Old Dec 13, 10, 8:49 pm
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I bought an 8.5" Philips model back in mid-2006. It was one of a handful of models that had a dock for a 5.5g iPod Video of which I had a 30gb version of at the time. It made watching video much easier than squinting to see the tiny iPod screen. It got around 4 hours of playback when using the iPod (only about 2.5 hours when spinning a DVD) and was a good supplement to my 14" laptop which, at the time, only got about 2 hours on battery. It was also worthwhile when traveling with my wife so she could watch one thing and I could watch something different.

Fast-forward 4.5 years and it's dead weight that hasn't been taken out of a drawer in at least 3 years. It's been replaced by any one of 5 devices (of which I have 3 on-hand). It's the size of a netbook which will last longer on a charge and can do so much more (though you'll need to rip your media ahead of time, something I've already done as I use an HTPC as whole-home movie server). It has a smaller screen than an iPad which is thinner, lighter, and has nearly infinite uses while on the road (again, you'll need to rip your media). Even an iPod Touch, iPhone, or Android phone is big enough to make due with for video playback while doing so much more and being MUCH smaller. Laptop battery life has also grown leaps-and-bounds, so 5-8 hours of laptop use is nearly the norm.

Based on the above I don't really see any justification of the size and weight of a portable DVD player if you have any one of the above devices, save for possibly for kids in a car or on a plane if you don't want them possibly doing damage to one of the said other devices (though I put my iPad within arms reach of my 16-month old triplets with very little fear of damage).

If you happen to not have ANY of the above devices, or absolutely will not rip or download your media ahead of time, then there might be some use for a portable DVD player. Still, it's a lot of added bulk and weight, even if it is cheap.
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