Take it off the scale, and the most notable things the Audiovox D2011 has going for it are its respectable picture quality and a newfangled backseat car-mounting accessory, which allows you to strap the player to the back of the headrest or between your car's two front seats. Oh, and at around $250 online, it's slightly cheaper than competing models from Panasonic, Philips, and other top-tier consumer electronics manufacturers.
Overall, we like the layout of the buttons, and how the most-used controls--stop, play, pause, and eject--are larger and set toward the front of the player. Again, the matte-silver finish of both the buttons and the player doesn't exactly ooze high-end appeal, but the player certainly isn't ugly, and the credit-card style remote is clearly labeled and easy to use. A cigarette-lighter car adapter is also included.
As for the headrest mount, it requires some trial and error to get it hooked up securely--or as much so as its design will allow. After taking off the battery, you slip the bottom of the player into its mounting case and strap it either to a single headrest or both headrests, letting the player dangle between the two front seats. (To keep the player from moving around, you strap the bottom two corners of the case to the bottom of the seats.) Once you've tightened the straps, you plug the cigarette-lighter adapter into the player and fire it up. The one problem is that since this isn't a tablet-style portable--the screen doesn't fold completely flat--the screen sticks out of the top of the case and isn't totally secure. You simply fold the screen back as far it will go, as if opening a book all the way, and hope that you don't have to brake suddenly. If you have to screech to a halt, we assume that the back-and-forth momentum would cause the screen to shut abruptly. Whether it would get damaged, we don't know.
The D2011 may not offer a wealth of extras, but important features such as dual headphone jacks (smartly, Audiovox has placed one headphone jack on each side of the player), a switchable A/V input/output jack, a digital audio output for connecting to an A/V receiver, and support for playback of home-burned CDs filled with MP3s and JPEG images are present and accounted for. However, there's no MPEG-4/DivX support, nor is there a component-video output for improved video quality when connecting to an HDTV.
If you're comparing Audiovox's 10-inch models, the major difference between this model and the older D2010 is the removal of the interface for infrared wireless headphones. As of this writing, the step-up D2016 is yet to hit stores, but it will have additional features such as a USB port and an SD/MMC slot.
The player's screen can't match the high-resolution display of the Philips PET1002, but it is superior to the screens of competing budget models such as the Mustek MP100, and it stacked up well against the 9-inch display on Panasonic's more expensive DVD-LS90. We popped in the DVD of Peter Jackson's King Kong and, as with other players, backed down the color and brightness settings a couple of notches to get blacks a little darker and skin tones looking a little more natural--that is, less red. While the screen looks best when viewed from about 2.5 to 3 feet away--you'll notice gaps between the pixels at closer distances--we were fairly pleased overall. Colors were reasonably accurate, there was a decent amount of detail in darker screens, and Kong's fur and facial features were rendered sharply.
Though battery life is rated at only 2.5 hours, we managed to watch the entire Kong DVD, which comes in at 187 minutes; battery life will vary with usage, but we expect 3 hours to be about the norm. Since large-screen players such as the Panasonic DVD-LS90 and the Philips PET1002 offer better battery life, this has to be considered a bit of a shortcoming. But until the PET1002 came along, most models with 10.2-inch screens offered only 3 hours of battery life.
In the final analysis, while the Audiovox D2011 is neither the slickest-looking large-screen portable DVD player on the market, nor does it offer a wealth of features, it delivers a decent picture and is a little lighter than competing models. That may not come across as a ringing endorsement, but the D2011 gets our overall approval.
|Model||Quick take||Screen size |
|Audiovox D1420||This oval-shaped, tablet-style model includes a carrying case with built-in disc holder.||4.2||June 2005|
|Audiovox D1500B||This model utilizes a 5-inch 4:3 (non-wide-screen) display.||5||September 2004|
|Audiovox D1708||Audiovox's basic 7-inch DVD player.||7||April 2004|
|Audiovox D1708PK||This is the D1708 model, packaged with a car headrest mounting bag/carrying case and two pairs of folding headphones.||7||April 2004|
|Audiovox D1708ES||This is the D1708 model packaged with a car headrest mounting bag/carrying case and an auxiliary 7-inch monitor.||7||December 2005|
|Audiovox D1726||The D1726 is a tablet-style portable DVD player with a 7-inch screen.||7||May 2006|
|Audiovox D1812||Audiovox's basic 8-inch DVD player.||8||May 2005|
|Audiovox D1812PK||This is the D1812 model packaged with a car headrest mounting bag/carrying case and two pairs of folding headphones.||8||April 2005|
|Audiovox D1812PKG||This version of the D1812 includes car headrest mounting bag/carrying case, two pairs of folding stereo headphones, and an external wired game controller with 30 built-in games||8||November 2005|
|Audiovox D1915||Audiovox's basic 9-inch DVD player.||9||January 2006|
|Audiovox D2011||Audivox's basic 10.2-inch DVD player.||10.2||September 2005|
|Audiovox D2016||Similar to D2011, the D2016 includes dual headphone jacks, an SD slot, and a USB port.||10.2||June 2006|