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Sony DVP-FX720W review: Sony DVP-FX720W

The FX720 has its limitations, but for the price, it does what it is designed to do well enough.

Pam Carroll
Former editor of CNET Australia, Pam loves being in the thick of the ever-growing love affair (well addiction, really) that Australians have with their phones, digital cameras, flat screen TVs, and all things tech.
Pam Carroll
2 min read

There's really nothing to say design-wise that sets this Sony portable DVD player apart from most of the rest of the recent crop of portable DVD players. It's almost a visual twin of the Philips DCP750, with a white, iPod-esque exterior that opens up to a black interior housing the screen on top and disk player and control panel on the base. There is a small speaker panel running underneath the screen. Its compact size and sub 1kg weight make the FX720 easy enough to carry in a handbag or backpack when travelling.


Sony DVP-FX720W

The Good

Handles DivX, MP3 and JPEG file formats as well as DVDs. Play files from USB port or disc drive. Accurate colours.

The Bad

Image quality suffers from grid lines. Can only play DivX files from disc drive, not USB.

The Bottom Line

The FX720 has its limitations, but for the price, it does what it is designed to do well enough.

With only a seven-inch display, we doubt that you'll ever be far enough away from the player to need a remote control, but one is included anyway. The remote is small, but well laid out in such a way that all buttons are easy to use.

In addition to the AC adaptor, the unit comes with an in-car charger and an AV in/out cable. There are two headphone jacks but no headphones included.

The FX720 plays the standard set of DVD disc formats -- DVD-ROMs, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD-R -- as well as DivX video files. It also handles MP3 audio tracks and JPEG images.

There is one USB slot on the left side, so you can easily play or view pictures and songs stored on a portable flash drive. The catch though, is that you can only use this to playback MP3 and JPEG files, you cannot simply drag and drop DivX files from your PC onto a thumb drive, as they will not play back through the USB port -- you must burn them to DVD.  

Priced at AU$299, this entry level player gives you entry level performance. The most disappointing aspect of the display is the screen door effect that puts small but noticeable grid lines throughout the picture. However, the colour is quite good, if a little muted in the default setting, but this makes for accurate skin tones.

The speakers are not too bad considering their size. However small, using them instead of headphones will more rapidly drain the battery. Sony claims the battery life at five hours, but this is conditional on using headphones and setting the backlight adjustment to minimum (which makes the picture virtually unviewable). In our "real world" testing, we found the battery life to be closer to four hours, still plenty long enough for watching one or two movies between charges.

All up, the FX720 has its limitations, but for the price, it does what it is designed to do well enough. Depending on your needs, its USB port for playing music and pictures, plus its DivX capabilities may be enough to compensate for what it lacks in image quality.