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Mintek MDP-1810 review: Mintek MDP-1810

Mintek MDP-1810

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David Katzmaier
David_Katzmaier.jpg

David Katzmaier

Editorial Director -- TVs and streaming

David has reviewed TVs, streaming services, streaming devices and home entertainment gear at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

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2 min read

Mintek's MDP-1810 portable DVD player is tempting on paper, offering a big 8-inch wide-screen LCD for a paltry $400 list price. This silver unit has a solid feel but is bulkier than many similarly sized competitors, measuring a relatively thick 1.75 inches with the battery attached.

6.8

Mintek MDP-1810

The Good

Inexpensive; 8-inch, 16:9 screen; considerable battery life; great disc compatibility; loud volume.

The Bad

Low-resolution screen.

The Bottom Line

This budget player has a big screen and plays loudly, but its image quality is strictly for kids.

Opening the lid reveals well-spaced controls and a pair of upward-firing speakers. We listened to CDs on the 1810 while traveling, and they came across as pretty anemic although relatively loud through the little speakers. Audio over our headphones sounded good and was easily audible over the roar of a plane's engines. During normal CD and DVD playback, battery life averaged about three hours--very good, considering the large screen.

The small remote control provides lots of functionality, and we like its buttons better than the plastic bumps found on the remotes of most portable DVD players. Unfortunately, keys for many major features, such as setup and forward/reverse search, don't appear on the main unit, so if you lose the remote, you're out of luck.

The 1810's big screen would make the player an excellent candidate for car use if you could flip the image upside down, but as it is, your ceiling-mount options are limited. Mintek threw in a cigarette-lighter power adapter.

Mintek's player handled the entire gamut of formats: DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, MP3, JPEG, and many varieties of recordable CD. You navigate MP3 music using the familiar file tree, but no shuffle option is available. For JPEG display, you have a choice of 16 (!) different wipes and fades.

The 1810's biggest disappointment was its screen quality. We watched Adaptation, for example, and spotted stair-step patterns along the edge of Meryl Streep's face. The display's resolution, according to the Avia test disc, measures only 300 lines, a far lower count than that of many other portables we've seen.

Also, the 1810 lacks the correct zoom mode for handling letterboxed movies that aren't enhanced for wide-screen. Either you'll see a stretched image in which people look short and fat, or the picture won't fill the display.

The 1810's low price and ample battery life make it great for diverting kids who couldn't care less about image quality, but more-discriminating viewers will soon yearn for a different player.

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