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iLuv i1055: 7-inch screen for DVDs and iPods

With a 7-inch screen to watch DVDs and iPod videos on, no portable video fan or iPod enthusiast is going to want to be without one of these beautiful devices

As the tech-loving public becomes ever more attached to watching their Hollywood blockbusters and downloaded Simpsons episodes on the train, manufacturers are devising ever more innovative devices to meet the demand. We've seen some great examples recently, and hope to get our hands on more still. Today, Crave is intrigued by the stylish and ingenious i1055 from iLuv -- it's a portable DVD player, complete with an iPod dock, and it will play back content from both formats on its large 7-inch screen.

One of the most exciting characteristics of the i1055 is its most obvious: it'll blow up all video content stored on your iPod on to a large screen. It's an interesting idea, but this ability in a way negates the device's other primary function: DVD playback -- if all your movies are on an iPod, why bother carrying around DVDs? An 80GB iPod will hold every James Bond film, every Rocky classic and every episode of Lost. Surely there's no need for a DVD player? Well, the DVD drive seems so well integrated that it doesn't add to the bulkiness too much, so why not stick one in anyway? It's the belt-and-braces approach to portable media.

The i1055 will also play back MP3s stored on a CD or DVD. (Again, why would you want to, with 40,000 songs on your iPod?) You can also output all video content to a standard TV set though an AV cable. Nice, but the iPod already does this itself.

It may appear we think this new device is a little pointless, but that's far from the case -- it's a gorgeous looking gadget with loads of potential: Casino Royale is going to look terrific, even when you're shivering in a public toilet mid-December. Our issue is that it's most likely to be adopted by iPod fans who want a larger screen to watch their 80GB of videos on, and these people aren't going to be carrying around DVDs. Maybe the DVD player should be stripped out -- it would make the i1055 thinner, slightly lighter and a little cheaper, making this all the more attractive to mobile video enthusiasts. Still, at £149.99 it's not hugely expensive anyway.

We're really looking forward to getting our hands on the i1055. We'll hopefully be getting one in this week, so be sure to check for a full review soon. -NL

Update: We now have a full review of the iLuv i1055 live in our Reviews channel.