stream DivX and MPEG-4 movies from a USB flash drive, and the player also outputs Dolby Digital soundtracks, as well as MP3 music from CD or USB. While the bigger screen could still do with a higher resolution, it’s worth it for a more cinematic end-result.
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Logik L12PDVD14

Logik L12PDVD14

eBay loves: The bigger screen and higher-resolution detail.
Watch out for: The batteries won’t survive the average blockbuster.
RRP: £199

The Logik L12PDVD14 is a pricey portable DVD player, but the extra money nets a tablet-beating 11.6-inch screen with a 1024 x 576 resolution. This brings a new dimension to big-screen blockbusters and the built-in Dolby Digital stereo sound also helps. The downside is the meagre two-hour battery life, though you can plug in the bundled in-car charger while out on the road. Logik also throws in a useful carrying case. It’s not the last word in sound or picture quality, but it’s about as big as portable DVD players get.
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NextBase Click and Go 7 Lite

NextBase Click and Go 7 Lite

eBay loves: The quick convenience of the click-and-go mount.
Watch out for: You’ll need the optional batteries for use outside the car. 
RRP: £149.99

Designed specifically for use in cars, the 7-inch NextBase Click and Go 7 Lite comes with a special mount that lets you quickly attach and detach the player from the back of a car seat headrest. Slide it in and it starts playback automatically, with anti-skip circuitry making up for the pothole horrors of the average British road.
Battery packs are optional, though the in-car charger comes as standard and there’s up to three hours of playback from a single charge. There’s a USB port for streaming music and movies, plus infrared wireless transmitters for the optional wireless headphones. The Click and Go 7 Lite is also crash-test approved, so it won’t come loose and cause injury should an accident occur.
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NextBase SDV49AC

NextBase SDV49AC

eBay loves: Keeping everyone entertained at once.
Watch out for: It’s hard to change DVDs when the units are strapped into their mounts.
RRP: £179

This twin-pack gets you two 9-inch portable players, capable of playing two different films at once, or the same one on both screens using the pass-through cable. The players sit on stands or hook up easily to a car seat headrest and the 640 x 234 resolution gives a little more crisp detail than some. The SDV49AC also packs in a USB port and an SDHC memory card slot, plus support for XviD, DivX and MPEG-4 video formats. If you want to keep a whole back seat full of kids happy on your next long journey, this bundle is very hard to beat.
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