LG DP391B review:


Typical Price: £200.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Design; picture quality is stunning; plenty of features to keep you occupied on long journeys.

The Bad Sound is miles too quiet from the built-in speakers, and a little too low via headphones; battery can't be replaced by user; reflective screen.

The Bottom Line A great portable DVD player that has enough features to keep almost anyone happy -- if we could change one thing, we'd increase the battery capacity, which isn't enough for very long plane journeys

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

Life can be a little boring sometimes. Generally it's most tedious when you're sitting on a delayed train, waiting for any information about the possibility of one day arriving at your destination. If you find yourself in this or a similar situation, the best thing you could do is break out a portable DVD player, sit back and watch a movie.

The LG DP391B is aimed at exactly this market. It's designed to be portable at a touch under 1kg, with a depth of 40mm and a width of around 230mm. We took it on some public transport to work out if it was worthy of our adoration, or only capable of earning our scorn.

There are plenty of things to like about this machine. For a start, the styling is really gorgeous -- it looks a little like a tablet PC at first glance, because the screen faces upwards. To watch a DVD you can either hold it like you would a computer, or a PSP, or if you have a table handy, you can flip down the battery and use it as a sort of kickstand.

The reason LG has designed the player in this way is so it can be used as a digital photo frame as well. We're not sure how many people will actually end up doing this, but it doesn't add anything to the cost of the player, and it's bound to suit someone, somewhere.

We love the support for DivX and XviD too. You can play these files back from either DVD, CD or memory stick. If you decide to go down the memory stick route, you'll need to use the supplied converter, because the USB socket is the miniature type.

In the pack you get a carry case, which you'll need to use if you want to avoid mucking up the player with scratches. There's also a 12V car adaptor too, which will be a life-saver in the car, especially if you've got children who insist on watching Disney movies over and over on long journeys.

So what of important things like picture and sound quality? Well, the sound from the built-in speakers is weedy and pathetic, which might be an issue if you want to share viewing with another person. Fortunately LG has thought of this, and there are two headphone jacks to keep more than one person entertained at once. That will be great news to parents of the aforementioned Disney junkies. Sound via headphones is very good indeed -- clear and free of distortion. Even music sounded pretty good to us.

On the other hand, picture quality is superb for a device like this. We recently tested a Toshiba player and were not especially impressed by the ropey image quality. On the LG however, DVDs are sharp and clear and the colour, brightness and contrast are all pretty good -- with a caveat about the reflective screen, which we'll talk about later in more detail.

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