Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big portable DVD player test 2021. Here we present all the portable DVD players we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best portable DVD player for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a portable DVD player.




Summary

  • A portable DVD player is the right choice for you if you want to watch all your favourite movies on DVD while on the go.
  • Portable DVD players are perfect for car trips with friends or family. If several people want to watch the film with you, the display size should be large enough.
  • You can buy basic models for less than 100 euros, but the quality will suffer. So products from the mid-price segment are recommended.

The Best Portable DVD Player: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a portable DVD player

What is a portable DVD player?

Portable DVD players have been a very popular companion for years, especially when travelling by car or going on holiday with the family and children. Portable DVD players are more or less like conventional DVD players for the home.

This device allows you to play videos on the display that are stored on external data media such as DVDs or USB sticks.

The difference with normal DVD players is that the portable DVD player can be used outdoors or indoors because of the built-in display. However, with portable DVD players it is possible to play music, which makes it an additional MP3 player.

What portable DVD players are there?

Besides the classic DVD player, there are two models of portable DVD players that are the most popular. One is the foldable model and the other variation is similar to a tablet.

Type of DVD player Description
DVD player A normal DVD player that is connected to a screen or PC via a cable.
Laptop-like DVD player This DVD player is similar to a laptop, which also has a flip-up and fixed screen. Here, the screen is protected from scratches or damage.
Tablet-like DVD player This DVD player basically has only one screen, all the push buttons are on the sides of the screen. A protective film is recommended.

In principle, there are two models of portable DVD player available on the market. One model is similar to a laptop, i.e. these models have a flip-up, fixed screen. These models have the advantage that the screen is protected from scratches and scuffs. The second model available looks visually similar to a tablet.

It consists mainly of a screen and the user cannot open it up. The connections and the necessary buttons are built into the side of the player.

However, unlike its foldable brother, this variant is at a disadvantage when it comes to protecting the screen from scratches. We advise you to buy a protective film for the display and a case to provide maximum protection.

Tragbarer DVD Player von Philips

Portable DVD players are available either in tablet format or as fold-out models. They are light and compact.

When does it make sense to buy a portable DVD player?

Portable DVD players are ideal if you want to watch your favourite films anywhere, anytime. Thanks to the built-in display on the DVD player, you can watch your favourite films on DVD anywhere, whether you are at home in the kitchen or out and about in the garden.

Portable DVD players are particularly suitable for long journeys, so you can, for example, play cartoons for your children and have some peace and quiet. But they are also good for camping trips when you want to watch a film with your partner in the evening before going to bed.

Below we will present the important advantages and disadvantages of a portable DVD player.

Advantages:

  • Light and compact
  • Films can be watched anywhere
  • Television programmes can be received

Disadvantages:

  • Sound and picture quality is poorer than on a TV set

As you can see, there are a number of points in favour of buying a portable DVD player, but you must bear in mind that the quality of the film will suffer.

How much does a portable DVD player cost?

The prices of portable DVD players vary greatly. The sound and picture quality ultimately determine the price. Portable DVD players range in price. Simple models are available for as little as 50 euros. But the price range can then go up to 200 euros and more. The pricing depends primarily on the multimedia capabilities of the player.

For example, the more expensive models already have integrated USB ports or MP3 functions. Another point that determines the price is the size of the monitor. The screen size of portable DVD players starts at 7 inches diagonally and can be as large as 10 inches.

Small DVD players are therefore cheaper to buy than larger ones. But the different models also determine the price, so foldable players also cost less than tablet players.

Which portable DVD player is the best?

This is a subjective question that everyone can answer for themselves. Personal preference and what you are looking for in a portable DVD player is ultimately the deciding factor. If you are travelling with your children and carry the DVD player with you, we recommend a foldable model because the screen is protected from scratches.

Of course, there are also models with which you can watch TV. In this case, we would recommend a model with a DVB-T antenna. Some models can also be used as MP3 players. So it is up to you to decide which model suits you best.

Watch your favourite TV programmes and DVDs in HD wherever you are (Photo: Alex Fu / Pexels.com)

Decision: What types of portable DVD players are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two different types of portable DVD players:

  • Portable DVD player in tablet format
  • Portable DVD player in a folding case

Based on different uses and preferences, one type of portable DVD player is best suited for you and your household. Depending on where and how you enjoy your movies, a particular model is best for you. Therefore, there are advantages and disadvantages to each type.

In the following section, we'll explain the differences between each type of portable DVD player in more detail so you can decide which model is right for you. We will also compare the advantages and disadvantages of each type of player.

How does a portable tablet DVD player work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A portable DVD player in tablet format is particularly convincing because of its handy design. Thanks to its slim design, the player can be stowed in any bag and taken along on any trip or holiday. Most devices can be attached to the headrest of a car so that the passengers in the back seats can watch a film in peace.

A major disadvantage is the heat generated, as these devices can quickly run hot. It could therefore become very uncomfortable for the viewer if they have to hold the device themselves. The display is also very susceptible to scratches due to its construction. In the event of a fall, the device is also not optimally protected and can therefore break more easily.

Portable DVD players in tablet format are very practical and convenient for long car journeys. However, you should always stow such a device safely to ensure adequate protection.

Advantages
  • Handy design
Disadvantages
  • Display not protected
  • Very warm when in use

How does a folding portable DVD player work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A portable DVD player with a folding housing is particularly convincing because of its practical folding housing. The design allows you to store the unit without fear of scratching the display. A possible fall is absorbed by the player's housing, which prevents the screen from being scratched or broken.

The biggest disadvantage of this portable device is its design. The clunky design is not only visually less appealing, but also impractical for travelling. On a long car journey, these devices usually have to be carried on the lap, as they are not equipped with the necessary fastening options.

On bus or train journeys, portable folding DVD players are very practical because they can easily be placed on the fold-out shelves. Moreover, the heat generated is not as intense as with devices in tablet format.

Advantages
  • Stays cool during operation
  • display protected
Disadvantages
  • Clunky design

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate portable DVD players based on these factors

Screen size and resolution

To get the best movie experience from your portable DVD player, screen size and resolution play an important role. Unlike regular TVs at home, portable DVD players cannot offer HD quality, as the required resolution of 1280×720 cannot be achieved.

However, the picture quality of most portable DVD players of seven to ten inches is sufficient to enjoy movies.

Power supply

An important question, however, is the battery life. You don't want the player to run out of power after just one hour. Most portable DVD players have a lithium-ion battery.

Nevertheless, the battery life varies from model to model; some models need to be recharged after just two hours, and some models even manage up to five hours of battery life.

Charging the battery is not a problem, however, so you can connect the player to the car's cigarette lighter with the supplied 12-volt car adapter and continue watching films undisturbed. However, if you are not in the car, you can still charge the player, but a power socket is required.

Supported video formats

Since this is a DVD player, it goes without saying that it can also play DVDs. The question about the raw formats also answers itself. Current models are capable of playing formats such as DVD+/- or DVD-RWab.

Most DVD players have a USB connection. This means you can also play films from external storage media.

For example, USB sticks are smaller and have a larger capacity than DVDs, so you have a variety of films to watch while travelling.

Furthermore, some portable DVD players support movies from the Internet in video formats such as MPEG4, SVCD and VCD. Portable DVD players can also play audio CDs and MP3 formats, as well as photos in JPEG file format.

Did you know that the first DVD-compatible console was the Playstation 2?

Although it was only launched in 2000, it was ahead of the game in terms of multimedia systems and was highly touted precisely because of this feature.

Sound quality

Sound quality is a crucial criterion when buying a player. You can recognise good quality by the fact that you can't hear any hissing. Volume control is important here; if you are travelling, you want to watch the movie at a good volume without any errors.

But if you are travelling with several people, whether in a car or on a plane, the volume should be lower but still audible.

Facts worth knowing about portable DVD players

What are the alternatives to portable DVD players?

As we mentioned earlier, portable TVs are one of the alternatives to portable DVD players. You can use these devices to watch TV or listen to music in MP3 and audio formats on the go. But these devices are also in danger of being squeezed out of the market. We are now in the age of smartphones and tablets.

Portable DVD players lack above all spontaneity and the necessary memory. So if you want to play a video or music spontaneously, you can do so at any time with the right tariff. But the smart devices also have a larger storage capacity, so you can store music and videos on these devices, for example.

Did you know that the first DVD player was developed and sold in Japan in 1996?

The first model could play audio and video, but was only compatible with certain DVD types. Unbelievably, the first model came close to the €1000 mark.

Notebooks with built-in drives offer another alternative. These enjoy all the advantages that a portable DVD player has and more. For example, you can enjoy films on a much larger monitor and in a quality of even 4K.

You don't have to pay attention to the video format either, because notebooks are able to play all video formats with suitable programmes.

What's more, the battery life of notebooks can last up to 8 hours even under full load. And with a suitable adapter, you can conditionally charge your notebook in the car via the cigarette lighter.

Nevertheless, notebooks with built-in drives are usually quite large and heavy. Of course, there are also models with a smaller monitor and no drive, but these can also be equipped with an external DVD player and the files you want are stored on the hard drive.

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