Pros: Easy to use and assemble (battery pack), fantastic audio-visual playback, portable
Cons: Battery charge lasts only 2 hours
I have to be honest -- I never planned on owning a portable DVD player with its own screen, partly because I have a perfectly good Samsung 5-disc player connected to my 27" Samsung TV set, partly because one from a reputable brand costs a bit more than the aforementioned "regular" DVD player, but mostly because I didn't ever consider that I'd be in a situation where I'd need, much less want, to use a gizmo that requires a rechargeable battery and has a 7" screen.
Unfortunately, the long, dull South Florida days and nights without electricity (almost two weeks in my neighborhood) made me reconsider my "no portable DVD player" position. The small battery-operated TVs and radios we have were okay for keeping updated on hurricane recovery news and all that, but for chasing the "boredom blues" away they all leave a lot to be desired. Not only that, but it was very depressing seeing my DVDs neatly lined up on a shelf (arranged by studio and year of release) and not being able to watch even one.
Fortunately for me, my mom and sister pooled their resources together and bought me a Samsung DVD-L70 Portable DVD Player. (Actually, they told me to order it from Amazon and they'd both reimburse me at Christmas.)
The Samsung DVD-L70 Portable DVD Player: The Basics
From the manufacturer's website, www.samsung.com:
7" LCD Portable DVD Player
The DVD-L70 further raises the bar with its sleek industrial design. Designed for consumers who want an ultra-light DVD portable but don't want to sacrifice functionality, the DVD-L70 makes a style statement like no other player available on the market today. The DVD-L70 also comes with a car charger The DVD-L70's 7" TFT LCD display both offer 480P resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 160-degree viewing angle for incomparable front-of-screen performance.
As you might expect, the Samsung DVD-L70 Portable DVD Player is a compact unit, sort of like a laptop computer but much smaller (see Product Specifications below), and it -- again like a laptop -- has a built-in 7" liquid crystal display (LCD) screen right above two integrated speakers which are integrated into the unit's flip-top cover. The control buttons for such basic DVD operations as MENU, INFO, PLAY/PAUSE/STOP, and SKIP FORWARD/BACKWARD are laid out to the right of the DVD disc cover/tray. Set into the right side of the unit are the volume control dial plus several input/output jacks for the AC adapter, audio output connection, cigarette lighter adapter, and headphones. On the front, there is the Open Tray button that allows you to place and remove your DVDs or CDs, as well as a small LED power/charge indicator and the infrared sensor for the credit card sized remote control. Finally, on the rear there are the slots for the removable and rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Pack, which, according to the manual, holds a charge that lasts, depending on ambient temperatures, around two hours.
My Experiences With the DVD-L70: Although I feared that assembling and using the Samsung DVD-L70 would be difficult for me because of my limited dexterity, I discovered that the opposite is true. I do have to be extremely careful when attaching the battery pack, obviously, but if I follow the instructions and not simply try to force the battery's plugs into the right slots, I don't have to worry about somehow damaging the unit.
I followed the manual instructions on charging the battery to the letter, letting the rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
Pack suck in "juice" for about eight hours or so, which (depending on ambient temperature) gives me about two and a half hours' worth of continuous running time with the volume set at an average level. (The louder the volume, the faster the battery drains!)
While I have not attempted to watch a full-length feature film on my Samsung DVD-L70 Portable DVD Player just yet (either with the battery pack or simply with the AC adapter), we did try it out with a single episode of The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition) and discovered the following:
1. Although the stereo sound is crisp, clear, and perfectly acceptable for someone with normal hearing, I will probably need to get a set of lightweight headphones. I tried testing this theory with my computer's headset; while the sound quality is excellent, the added weight of the headset's microphone makes it hard for me to enjoy a long movie for more than an hour.
2. Despite the smaller size of the control buttons on the unit, it's not terribly difficult to operate, provided you watch where you're pressing. The remote control unit works, but you have to make sure it lines up with the IR sensor properly.
3. Although it's far better to watch a movie such as Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on a "normal" DVD player connected to a TV set with a 27" screen or larger, this small unit can play most movies and CDs (including those with WMA and jpeg files) without a problem. The images that appear on the 7" screen are remarkably clear and sharp, which is a sign that Samsung uses top-of-the-line components that result in high quality playback with awesome resolution. This was one factor that I considered when choosing my player, having learned with my "big" DVD player that a cheaper product is likely to have more problems playing back DVDs because it has less capable components.
The only glitch I noted was when I watched a couple of "chapters" from Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope; in some effects-heavy scenes there was a bit of "drag," but it only lasted less than a second or two.
Otherwise it works very much like its big 5-disc brother, down right to the menu and welcome screen displays.
The only concern that I have is that the battery lasts only around 150 minutes or so; because this won't be my primary DVD player this is only going to be an issue during the hurricane season, but it will make me be extremely choosy as to what I'll watch, and when and how. However, for all that, having a portable DVD player around will give me at least some chance to watch something more fun than 'round-the-clock post-hurricane news coverage...and on a color screen, as well!
Terminals: Audio L/R Stereo Out 1 set
Video Composite Video Out 1 set
Net Dimensions: 7.9"(W) x 1.1"(H) x 5.5"(D)
Net Weight: 1.3 Lbs.
UPC Code: 036725600706
Supplied Accessories: Car adapter
Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery(2 hrs.)
Product Dimensions: 7.9"(W) x 1.1"(H) x 5.5"(D)
Product Weight: 1.5 Lbs.
See also my review of the Samsung DVD-631P Multi-disc DVD Player (With Progressive Scan).