I've never been the target customer when it comes to portable DVD players because I hardly ever watch movies on small screens and when I do, I'm happy just using my laptop. Having recently spent some time with my friend's four-year-old, I learned that some people — particularly those who haven't lost their two front teeth yet — rely on portable DVD players for entertainment in planes, trains and other boring locations.
I got a chance to take the Insignia 10.2" 16:9 Widescreen LCD Portable DVD Player for a spin and was pleasantly surprised. I often think of Insignia as an "inexpensive" or "affordable" alternative to more pricey gadgets, but I was immediately intrigued by the player's compact size, light weight and sleek body.
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I was most impressed with the player's design and usability. It features a fool-proof control wheel (yes, it vaguely resembles the iPod's clickwheel), as well as a small remote that fits into the body of the device for storage. It weighs 2.6-pounds, which is notably lighter than my laptop. While I'm still not sure I would travel with a portable player instead of my laptop, I see where this could be good alternative for keeping yourself or the kids entertained or even as a gift for a Luddite who wants to watch DVDs but doesn't want to deal with connecting a player to a TV (say maybe your great-grandama...).
The Insignia DVD player plays DVD, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 and JPEG formats, which means you can watch videos stored on your iPod on a slightly larger screen. You can also connect to video game consoles. It ships with an A/V cable, car power adapter, AC/DC adapter and remote. At first I thought the price tag of $190 was a little steep, but discovered most of the other portable players on the market are 8-inches or less. For comparison, the Panasonic 8.5" Portable DVD Player with 12 Hour Battery is $260.