While the portable DVD market has mostly been replaced with business users using their laptops, Toshiba still believes that people want to watch DVDs on the go with a dedicated player.



It’s an idea that certainly makes sense, the SD-P2800 offers 4.5 hours of power on a single charge and although fairly large, means that you can have your entertainment without jeopardising your work.

Qualms about whether you need a dedicated player or not aside, the Toshiba offers exactly what you want in a portable DVD player.

The 9-inch screen is clean and crisp and offers a 170 degree viewing angle meaning you can watch it from pretty much any position without the picture being affected. In tests the screen coped with everything we threw at it. Whether it’s the graphical special effects of Star Wars II - Attack of the Clones, or skin tones in wine fest Sideways it’s all good.

Those who want to store hours of footage on a CD or DVD using DivX will also be pleased to see the SD-P2800 supports that too, meaning at least you save on some space.

And space you’ll have to save as the player is fairly large, large as a 12-inch Apple PowerBook for example or a the size of a Saturday tabloid paper folded in half.

If DivX support wasn’t enough the player also features a 4-in-1 Card reader capable of reading SD, MMC, MemoryStick and Olympus and Fuji’s Xd Picture Card. Strangely Compact Flash has been left out.

In practice the memory card view isn’t as good as it sounds. Images aren’t maximised to the full screen - unless you opt to zoom in, nor are they auto-orientated either.

Furthermore, you don’t initially get thumbnails, again unless you ask, and the image quality isn’t very good either even if the source image is.

When it comes to sound, the SD-P2800 produces good sound from both the two speakers at the side of the screen and the headphones included in the box.

For couples who plan to share the viewing experience Toshiba has been clever enough to include spilt headphone jacks so you can both share without having to buy an extra dongle.

But it’s not just a headphone socket that the SD-P2800 offers. Look around the back and the player sports S-Video out, AV out, Component video out and a bitstream/PCM socket to connect to a Dolby Digital decoder. While even having time to offer an AV in so you can connect other devices to watch on the screen, such as a camcorder.

Verdict

As a DVD player the SD-P2800 is very good and second to none. Toshiba has included everything in the box that you would be expected to want. Battery, charger, cables to connect it to a television, headphone to listen to it, a remote to control it and even a bag to put it all in when your done.



The downsides, there aren't many, however don't expect to get much help from the image viewer. It might be okay if you are really in a pickle, but otherwise its an extra function we don't see you running to use.

A function beyond the DVD player that you might find useful however is the ability to connect your camcorder to the player and watch the results out in the field. Now there is a good idea.

Big and bulky, but ultimately a good solid effort from Tosh.