We know what you are thinking. DVD players? In this day and age? We agree the technology is quite outdated. However, most of us still have a stash of old DVDs lying around, and while we do have subscription services nowadays, it is quite nice to just play it old school sometimes.
Plus, it is a relatively inexpensive way of keeping the kids entertained in long drives. So, it is a win-win, really. Thus today, we welcome you to our 10 best portable DVD players review list. Whether you want a unit for the road or one for nostalgia’s sake, we have got you covered.
10 Best Portable DVD Players
So how did we go about this review? Basically, we listed out all the basics and features that are important to you, the end-user, and sorted it to the value delivered in each category. So, sit back, relax, and have a read.
1. DBPOWER 11.5″ Portable DVD Player
We begin our review list with the unit with the highest ratings, both in scores and in raw numbers bought, the DBPOWER 11.5”. This is earmarked for the topmost positions in our top portable DVD players’ reviews list, and it is not hard to see why. A high capacity battery, a swivel screen, this unit has it all.
Let us take a deeper dive into this unit. It features a 2500 mAh rechargeable battery, which is quite decent in itself. DBPOWER takes it quite a bit further by using a more premium lithium-ion battery. We will discuss the importance of lithium-ion batteries a little later in our buying guide.
Back to the unit itself, the 2500 mAh battery means that you should see an estimated use time of at least 5 hours. The unit itself supports 3 modes of power out of the package. You can either use it on battery power or your car’s cigarette lighter plug (with an included adapter of course) or with the included AC power wall adapter.
This player supports media across most of the well-known formats, and it plays them back, all with minimal to no latency whatsoever. It is an A+ in the playback category. The unit also packs in support for an SD card (up to 32 GB), a feature that a lot of portable DVD players forego.
Now, onto the screen. The unit features a 9-inch screen. Pretty moderately sized, it has a resolution of 800×480, which swivels to up to about 270 degrees. What is more, this screen can be flipped to 180 degrees, so you can view your content in tablet form.
What sets this unit apart from a lot of other offerings in the market is the breakpoint memory function. This basically means that you can continue your media or content from where you left it off. Neat!
- Supports all known media formats
- 800x480p 9.5-inch screen swivels and rotates
- Includes the breakpoint memory feature
- Premium 2500 mAh Lithium battery
2. HD JUNTUNKOR 12.5″ Portable DVD Player
Looking for a sharp, contrasty display with zero glare and great viewing angles? We recommend this HD JUNTUNKOR 12.5-inch portable DVD player. Extremely easy to operate, this unit is the one to watch out for (no pun intended).
Diving into the display, the images are quite sharp and crisp. The high contrast keeps the images vivid but does not overdo it. They used some sort of anti-glare coating on the display, and that greatly helps the viewing angles. If the laptop mode is not your thing, you can simply rotate the display and use it in tablet mode.
The unit itself is very easy to operate. You do not need a manual to get it set up and running. In the box, they included two adapters, one to hook up to the cigarette lighter in your car and the other to any AC wall outlet.
Battery wise, we reckon you should see at least 5 hours of playtime. The LCD screen draws immense power but not enough to put a significant dent on the charge. And the unit supports a whole array of different formats, and we are not region locked when it comes to sorting through our favorite DVDs.
Also, the button layout is the best on this review list. It has two distinct arrays of buttons, one for tablet use and the other for laptop mode. The screen or display can be swiveled to up to almost 270 degrees, so you can be sure you are not missing out on any features if you go ahead and decide to pick this unit up for yourself.
- Long battery life
- Sharp, contrasty display
- Swivel action up to around 270 degrees
- Supports a whole array of DVD formats
3. Dr. J 12.5″ Portable DVD Player
Looking to get into region free portable DVD players but do not want to end up breaking the bank? Then Dr. J has the unit you need. The 12.5-inch variant comes with all the bell and whistles of the other, more expensive units but is no slouch by any means.
This is one of the durable units in Dr. J’s lineup. It gets its power from a 2500 mAh high capacity battery, which should see you at least five hours of continuous playtime. They included a 5.9 ft cigarette lighter adapter in the box, so you can use it in the car without fear of running out of precious battery life.
The 1024×600 inch screen can be swiveled to up to about 270 degrees, basically all but guarantees the best possible viewing angles out of this unit. It also supports all common multimedia formats, both video and audio.
And the unit also comes with support for SD cards and USB drives (up to 32 GB), so you will not be left stranded for entertainment. This experience is further enhanced by the included AV in and AV out ports.
- The screen swivels to up to around 270 degrees
- Support for SD cards & USB
- Region-free DVD support
- Included AV in and AV out ports
4. ieGeek 11.5″ Portable DVD Player
Prioritizing the speaker quality when it comes down to picking up a portable-dvd-player? No worries, we have your back. Here we are introducing the ieGeek 11.5”. It packs two powerful speakers built right into the compact shell, and let us just say it sounds pretty good.
Lookswise, not the best. It seems fairly childish. The black color variant seems like the obvious choice. But hey, any of the other bright and bold colors should help keep the kids entertained for all of two seconds.
Dimensions wise, it is fairly compact. We have seen more compact units, but they are in a different price bracket altogether. Being compact, it is quite travel-friendly, and we can see ourselves using it wherever and whenever. Road trips would be its strong suit.
The winning feature of this unit is, of course, its speaker units. They sound outstanding, given how compact the unit is overall. It is not quite an immersive experience, of course, but as far as speakers for these portable DVD players, it is right up there.
Moreover, it gets quite loud, and the upper frequencies are crisp and clear. It takes the portable movie-watching experience up a notch. For that immersive experience, we recommend using the 3.5 mm audio ports. Got any plain old headset lying around? Plug it right in and take the media experience that much further.
Also, the screen has a so-called HD Eye protection feature, but we will require further testing before divulging our thoughts.
- Compact and lightweight design
- Battery upgrade over its predecessor
- Awesome sounding speakers
- The speaker unit sounds outstanding
5. Pyle 17.9″ Portable DVD Player
Looking for something you can just pick up and pack into your bags? Something you can unpack mid-trip and binge on your favorite shows? Well, have a peek at this offering from Pyle. Featuring an enormous 17.9-inch screen (the biggest on our review list), this promises you that premier media-consuming experience.
Even with that ginormous 17.9-inch screen, the unit manages to be very compact and lightweight. You can easily stow this away in the laptop compartment of your backpack. This makes it ideal for going on a movie binge in airports and airplanes alike. Its compact size really takes it to the top of our reviews list.
But its best feature to us is its hassle-free operability. Anyone can just pick it up and start watching movies on it, it really is that easy. And just stow it in your backpack once you are done.
It is not just the ease of playing your favorite movies. One of the more versatile movie players you will find in the market, as it supports a whole host of different formats and extensions you can play on it, both audio and video. You can be sure you are getting the premier experience in usability and support for media content.
The display, well, it is 17.9 inches. Pretty huge. On top of that, this huge display is foldable, and we can adjust the swivel on it as per our needs. The control center buttons are quite conveniently placed on the surface along with the disc tray.
- Very compact considering the 17.9-inch screen
- Supports a whole host of media formats and extensions
- Easy to operate
- Conveniently placed buttons and disc tray
6. Sylvania Portable DVD Player
A double-take seems the norm every time we have a peek at this unit. Mostly in part due to the unique name and then some for that beautiful high-resolution display. This portable-DVD-player from Sylvania is no slouch for giving you that quality media content wherever you are.
Granted, it looks quite dated at first glance, but all that changes when it turns on. That display, despite being a mere 7 inches, is quite good to look at and has a relatively high brightness level. The viewing angles, quite commendable too.
We highly recommend this unit if you are looking to entertain your kids in the backseat. This thing can take a beating, so it should hold up well. Plus, that nice display is very likely to keep your kids entertained for some time.
The number of supported formats and extensions surprised us. Coupling that with the multimedia language support feature took landed its position in our reviews list.
A 7-inch screen means that it is quite compact in size. You can easily stow it in any backpack and take it along in a travel spree. With the adjustable and angled screen, the Sylvania Portable DVD Player drives a hard bargain.
- A vibrant and vivid 7-inch display
- A small display means that it is quite compact in size
- Compatible with a host of different media formats
- Stereo speakers built right in
7. UEME 9″ Portable DVD Player
Looking for something ultra-durable for cheap? Something that you can beat around quite a bit and not worry about it going belly up on you? Then this 9-inch portable player from UEME is for you. Inexpensive and very durable, we highly recommend this unit, too, for entertaining your kids.
This is by far one of the, if not the, easiest units on our list to set up and start using. There are no two ways about it. They include a remote control so you can control it from afar.
The winning feature? This unit comes with an AV out port. What that means is that you can simply hook this unit to your TV at home and enjoy your media on the bigger screen. You can also hook this unit to your camera using the AV in port and view your images both in the player and in the comfort of your big TV.
Moreover, the unit comes with two built-in speaker units and also the much-revered earphone jack (why smartphone manufacturers forego this is beyond us).
Plugin your handy headset, and you can get immersed with your media content. This unit supports a multitude of disc types, including but not limited to CDs and DVDs, plus a host of other formats and extensions, both audio and video.
Do note that the unit does not include support for H.264, and the resolution of the said media cannot be any more than 720×576. And this unit allows us to resume from wherever we leave off. Thus, you can take this unit anywhere and be sure that you can proceed to view your media right from where you left it off.
- Region free support for DVDs
- Auto resume from where you left off
- Very durable construction
- AV-in and AV-out support
8. SUNPIN 11″ Portable DVD Player
Want something that feels a lot more premium, but without breaking the bank? Look no further than the Sunpin 11 inch. That vibrant screen, long battery life, and that premium-ish design are more than enough to sway the hardest of critiques.
Let us start with the screen. It is big, it is vibrant. That is all we need to know. The colors are quite accurate, and the viewing angles are top-notch. It does not swivel like our other offerings, but hey, that vivid screen more than makes up for it.
The unit takes the cake in the battery department as well. And the 2500 mAh battery can deliver up to a whopping 6 hours or media playtime. They used a lithium polymer battery too, which really takes the experience up a notch. We discussed the importance of lithium batteries in depth later on in our buying guide.
Now let us come to the feature which we cannot afford to overlook. It comes with dual 3.5 mm ports. Yes, you have heard us right. It comes with two audio jacks. No more bickering between individuals for headsets. You have separate ports for separate viewing pleasure.
This unit also features the Last Memory Function. Basically, it resumes the content from where we leave it off, so we do not have to scrub through what we have seen. Awesome!
- Premium compact design
- Exemplary battery life
- Dual 3.5 mm audio ports
- Last memory function feature
9. APEMAN 11.5” Portable DVD Player
This is the newer version of the older Apeman 9.5 inch DVD player, improving heavily on all categories. It is a very competitive unit for the price. And it does not forego any of the features of the more expensive, heavy-hitting units.
For the budget, you are getting a very decent screen, over 5 hours of battery life courtesy of the 2500 mAh battery. A display that you can swivel and fold, kind of like a tablet. All sound quite good, does it not?
You are not lacking in the format or extensions department, either. It supports a full array of DVD class formats (and then some) with additional support for AVI and MPEG4 formats. The sound from the speakers is okay at best, so we recommend plugging in a pair of earphones.
There is support for SD cards and USB too. The DVDs do not seem to be region-locked, and we recommend investing in a proper car seat mount for this bad boy. It comes with NES support so you can keep the kids entertained with games on the road. Thus making it one of the best units you could acquire at this price bracket.
- NES Support
- 5 hours of battery life
- The display can be swiveled
- Supports a full array of DVD class formats
10. COOAU Portable DVD Player 12.5″
If swivel action plus battery life are a must, then we recommend looking no further than this portable DVD player from COOAU. Couple that with a decent 12.5-inch screen, and you have in your hands a very capable DVD player.
Now the standout feature is that swivel screen. It can do so to up to about 270 degrees. The screen itself can also be turned a full 180 degrees so you can use it as a tablet too. It comes with semi-decent stereo speakers, but you can really up the audio game with the help of the dual 3.5-inch audio jacks.
In the box, they include a long car cigarette lighter adapter and an even longer AC power outlet, so you do not have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of the movie. Linking all of these together, you are bound to get an excellent battery life and movie watching experience out of this unit.
The quality of the built-in speakers is what we would describe as being okay at best. But you can take the audio quality up a few notches with the included audio port (3.5 mm). Simply plug in a headset, and you have an immersion experience that is quite respectable.
Moreover, the unit offers support for DVDs across multiple regions. And as for formats and extensions, you have a decent spread to select from. All in all, this is a very commendable portable DVD player from COOAU.
- A vivid screen that swivels to up to almost 270 degrees
- 5 hours of playtime from the lithium-ion battery
- Dual speakers also include a 3.5 mm port
- Support for region wise DVDs
Portable DVD Players Buying Guide
So perhaps you have decided that it is high time that you went ahead and picked up a portable DVD player for yourself. Of course, it is not a must that you have to pick a unit from our reviews list.
This is why we have decided to go all the way and stick in a buying guide while we are at it. So, what are the features or must-haves you should keep both eyes peeled for? They are:
We cannot stress enough about the importance of a good battery. After all, it is a portable unit, so you will need to rely on battery power while you are traveling with it. Generally, the higher the capacity, the better.
As for the battery type, we recommend investing in a unit which uses lithium-ion batteries, if they are available. While they can be expected to be priced at a premium over their counterparts, the battery will hold its capacity over a longer active life cycle and is unlikely to degrade in the short cycle.
Oh, and while you are at it, look out for units that feature fast charging capabilities. 2500 mAh is the minimum standard we would recommend for battery capacity. Such a battery should run your portable DVD player for at least 4.5-5 hours.
Ah yes, what good is a portable DVD player if it does not have a decently specced screen? Let us talk about the resolution first. These players generally come in 3 resolution: 1080p, 720p, and 480p. Screens at 360p exist too, but we do not recommend getting such a low-resolution screen.
Now, let us talk about the swivel action and the viewing angles. We recommend getting a unit with a decent viewing angle. It is not a must. What is a must, however, is a screen that swivels or rotates. We reckon these units should at least swivel to 270 degrees. Bonus points if the screen can rotate into a tablet.
The audio makes the movie. And as such, your portable DVD unit should come with a certain level of audio capabilities. And the speakers need to sound good. Of course, you are not going to get immersive audio quality out of built-in speakers, but there is a minimum quality to be had.
Your portable DVD unit should also feature the (now defunct in smartphones) 3.5 mm port for audio. 3.5mm are the standard, you can basically plug in any pair, or headphones or earphones you have lying around in your home. We recommend using headsets for a more immersive movie experience.
Your DVD should support the generic video and audio formats, if not others. Those include DVD, CD, R & RW, VCD, WMA, MP3, and VOB. Some units offer support for more obscure formats such as MKV and MPEG4. Bonus points if you could acquire a unit with Blu-ray playback support.
And so, that is pretty much it. This concludes our best portable DVD players list. We have taken a peek at some of the best units to be had at different price points and feature categories. The title for the best overall portable DVD player goes to the DBPOWER 11.5″ nothing else comes close in this category.
Following closely at its heels is the ieGeek 11-inch, which coincidentally takes the cake for the best portable DVD player for the kids. We hope you found this article to be enriching, and you are welcome to refer back to this at any time.