The LG DP391B truly is a pretty little thing. We've seen a fair few portable DVD players in our time, and almost without exception they're the same drearily functional clamshell design, where the lid flips open to reveal the disc compartment and a screen. Clearly someone at LG got bored of that, and came up with something different. That's the spirit.
Instead of having a screen concealed, the LCD on the DP391 is on the top of the unit. If you lift it up, you find the disc tray behind the screen, which, if we're honest, confused us slightly to start with. Behind the disc tray, there's a little kickstand that keeps the screen at the right angle.
What we really like about this player is that it's designed with two functions in mind. Obviously it's a portable DVD and media player, but it's also a photo frame. That might sound a little crazy, but it's actually incredibly cunning, because you could set the player up at home to show pics, with access to a mains power socket, then when you go out, unplug it and use the built-in battery to watch video.
The cunning doesn't stop there either. The DP391B also has a little USB socket, but an adaptor is provided so that you can use USB memory sticks to view photos or video. There's also an SD/MMC/MS card reader, so you can take a card out of a digital camera and view your images instantly. AV line-in means you can use it to view footage you've shot on a camcorder, or watch stuff from your iPod or PMP on a larger screen -- you'll need to find a special cable to do that, though.
The LG will play the usual line-up of MPEG-4 video we've come to expect, including DivX and XviD. It doesn't know what to do with QuickTime movies however, which might bother some people.
The screen is also quite high resolution, offering up 800x480 pixels of enjoyment spread out over 8 diagonal inches, which is a generous endowment indeed. Thoughtfully, there are a pair of headphone sockets two, so happy couples can bicker over what to watch while shooting across the Atlantic one mile up.
We'll have a review of the DP391 sometime soon, but it's already available to buy and you can grab one for around £180 online. -Ian Morris