The Philips PET723 aims to be not only a tablet DVD player, but also a digital photo frame, but can it cope doing two jobs at once? We get watching to find out.
Launched at the same time as two other portable DVD players from Philips, the PET723 is a tablet offering. It features a 7-inch 16:9 screen, front speaker and d-pad to control the menus when the remote control isn’t within arms reach. A kick-out stand lets you prop the player on a desk, mantelpiece or wherever you happen to be, and the side boasts a single headphone socket, AV out and of course an SD card slot so you can view images.
Sliding the screen up reveals the DVD drive bay although not all of it, meaning you've got to slide the DVD in rather than just plonk it down directly. It's a strange move as a slot loading drive probably would have been easier and more reliable than the spring mechanism. In our tests it performed fine, but it would be interesting to see what it was like after 6 months in the back of the car with the kids.
The DVD drive supports the usual formats beyond DVD: you get CD, Video CD, Picture CD, MP3 and DivX. Playback was good and the screen quality is ample for the situations you are likely to be in. On a movie front DivX file playback is a good addition and using the SD card you've plugged in means you will get a little bit longer from the battery.
Beyond DVD you can opt to play music, view photos and play movies via that SD card slot and accessing the files is very basic and not very graphical. Like the PET940, the PET723 displays everything in a standard file tree format with file names being shown. There is a thumbnail option, but the interface isn't great. For a company that prides itself on making stuff simple, the interface isn't that pretty.
Small and compact, the Philips PET723 is ideal for watching movies on the go, however the build quality is questionable. We just don't believe it will stand up to the rigours of life over time. It's certainly not likely to be suitable for the kids.
The picture frame support is a novel idea and certainly helps give the player another purpose when you aren't using it to watch the latest blockbuster, however don't expect this to match dedicated digital photo frames available on the market.
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