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GoVideo DP7240 review: GoVideo DP7240

You may have heard about Panasonic's "rugged" ToughBook laptops. Now GoVideo's gone with a similar concept for its modestly priced DP7240, a portable DVD player with a 7-inch screen that it deems off-road-worthy. Is it a gimmick or a good deal? Read the full review.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
3 min read
GoVideo's off-road DVD player
GoVideo calls its DP7240 an "off-road" portable DVD player, and on the packaging, you'll find a screenshot of an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) on the player's display. What it would mean to actually take the player "off-road" is open to question, but the DP7240 does have Impact Shield rubber edges that could make it more durable than other portable DVD players.

All in all, the DP7240, which has a seven-inch screen, is an attractive-looking player that, due to its rubberized exterior, feels nice to the touch. The buttons are well placed for easy navigation, and we appreciate that the color and brightness control dials are right under the screen (the dials offer more precise control of the settings than the menu-adjustable levels found on most other players).


GoVideo DP7240

The Good

Inexpensive; rugged design; car adapter included.

The Bad

Not superlight; so-so battery life.

The Bottom Line

We're not sure the DP7240 is quite as rugged as GoVideo claims, but it's still a solid portable DVD player at a nice price.

One small design gripe: a couple of buttons on the side of the unit (the power button is one) have a shine that makes them look a little cheap. Also, in a cost-cutting move, the DP7240, like its larger sibling the DP8440, uses a detachable nickel-metal-hydride battery. These batteries tend to be heavier than lithium-ion reachargeable batteries, which may help contribute to the player's relatively hefty 2.75-pound weight.

A car adapter and cables for hooking up the unit to a TV are included, along with a credit card-style remote. And as with most other current portables, the image on the screen can be flipped in case you decide to mount the player upside-down in your car.

You get a reasonable amount of connectivity, though there's only one headphone jack, so you'll need a Y adapter accessory to share the unit with another viewer. On the right side, you'll find a set of jacks that double as A/V inputs and outputs. Like its larger sibling, the unit allegedly offers progressive-scan output in case you want to connect the player to an HD-capable TV. But we were unable to test the feature because GoVideo does not include a component-video--or S-Video--adapter/cable. A digital coaxial output is available for digital surround-sound output, but again, the adapter/cable is not provided, and we're not sure where you'd pick one up.

During compatibility testing, the DP7240 played a wide variety of formats, including CDs and CD-Rs filled with MP3 or JPEG files, DVD-R/-RWs, and DVD+R/+RWs--although like most other players, it wouldn't play DVDs filled with JPEGs or MP3s. It did, on the other hand, play one extremely difficult DVD-R movie in our collection. Skip protection is also provided, and we were able to jostle the unit a fair amount (our simulation of riding in an ATV) without having the audio or picture tweak out.

Picture quality was about average for a portable DVD player--which is to say, fine. As noted, we were able to fine-tune the brightness and color settings more easily because of the dials. You'll want to reduce the brightness a bit to make blacks look darker and shave some off the color setting to keep skin tones looking more natural and not overly red. If you look closely, there's certainly something of a screen-door effect at work, but step back a couple of feet, and the picture looks pretty sharp.

On the sound front, the DP7240 played loudly enough through the headphone jacks to overcome airplane and car noise. (Unlike the DP8440, the speakers are just below the screen and face directly toward you.) Battery life was only OK--the player's rated for 2.5 hours, and we just exceeded that mark before the screen went dark.

When all was said and done, we like the DP7240 and think it's a pretty good value, considering that it can be had for less than $200. We somehow doubt it would do much better than nonruggedized competitors in a real off-road scenario (for example, a couple of our troops in Iraq have e-mailed us, asking for durable portable DVD player recommendations that might survive the brutal conditions there in the long term). But its Impact Shield will certainly give it an edge of protection against the destructive tendencies of small children.