If you've got kids then you'll know keeping them entertained on a long journey can be tough. Luckily for me I am not in that position just yet (see Dad Blog atpocket-lint.co.uk/dad) however when Mustek sent this in the to the office, the chap that did have kids got too over-excited.
No it's not an ever lasting supply of sweeties but a portable DVD player that, with the connection of a second screen, means that kids in the back of the car can watch a movie on their own screen.
The Mustek PL8C70 is like the Mustek PL8A90 portable DVD player a slim tablet-style portable DVD player with anti-shock protection has a 7-inch active matrix TFT LCD screen with aspect ratio 16:9 and plays DVD, DVD+/-R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, (S)VCD, Kodak Picture CD and JPEG.
Like the PL8A90, the PL8C70 has built-in stereo speakers, 2 stereo headphone jacks and SD/MMC card reader for reading and displaying pictures from your digital camera to then transfer to your PC via the USB socket.
It also features digital coaxial output in Dolby Digital, TV connection via the AV output and a flexible power supply with its rechargeable battery, 12 volt car adapter and AC/DC power adapter. The device even comes with an IR remote control, bag and car mountable harness.
The dual screen comes in the guise of the PL8D70 a monitor that sports the same 7-inch screen and a selectable 4:3 or 16:19 screen ratio.
The two devices aren't connected by some magic of wireless connectivity, but merely a 3 socket phono cable that you are expected to drap across your car.
In practice however the results while pleasing to kids won't be to adults.
To start with, like the PL8A90 the build quality is appalling.
The screen quality isn't great and for some reason when we connected the PL8D70 to the PL8C70 we couldn't even replicate the same colour and brightness between the two screens.
The screen quality isn't shown in any greater light when it comes to viewing images via the players SD/MMC card slot. Our test images taken with a 5 megapixel camera looked very blurry and ropey on the screen and reminisent of a 640x480 VGA mobile phone shot rather than from a £300 digital camera.
Unfortunately the PL8C70 hasn't fixed the battery issue found in the PL890 and the battery pack is almost a third of the size of the player and when connected the devices flimsy stand isn't good enough to support the device standing up.
The idea of having two screens in the back of the car playing the one DVD is a nice one.
Mustek’s efforts are best described as cheap and cheerful and as we said with the PL8A80, if these two units are to entertain the kids in the back of the car then you might just about get away with it - hey its not like they are going to complain and go and buy their own.