These days, the majority of portable DVD player shoppers are looking for an inexpensive model that keeps kids occupied on long trips, whether it's in the car or on a plane. But if you're among the smaller group of folks who actually want their portable DVD player to come with a decent picture, you have to step up to models such as Philips's PET1002 (also known as the PET1002/37), which is almost identical to last year's PET1000 but offers significantly improved battery life and some minor cosmetic changes. The list price is of the PET1002 is a hefty $400, but it's widely available for around $330.
Like last year's model, the Philips PET1002 is a sleek-looking player, with a large 10.2-inch screen, and it supports playback of MPEG-4/DivX video files--a major plus for people who have big DivX movie collections. The player also plays back virtually all manner of home-burned DVDs and CDs, as well as MP3 music files and JPEG photos.
The Philips PET1002 is finished in silver on its exterior, with a matte-black finish on the inside when you open the clamshell to expose the screen and the controls. Philips has tweaked the finish of the buttons for the better--it's more durable--but other than that, the cosmetics are the same. The PET1002 measures 10.2 by 1.2 by 7.1 inches; it weighs 3.5 pounds with the removable lithium-ion battery attached and 2.6 pounds without it.
Besides the large, sharp screen (more on that below), the other two standout features are the nicely designed remote--it's a cross between a standard- and credit card-size DVD remote--and the PET1002's cable package, which includes component-video and S-Video outputs for connecting to a TV. Most other portable units include neither type of cable. The Philips PET1002 also offers a digital-audio output for connecting to an A/V receiver, a video input so that you can use it as a monitor, and dual headphone jacks so that two people can watch a movie at once. A cigarette-lighter adapter ships in the box to power the player during long car rides.