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Panasonic unveils small DVD player

The upcoming PalmTheater is a portable DVD player for travelers that can also be integrated into home theaters.

Panasonic today unveiled the smallest DVD player to date, a device that will make it easier to take movies on the road.

Panasonic's upcoming DVD-L50 PalmTheater is a portable DVD player for travelers that can also be integrated into home theaters. The DVD-L50 is an updated version of Panasonic's DVD-L10, released last year.

Panasonic says it is the world's smallest and lightest DVD player. The machine weighs around 2 pounds and is about 2 inches thick.

The new gadget is likely to appeal to mobile executives, travelers, and extreme movie buffs, who may purchase high-end notebooks with DVD drives included. DVD notebooks, which tend to retail for upwards of $3,000, are often used to view movies on long plane trips, rather than for data-centric applications like 3D games, analysts say.

"We've taken our PalmTheater concept to the next level," said Rusty Osterstock, assistant general manager for Panasonic's consumer DVD division, in a statement.

The new PalmTheater includes a 5-inch LCD monitor for viewing movies, Advanced Virtual Surround Sound, and other audio technology which purports to offer near-theater sound quality.

Panasonic's portable DVD player runs for 3 hours on a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and, in what some might call overkill, comes with a mini-remote control.

The DVD-L50 PalmTheater offers typical DVD features like multiple languages, title and chapter searches, frame advance, and repeat mode. The player will be released in May and will have an estimated retail price of $1,099.95.