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Eviant T7 7-inch portable TV review: Eviant T7 7-inch portable TV

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The Good Affordable, compact portable LCD digital TV with 7-inch wide-screen display; built-in rechargeable battery; receives analog and digital over-the-air and unscrambled cable channels; clear picture quality when you can get a signal; includes remote and second, more powerful antenna; built-in kickstand for easy table viewing.

The Bad Less than 2 hours of battery life; resolution could be higher; glossy reflective screen; battery is unremoveable, and there's no way to swap in standard alkaline batteries during power outages; may not work in moving cars.

The Bottom Line The Eviant T7 7-inch portable TV works well as a kitchen TV or for use on the road so long as you don't stray too far from a charging source for too long.

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6.3 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 6
  • Performance 6

With the transition to digital TV now complete in the U.S., all those compact portable TVs that were toted to sporting events or kept around for emergencies when the power went off became obsolete--turn them on now, and you'll get nothing but snow. Stepping in to the void is a new breed of portable DTV, most of which currently aren't made by name-brand manufacturers, including the model reviewed here, Eviant's T7 7-inch Portable TV.

The T7, which online costs a little more than $100, comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, and red, and all of them have a glossy finish that gives the TV an elegant look at the expense of attracting fingerprints. You can watch the TV by either holding it in your hand--or rather both hands since it weighs 1.5 pounds--or you can prop it up on a flat surface using the built-in kickstand that supports the unit nicely (there's also a pair of keyhole slots if you want to mount it on a wall). The translucent shield that covers the display is reflective and creates some glare issues if you have the TV at the wrong angle--but at least the screen is protected.

These types of portable TVs have their roots in the tablet-style portable DVD players that have come out in recent years, but this model has no DVD player; rather, it pulls in any TV signals being broadcast in your area. (In addition to digital and HD stations, it will also pull in any legacy analog or low-power stations that may still be broadcasting in your area--or those available in border states from Mexico or Canada.) Alternatively, it also accepts a cable TV signal (you just remove the antenna and connect the plug). You'll get whatever analog or digital (clear QAM) stations are available on your cable system without a box--for us, it was several dozen channels.

The downside to over-the-air digital TV is that if you can't get a strong enough signal, you don't get any picture for the channel you're trying to pull in (with analog signals, you could get a fuzzy picture). As part of the setup process, you can have the tuner automatically scan for channels and it will store them once they're recognized (you can easily autoscan if you enter a new area, though it does take a few minutes to run through the process).

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