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Best Overall: NaviSkauto 12.5-Inch at Amazon
"Boasts high-quality visuals, which you can adjust to find your optimal settings."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: SYNAGY A10 at Amazon
"Supporting all media on the go is reason enough to skip out on tablet life."
Best Large Screen: DR. J Professional Portable DVD Player at Walmart
"A car adapter lets you charge it on the go so the shows don’t stop until you do."
Best Budget: Sunpin Portable DVD Player at Amazon
"Weighs less than three pounds and can last up to five hours per charge, so it makes a great travel companion."
Best for Kids: UEME 9-Inch Portable DVD Player at Amazon
"Comes with a canvas case to mount the device to the back of a car headrest."
Best Display: Sylvania 15.6-inch Portable DVD Player at Amazon
"Sylvania knocks it out of the park with this 15.6-inch, 270-degree rotating monitor."
Best Design: Sylvania 7-Inch Portable DVD Player at Amazon
"Immediately stands out with its rounded shape and integrated carrying handle."
Bring your favorite shows on the go with the NAVISKAUTO 12-inch portable DVD player, a simple device that serves as an alternative to streaming. Boasting a 10.1-inch HD screen with an LED backlight and resolution up to 1024x600, it boasts high-quality visuals, which you can adjust to find your optimal settings. The DVD Player has up to five hours of playback time to keep you — and the kids — entertained on long car trips, flights, or afternoons that call for a binge session. Light and compact, the DVD player is portable and can swivel, rotate, and flip, and it can be placed in a car headrest mount.
Among its standout features is its sound quality. Fully customizable, the speakers have multiple equalizer, bass, and processing options. For car rides, they're soft enough for backseat passengers to enjoy without disturbing those seated in the front. When the journey has reached its end, the DVD player can be hooked up to a TV for enjoying shows and movies on the big screen.
Leave the iPad and the Internet-connected world at home with the 3.3-pound SYNAGY A10 portable DVD and CD player. Featuring a 10.1-inch TFT 1024 x 600 resolution display that swivels a full 270 degrees, this unit provides plenty of reason to skip out on tablet life and solely focus on your newest DVD pickup. The SYNAGY includes support for all types of DVDs and CDs, as well as JPEG images for viewing pictures on-the-go.
With 2.5-3 hours of battery life, there’s only enough room to watch one DVD before requiring a re-charge, but you can maximize battery life by lowering the sound of the speaker. Fortunately, you can re-charge the unit while on-the-go in a vehicle through an included car charger to avoid the battery life limitations altogether. Additionally, there’s an added USB port and SD card, as well as a remote control to round out the feature set.
Keep yourself, your kids, and your entire family entertained throughout long trips with the DR. J Professional 14.4-inch portable DVD player, which has a playtime of up to seven hours. The 14.1-inch screen can swivel up to 270 degrees and flip 180 degrees so it can easily be mounted on a car headrest while still offering a large amount of visibility, perfect for occupying multiple backseat viewers. Audio options include a speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing viewers to immerse themselves without disturbing other passengers. If the trip stretches beyond seven hours, a car adapter lets you charge it on the go so the shows don’t stop until you do.
The player is compatible with a range of multimedia options — from CDs to DVDs to images and eBooks — and supports SDs cards and USB flash drives alike. The accompanying AV output cable lets you connect the device with another DVD player or a larger screen so more people can enjoy what you’re watching.
For portable entertainment on a budget, a player with Blu-Ray support likely won’t be worth the significant extra cost. But a DVD player can still offer plenty of features and a quality viewing experience, which is what you’ll get with this Sunpin device. Its 9.5-inch TFT LCD screen delivers solid picture quality with enhanced brightness. You'll get decent audio from the built-in speakers, but as a bonus, dual earphone jacks let two people listen from separate sets of headphones at the same time.
Aside from playing most standard CD/DVD formats, the Sunpin player also supports a variety of digital media files from a USB drive or SD card. Included in the package is an A/V cable for sending the display to a TV, a headrest mounting case for watching in the backseat of a car, and a car charger for powering it up on the road. It weighs less than three pounds and can last up to five hours before needing to be recharged, so it makes a great travel companion. The player is available in black, blue, red, and purple color options.
Movies are a great way to keep kids busy on long trips, and UEME offers a DVD player designed to do exactly that. It comes in two styles: blue with a racecar design or pink with a princess-and-unicorn design. The models are otherwise identical, with a nine-inch 800 x 480-pixel LCD display that can swivel 180 degrees. It plays essentially any DVD and CD format, as well as most digital video and audio files through a USB port and SD card slot that supports up to 32GB.
At home, you can power or charge it with the power cord and connect it to a TV with the included A/V cable. Some other DVD players geared toward kids come with bonus accessories like game controllers and headphones, but UEME’s device includes extras that make it perfect for travel — it comes with a canvas case to easily and securely mount the device to the back of a car headrest, along with a car adapter to keep it charged and a remote to control playback. When not plugged in, the battery can provide you with about four hours of entertainment for the kids.
There’s little question a 15.6-inch portable DVD player will have you doing a double-take, but Sylvania knocks it out of the park with this laptop-sized screen. Featuring 270 degrees of rotation, the 15.6-inch display offers plenty of screen space to enjoy the latest DVD releases in a package that’s just 5.1 pounds. While it has just 2.5 hours of battery life, the built-in card reader allows the addition of MP4 and DIVX formatted movies to go beyond the DVD space.
If you want to get comfortable, fold the Sylvania flat and watch it in any position that feels best. There’s an additional remote control for controlling the player from a distance, as well as a car-powered AC adapter included for all the power you need while on a road trip. Additionally, the built-in dual full-range stereo speakers offer crisp and clear sound. With a large display and anti-shock playback to help avoid skips, this portable DVD player is hard to pass up.
With many portable players sporting a similar boxy look with a swivel-screen design, the Sylvania SDVD7046 immediately stands out with its rounded shape and integrated carrying handle. Its vibrant color options—silver, black, blue, pink, red, and purple—allows you to personalize your pick beyond the standard black and silver.
This simple and lightweight device is built for on-the-go viewing and does the job well. It doesn’t have many extra functions, like the ability to connect to a TV or automatically resume playback from where you left off. It does, however, come with a remote and a set of earphones, in addition to its built-in speakers and audio input. Some users ran into issues with the battery not holding a long charge, but if you have opportunities to plug in and recharge, it’s a stylish and very portable companion for road trips.
We bought three top-rated portable DVD players and our reviewers spent more than 30 hours testing them. To get the most thorough results possible, they set them up, took them on the road, and watched hours of TV and movies to assess their performance. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these portable DVD players, from battery life to screen size. We've outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
DVD or Blu-ray - Most portable players will only support standard DVDs, so if want to play your high-definition Blu-ray discs, be sure to check that the model you’re considering offers support for the format. Do note that Blu-ray players typically come with a much higher price tag than their DVD counterparts.
Screen size - Are you seeking out a small portable experience or something with a bit more viewing heft? Depending on your preferences, you can choose between players with smaller 9-inch screens or ones with laptop-style 15.6-inch displays for a more cinematic experience.
Battery life - The last thing you’d want is to have your player’s battery die before you’ve reached the end of your movie. Make sure that the unit you’re purchasing has enough battery life to make it through your next road trip or overseas flight.
Sharp display quality
Great for families
No way to hang on seat in car
Difficult to remove DVDs
“This is an excellent portable DVD player,” raved one of our testers. “I find it to be most useful for my children. We’re constantly in the car and it's so helpful to keep the little ones entertained.” In particular, our reviewers loved its lightweight build, sharp screen display, and long battery life. “I was able to watch two movies and it still had a charge,” one tester noted. On the other hand, one reviewer wished it was slightly more versatile for use in the car. “My child still had to keep it on her lap,” she explained, “because there’s no way to flip the screen flat to hang on the seat.” Our testers also wished it was easier to remove DVDs from the device. One person said, “While it's easy to open the lid and pop a DVD in, you almost have to reach in and grab it with a fingertip in this one spot where they made room to get it out.”
Good-quality audio and image
Lack of menu button
Doesn’t balance well on soft surfaces
Our tester liked that this DVD player worked right out of the box. He also felt that its screen and sound quality were “good for an inexpensive device with small speakers.” However, unfortunately, he felt that its lack of menu button on the control menu was a deal-breaker: “Once you start the DVD, you can't go to the menu without the remote,” he explained. “Even though everything else is about the quality you'd expect from an inexpensive device like this, that single problem ruins an otherwise quality product.”
Good image quality
Easy to copy music from CDs
Lengthy recharge time
Battery life too short
“This product’s image quality is amazing,” raved our tester, “especially given how low the screen resolution is.” He also liked that when you sync it with a TV, you can turn its screen off: “Then you can focus only on the TV without distractions,” he said, “which looks nice.” On the other hand, he pointed out a design flaw: “The speakers are set in the base rather than the screen,” he explained, “so when you flip the screen, it covers up the speakers and muffles the sound.” He also felt that its battery life was terrible: “It took six hours to charge and played for only four and a half hours—much less than the seven hours the manufacturer claims.”