Assessing the best portable DVD players.

How to be the best consumer you can be.
Dec. 6 2007 2:58 PM

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Assessing the best portable DVD players.

(Continued from Page 2)

Overall, though, it's a superior player if you're not as enamored with obnoxious speakers as I am. Right out of the box, with no fiddling, this player is definitely the best at its price, especially if you intend to use headphones.

Audio/video: 8
Utility: 8
Value: 9
Total: 25

Toshiba 10.2-inch SD-P2900
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Toshiba 10.2-inch SD-P2900, $280 Finally, audiophiles have found their player. With the speakers blaring from my lap during the frenetic and cacophonous diamond heist at the beginning of Snatch, I phoned a friend to run an experiment. "Guess where I am," I said. Her answer— "A strip club?" —should thrill engineers at Toshiba.

The screen is expansive and crisp—though it does struggle somewhat with heavy dark shades—and the navigation is smooth and simple. The player handles the gamut of file formats and impresses with a media card slot and five different video and audio outputs. One disappointment is that the screen can't swivel, and it's so heavy that if the unit jostles, the hinge doesn't hold it upright. I also groaned at how slowly the machine advances through chapters and fast-forwards (and at the slight grinding noise it makes as it does so).

But you should consider those mere blemishes. If anything below $300 feels like a deal, this is a must-have. Otherwise, pick up the Memorex or the LG, and sign up for a year of Netflix with the change.

Audio/video: 10
Utility: 9
Value: 7
Total: 26

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