Best Portable DVD Players: Keeping Your Family Entertained While on the Move

Even though we tend to focus on the good and positive stuff when traveling with family, the experience can also be grueling, quarrelsome and can drive anyone to a stuttering rage.

It’s for this reason that you need to keep the kids well entertained. Luckily, a portable DVD player goes a long way in keeping yourself and your children sane during the long stretches on the road.

Considering the exploding number of portable DVD players in the market today, finding the right fit can be difficult. To help you out, we’ll give you some tips to ensure that you choose one that is the best fit for you and your family.

We have also nailed down the best options in the market that you can rely on. Keep reading!

OUR TOP PICKS

Product Name Dimensions Battery Life Weight Viewing Angle
DBPOWER 10.5-inch Portable DVD Player with Rechargeable Battery 10.2 × 7.2 × 1.6 inches Up to 4 hours 4 pounds 270 degrees
Naviskauto 9-inch Portable DVD/CD Player 9.8 × 6.7 × 1.8 inches Up to 5 hours 3.31 pounds 270 degrees
Sylvania 13.3-inch Portable DVD Player 19 × 3.2 × 12.2 inches 2-3 hours 4.4 pounds 180 degrees
Sony BDPSX910 9-inch Portable Blu-ray/DVD Player 10 × 11 × 2 inches Up to 4.5 hours 2 pounds 180 degrees
Ematic EPD909RD 9-inch Portable DVD Player 9.5 × 1.5 × 6.8 inches Up to 3 hours 2.01 pounds 180 degrees
Philips PET741M/37 7-inch Portable DVD Player 6.1 × 7.7 × 1.5 inches Up to 2 hours 1.6 pounds Cannot swivel

 

DBPOWER 10.5-inch Portable DVD Player with Rechargeable Battery


DBPOWER has made a name for itself for a reason and its 10.5 inches portable DVD player is arguably among the best values in this price range.

The player gives you a stunning 1024*600 resolution visuals for incredibly detailed images that are a joy to watch movies and play games.

To add to the fun, the screen includes a 270° rotation which allows for quick and easy repositioning of the screen as well as comfortable viewing.

Since it can be easily swiveled, you can attach the portable DVD player in your car headrest for your kids and back seat passengers to keep them entertained on long trips.

The DBPOWER 10.5 inch Portable DVD Player with Rechargeable Battery supports a wide range of formats including DVD, CD, DVD+R (-R), DVD+RW (-RW), SVCD, VCD, CD-R (RW).

In addition, this player can read other files such as XVID, VOB, AVI, MP3, MPEG 1, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, WMA as well as JPEG. This player, however, does not support Blu-ray disc and MP4 formats.

Another great feature this DVD player possesses is the last memory function. This means it resumes play where the movie was watched up to.

Although the battery life doesn’t last quite as long, the 4-hour mark is still quite impressive. Even so, it comes with a car charger which is a huge bonus for long road trips.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Two players can watch movies at the same time
  • Last position memory
  • Decent screen size and great picture quality
  • SD card reader and USB port

Cons

  • The sound level may be way too soft
  • It can be a bit loud when the disk is spinning

The Naviskauto 9-inch Portable DVD/CD Player comes with lots of great features and it’s very moderately priced. The player’s screen resolution has a lower pixel count of 800*480.

Although this resolution is pretty impressive considering its screen size, it’s relatively low in comparison to other types we have reviewed. However, it can still project images of decent quality.

Besides, the screen swivels 270 degrees and flips 180 degrees for a more immersive viewing experience.

This 9-inch device supports a significant number of file formats including DVD+/-R/RW, CD-R/RW, DVD-5/9, SVCD, VCD, MP3 as well as JPG.

You can also plug in your USB drive or SD card to your player to play movies, music, and photos. It has a built-in rechargeable battery that can last a whole five hours, making the perfect unit for long trips.

For your convenience, it comes with a cigarette charger and AV cable when the device runs out of juice and a headrest mount so that your passengers can watch movies and TV shows without the burden of holding onto them.

Pros

  • Last memory and anti-shock function
  • Comes with a remote control
  • Battery life is really good
  • Easy to use
  • Available in black or blue

Cons

  • Does not play Blu ray discs

Sylvania 13.3-inch Portable DVD Player


If there is a device you will never go wrong with, it’s the Sylvania 13.3-inch Portable DVD Player. At 13.3 inches, this machine has one of the largest screens on the market.

In fact, it’s the largest screen we have reviewed, but this also makes it heavier compared to other players.

The display offers a screen resolution of 1280 × 800 that delivers solid image quality. It swivels 180 degrees so you can get the perfect viewing angle.

This 13.3-inch player features a USB port and an SD card reader which allows you to view digital photos or movies stored on your memory card or USB thumb-drive.

It’s compatible with file formats such as DVD+/-R/RW, CD-R/RW, MP3, and JPEG.

It has a built-in rechargeable battery that can last for 2 to 3 hours on full charge. The AC and car adaptor included in the package might come in handy when your battery is running low.

Unfortunately, the battery will not recharge when the player is turned on. So you have to turn it off first for it to charge. But not to worry, the player will remember where you left off as long as you turn on the last memory feature.

The DVD player also comes with a full function remote control which makes things much easier while you’re on the move. A pair of earbuds that come packaged along with it makes listening to music or watching a movie even more comfortable.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to operate
  • Great clarity and color
  • Adjustable viewing angle
  • Decent screen size

Cons

  • No A/V in capability

Sony BDPSX910 9-inch Portable Blu-ray/DVD Player


Sony is a global company known for its quality products and the Sony BDPSX910 9-inch portable Blu-ray/DVD player does not disappoint.

With a full 1080p HD resolution, the player provides an optimal visual experience with very detailed, sharper looking images.

Besides Blu-ray discs, the player can also play DVDs, CDs, MP3 as well as JPEG photos.

While you might dig deeper into your pockets for this particular model, the Sony BDPSX910 is a fantastic option as it has parental controls that prevent your kids from accessing certain discs.

If you want to see your videos, photos or movies on a bigger screen you simply connect through the USB cable with HDMI on the other end of the cable.

Besides the 180 degrees swivel, the battery performance is quite remarkable as it provides up to 4 hours of operation.

It also comes with a car adaptor in case the device runs out of battery power.

Pros

  • Excellent image and audio quality
  • Long battery life
  • Supports a wide range of video and audio formats
  • Plays media from a USB device
  • Resume feature which lets you pick up where you left off

Cons

  • Might be expensive for an ordinary consumer

Ematic EPD909RD 9-inch Portable DVD Player


Despite the low price tag, the Ematic EPD909RD 9-inch Portable DVD Player did catch our attention.

It provides impressive features and performance, including long battery life. This makes it the perfect fit for road trips.

The disappointing thing about the player is the low video resolution which is just 480 × 234. But considering the price, it’s fair enough.

To increase the user experience, the player swivels up to 180°. It also supports PAL or NTSC which provides the perfect reception for television signals, but you may need an antenna.

The DVD player also comes with matching headphones which provide clarity and comfort for a great listening experience.

The carrying bag included in the package ensures the player’s safety and provides extra storage. You can as well view your movies on the big screen with the AV port.

However, you’ll need to purchase the AV cable separately as it’s not included in the package.

Pros

  • Great screen size and picture
  • Decent battery life
  • Lightweight and tilts up to 180°
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • It does not support a variety of disc formats
  • It does not have the last memory function if the DVD player shuts down

Philips PET741M/37 7-inch Portable DVD Player


Compared to other portable DVD players on our list, this is the only machine that doesn’t tilt. This means the screen display is intact; hence it cannot rotate at any given angle.

Even so, it’s among the best portable DVD players out there as its performance and functionality is nothing short of exemplary.

The Philips PET741M/37 7-inch portable DVD player features a color LCD display which gives a great picture quality. It 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio also allows you to watch your content on a bigger and better picture.

Although the screen size might appear small to some people, this device is compatible with most DVD and CD discs which is a huge plus.

Formats that are supported include DVD, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RWM CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, video CD as well as JPEG images.

This Philips model comes with a car adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter to make sure your device does not run out of juice. How about that for convenience?

Further, everything is really simplified which makes it very easy to use, but the battery life is fairly short.

Pros

  • Supports a variety of disc formats
  • Easy to operate
  • The sound quality is pretty great compared to other devices
  • Can fit easily into a backpack

Cons

  • Cannot be charged with a USB cable
  • Remote control is not included in the package

Things to Look Out For When Shopping For a Portable DVD Player

When shopping for a portable DVD player, there are lots of factors that come into play. So, we will discuss those factors below to ensure that you make the best decision possible.

But before we jump right in, it’s important to note there are 2 two main types of portable DVD players. That is fold-up and tablet portable DVD players.

Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Hence, it bubbles down to what your situation or priorities are.

Supported Formats

When looking for a DVD player, you should opt for the one that supports as many disc formats as possible. Having a player that plays almost all types of discs is always a good choice.

It’s worth noting, all DVD players can play CDs, but not all supports video CDs. So always be on the lookout for that one.

Also, players that can play formats such as MP3, AVI, WMV, and DivX go a long way in ensuring you get the best entertainment on your trip. You will probably also want a machine that displays image files such as JPEGs to keep the kids distracted.

If you want the absolute best picture quality, check if the player is Blu-ray compatible. Even though you’ll need to pay a little bit more, you’ll definitely get the amazing picture quality that Blu-ray offers.

So before you buy any DVD player, make sure you check all the supported formats.

Screen Size

The size of the screen is something you should also put into consideration. The portability feature, of course, means something small and light enough to carry around with you.

But you should ask yourself, how small is too small for you? You definitely don’t want a screen that makes your eyes work harder to see clearly especially on long trips.

Bigger screens on the other can be a bit bulky but are quite relaxing and enjoyable to watch. However, bigger isn’t always better. Smaller units seem ideal if you usually travel a lot.

Hence, it’s important to choose a screen size that offers the best balance between portability and usability.

Battery Life

The battery life is also one of the most important aspects of a portable DVD player. The last thing you want is for your player to run out of power when the movie is just getting interesting.

Ideally, you’ll want a battery that lasts long enough for you watch a movie or two (that’s 3 hours or more) and not need to be constantly tethered to an electric outlet or a car cigarette lighter.

Ports and Connectors

In addition to the standard audio-video connectors, it’s also nice for a DVD player to have additional ports and connectors to improve your entertainment experience.

Some modern portable DVD players have USB external drive compatibility that enables you to play your favorite movies, listen to your entire music library, watch photos directly from the USB stick.

It also makes it possible for the player to be charged using the PC’s USB port as well as the car charger cigarette lighter function.

Extra Features

For your convenience and enjoyment, there are some DVD players that offer extra functions that can create an incredible viewing experience.

A screen that swivels at different angles, for example, allows you to adjust the player’s positions according to your needs. This feature may only be available in fold-ups. However, not all fold-ups are equipped with this kind of a feature.

So pay close attention to the specs before taking the plunge.

Some models also come with a set of headphones to make your listening experience even better. Players that feature Bluetooth functionality makes it easy for you to listen to your favorite music on the go.

It also likely DVD players with these features and more will come with a higher price tag. But still, there are lots of amazing machines out there that come with pretty decent features at insanely attractive price tags.

Conclusion

There is no doubt portable DVD players are a good source of entertainment during road trips or long trips by plane.

Even though it seems many people are moving away from DVD and Blu-Ray discs to tablets, portable DVD players can still give you full on-the-go entertainment and are low priced. Apart from the flexible viewing experience, you can easily monitor what your kids are watching.

With such a large variety of brands and models available on the market today, one can easily get overwhelmed. We believe the above guide and our compiled list will steer you in the right direction.

Speaking of the list, there are three players that we were really impressed with. So, our 3 best buy picks in our review are DBPOWER 10.5-inch (overall winner), Naviskauto 9-inch (second place) and Sylvania 13.3-inch (third place).

Although there is not much difference between our top 3 choices and the rest, you’ll never go wrong with the former.

If you have any comments or feel you’ve missed anything that should be included in the post, please let us know. We value your feedback.

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