The 10 Best Portable DVD Players

Updated March 18, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Portable DVD Players
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Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Keep the kids happy and quiet on your next road trip, or watch your favorite movies when traveling by plane or train with one of these portable DVD players. Today's models do more than just play films and CDs — some can download content from the internet, and others even have the ability to play games, for additional entertainment options. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best portable dvd player on Amazon.

10. Buyee Handheld

The Buyee Handheld is an affordable option that delivers a beautiful picture with great sound, thanks to its built-in Dolby AC-3 Decode speakers. Its slim profile makes it comfy to carry around, but with a battery life of only 2 hours, you'll need to recharge it often.
  • easy for kids to use
  • includes a cd with 300 games
  • power cord is a little short
Brand Buyee
Model 811
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Sylvania 15.6-Inch

Featuring a huge screen and antishock playback, the Sylvania 15.6-Inch provides first-rate entertainment both at home and on the road. It comes with a multifunction remote control and two power adapters, and supports a wide variety of video formats.
  • usb port and sd card reader
  • comes with a pair of earbuds
  • not very durable
Brand Sylvania
Model SDVD1566
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. DR.J 14.1 Inch

With 5.9-foot home and car power cables, plus two pairs of headphones, the DR.J 14.1 Inch is perfect for families with multiple kids. The screen rotates 270 degrees horizontally, and 180 degrees vertically, so you can flip it back to lie flat like a tablet.
  • impressive 7-hour battery life
  • includes an earphone cable splitter
  • sound quality is not very good
Brand THZY
Model pending
Weight 5.6 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Philips Portable

The Philips Portable plays movies and videos in a widescreen format for a better viewing experience. Some users may find the 7-inch monitor a touch too small, but if you are constantly on the go and need something that can fit easily into a backpack, it's a solid choice.
  • dedicated subtitles button
  • doesn't skip if you move it around
  • noisy disc motor
Brand Philips
Model PET741M/37
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Synagy Personal

The sleek Synagy Personal boasts a 1024 x 800 native resolution, so it produces a highly detailed image, and a battery that lasts almost four hours. It also comes with a handy remote and a tilting, lie-flat screen for compact storage.
  • includes a video data cable
  • mp3 and wma audio support
  • tv interface is finicky
Model A10-BLACK
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Ematic LCD

In terms of value, it's hard to beat the Ematic LCD. Not only does it have a large and vivid 10-inch screen that makes watching movies on the go a pleasure, it also comes with a pair of high-quality headphones and a headrest mount for hands-free use.
  • aesthetically pleasing design
  • 1024 x 600 resolution
  • speaker volume doesn't get very loud
Brand Ematic
Model EPD116RD
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Cooau Direct Play

Available in four different colors, the Cooau Direct Play is a stylish option with a crisp, bright picture. It comes with a car charger and AV cable, and you also get access to 180 downloadable retro games with your purchase that kids can enjoy while you drive in peace.
  • 5-hour battery life
  • convenient resume playback function
  • comes with a game controller
Model CU-969-PU
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

2. Pyle Swivel

At 15 inches, the Pyle Swivel has one of the largest screens of any model on the market. It's equipped with SD and USB ports for video and audio playback in MP3, JPEG, AVI, and MP4 formats, and the monitor rotates 270 degrees for comfortable viewing at any angle.
  • top-loading disc tray
  • high-definition display
  • supports multiple languages
Brand Pyle
Model PDV156BK
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. DBPower 10.5-Inch

The DBPower 10.5-Inch is compatible with nearly every type of video format and codec, so you'll most likely never run into a scenario where you have downloaded a movie that you can't watch. It features a USB port and an SD card reader in addition to its DVD slot.
  • shock-resistant construction
  • 3 hours of playback time
  • includes a car charger
Model PD102
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Entertainment On The Go

You might think that portable DVD players are nearly obsolete with the invention of convenient streaming and smartphone technology. However, the demand for portable DVD players is still very much alive. Many people, especially families with young children, are still in need of the convenience and entertainment that only a portable DVD player can provide.

Imagine, if you will, that you are on a camping trip far from any useable cell service. The kids have collected all the rocks and sticks in the general area, terrorized the local wildlife, and eaten most of the snacks. Night is beginning to fall, but it's not quite time to sleep. They are whining about being bored.

This is where the portable DVD player comes in. Hopefully, you had the foresight to charge it before you left the house, and the kids will have an hour or two of entertainment before bed while you have an hour or two of comfort and quiet.

Portable DVD players come with a lot of different features that make viewing your media more enjoyable and convenient. Some are thin and easy to carry with rotating screens that allow them to lay flat like the average tablet. You can purchase kits that will mount the DVD player to the seat of the car so your kids will stay entertained during your road trip.

Most come with headphone ports so the media can be enjoyed privately. USB and SD car ports allow for easy uploading of MP3s and other media files so they can be enjoyed anywhere. You can choose from DVD players with game controllers for added entertainment and WiFi connections to enjoy streaming wherever there is an Internet connection. Some even connect to televisions and come with remote controls.

No matter how or where you plan to use your portable DVD player, you are sure to find all the features you need to fully enjoy your movies, music, and games.

Don't Knock It Until You've Tried It

You might still be skeptical about purchasing a portable DVD player when there are so many other pieces of smart technology available. That would be a mistake because there are a number of benefits to choosing a portable DVD player over a notebook or tablet.

First, a portable DVD player is more compact than the average notebook or laptop and can be transported easily. While it's true you can play DVDs on most laptops, the portable DVD player takes up less space and can still store a lot of the desired media.

Second, a portable DVD player is more convenient for the kids. You can have the peace of mind from knowing that they aren't surfing the Internet and finding objectionable content while still maintaining the boundaries of limited screen time.

Third, it is great for frequent travelers. Whether you need a way to keep the kids entertained on a long road trip or you want something to watch on the plane ride, one of these DVD players will be easy to take along and enjoy on the go.

Fourth, a portable DVD player is cheaper than purchasing a notebook or tablet, and you don't need a WiFi connection or a data plan to use it and enjoy your media. You simply preload your media files or take along your DVDs and have all of your movies, music, and games at your fingertips.

Finally, portable DVD players don't use as much power as a tablet or notebook. Some of them even have comparable battery lives so you can enjoy your movies and music for as long as you would with another device.

So don't snub your nose at the thought of purchasing a portable DVD player until you have explored all of the possible advantages. It can add more convenience and entertainment to your life without the added expense and risk of traveling with your expensive notebook or tablet.

A Brief History Of The Portable DVD Player

The first DVD player was created by Sony in conjunction with the Pacific Digital Company in Taiwan in 1994. Unfortunately, the first DVD players weren't released until 1996 in Japan. It wasn't until 1997 that they began being distributed for sale in the United States. Three years later, in 2000, DVD players were a common household item and being sold for under $100 in most stores.

Panasonic released the first portable DVD player in 1998. They produced two different models with different screen sizes so their customers could enjoy their DVDs any time from anywhere. They were built with all of the same features and functions as regular DVD players and expanded entertainment horizons.

Even the earliest portable DVD players could play music and had headphone attachments for private viewing and listening. They were also capable of acting as digital picture frames to upload and display digital photographs and slideshows.

Today's portable DVD players come with a number of attractive features such as HD displays and Blu-ray capabilities. They continue to be sold alongside average DVD players and are sometimes preferred by parents of young children to tablets or notebooks.

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Last updated on March 18, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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