Included carrier latches onto car seats. Connects to your TV for a larger screen view. Built-in break-point memory — the DVD will resume where left off. Car and wall charger included.
Has short battery life. Quality of the remote control can be an issue.
Plays CDs, DVDs, or up to 32GB on USB and SD cards. Music, videos, and photo files are supported. Battery life of 5 hours. Supplies from the built-in battery, car charger, or AC adapter.
Does not play Blu-Ray discs. Some complaints of quality.
Video inputs and outputs connect to TV. A 10.5-inch screen with 270-degree swivel. A 5.9-foot power supply is included. Designed to reduce eye strain. Five hours of battery time.
It has games on board but does not include a controller.
Compact design with 10.5-inch flip screen and 270-degree swivel. Reliable compatibility with devices. Five-hour battery time. Stays on media even when turned off.
Loudness might be low for vehicle use. No Blu-ray.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
When it comes to enjoying movies and TV shows, streaming video and Blu-rays get a lot of the glory, but if you travel a lot, or you’re often in places without WiFi, there’s a better option: a portable DVD player.
Portable DVD players are designed to be one-stop shops for watching movies. They have built-in screens that can swivel in any direction for the best viewing angles, and onboard controls for pausing or skipping around. They also take portability seriously – most models have a built-in battery that can last anywhere from four to six hours, which can make all the difference on a long trip.
Before you start comparing features and specifications, start by answering these questions. They’ll help you narrow your search from the get-go.
Portable DVD player screens range anywhere from 6 to 15 inches, so there are a lot of options. Just remember that the bigger the screen, the heavier the player. If you don’t want to carry around a lot of extra weight, you might want to opt for a smaller model. Thankfully, screen size doesn’t have a big impact on price in this instance, so you can find the right size no matter what your budget is.
If you’re thinking of getting a portable DVD player specifically for use in the car, there are a lot of good options. Players made for car trips often include special mounts for attaching the screen to your car’s headrest, as well as car power adapters so you never have to worry about running out of battery.
Some portable DVD players are made with sharing in mind, so they include multiple headphone jacks and, in some cases, multiple screens. They’re a little pricier, but if you’ve got multiple kids (who are still learning how to share), the money’s worth it.
Portable DVD players are all good at playing movies, but some models do far more. Here are the additional features that can turn any normal player into an entertainment center.
If you’ve got your own digital movie collection, get a portable DVD player that’s got a USB port so you can watch them along with your DVDs. While you won’t be able to play any copy-protected content, you can use your portable DVD player to watch your personal videos (and most will play MP3 files, too, if you just need a music player).
Some portable DVD players include games, so you can take a break from your movies and enjoy a little interactivity. In most cases, only one controller is provided, so if you’ve got multiple players, they’ll need to take turns.
Most DVD players in the United States are designed to only play “Region A” discs, so if you’ve got movies from other countries, you’ll need a DVD player that ignores region restrictions.
In the $30 to $50 range, you’ll find entry-level DVD players, but you should avoid them. Portable DVD players in this price range are often poorly made, and they lack extra features like a remote control or USB-drive compatibility.
The best balance of price and function in portable DVD players is between $50 and $70. Models in this price range offer dazzling screens, easy-to-use menus, and handy extras like multiple headphone ports. If you just need a basic DVD player that will last several years, you don’t need to spend more than this.
Portable DVD players that cost between $70 and $130 pull out all the stops. If you’re willing to spend this much, you can find one that’s got USB ports, built-in games, and even multiple screens. If you need a portable DVD player that can keep you entertained for hours with all kinds of media, plan on spending closer to a hundred bucks.
A. Portable DVD player screens come in different screen resolutions, but the difference isn’t as important as you might expect. All DVD content has a resolution of 720 x 480, which is low by modern standards, so any DVD player you choose should be able to show off every pixel. Some players have screens with higher resolutions, which can be useful if you have personal video files. If you have a lot of personal high-resolution content, you might want to check out models with higher resolutions (like 1366 x 768), but otherwise, any model you pick will display your DVDs just fine.
A. Built-in games on portable DVD players are closer to mobile games than they are console games, so expect games more along the lines of Tetris than Call of Duty. While you probably won’t go for marathon gaming sessions with your portable DVD player, you can find unique games that are good enough to keep you or your kids entertained for a half-hour at a time.
Q. If I want to put movies on a USB drive for my portable DVD player, what format should my files be in?
A. Format support will vary between models, but in general, MP4 is the most widely accepted video format. If you have digital movies in other formats that aren’t copy protected, you can find software on the web (like HandBrake) to convert them to MP4 or whatever format your portable DVD player requires.