So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Toshiba SDP92SKY portable DVD player
A portable DVD player with a funky tablet design and DivX media support
- Versatile 'tablet' design, decent screen quality, AV input, plays DivX media files
- A bit pricey, battery life could be longer
The Toshiba SDP92SKY is a nicely designed portable DVD player that performs well in nearly all areas. However, you can get similar functionality from models that are $50 to $100 cheaper.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The Toshiba SDP92SKY is a portable DVD player with a swivelling 9in LCD screen. It comes with a smattering of intriguing features, including DivX media support, an AV input connection and an SD card slot for playback of video files, MP3s and photos. Unfortunately, it’s also a bit on the pricey side compared to other portable DVD players, without much to justify the extra premium. Simply put, there are cheaper models on the block that do a similar job.
The portable DVD player has become something of a dying breed in recent years. These days, most notebooks offer competitive battery life and also eliminate the need to carry around scores of DVDs (i.e. you can store them all on your hard drive). Some vendors have turned away from the portable DVD player in favour of Blu-ray, such as Panasonic.
But that’s not to say there's no place for portable DVD players in our world. For one thing, not everyone can afford to buy a laptop or portable Blu-ray player, while others simply don’t want to mess around with unfamiliar technology. If you fit either of those moulds, then the Toshiba SDP92SKY will make an acceptable roadside companion, albeit one that is a little overpriced.
The Toshiba SDP92SKY shares a similar design to its 9in predecessor, the SD-P91SKY. Like the SD-P91SKY, it sports a rotating display reminiscent of a tablet PC. This means you can reverse the screen and lay it flat against the base for more convenient viewing. The unit measures 260x34x191mm and weighs in at 1.2kg — about the size of a netbook equipped with a long-life battery. We had no issues with the design of the Toshiba SDP92SKY. It looks suitably sleek and expensive, with a matte black finish and a sturdy silver hinge. All major controls are present on the player, including play, pause, skip, volume and a directional keypad for menu navigation.
The SDP92SKY's widescreen LCD display has a native resolution of 640x234. This is a modest increase over the Toshiba SD-P91SKY, which had a 640x220 resolution. To test the device, we watched the film Army of Darkness and the special features on Lord of the Rings: Return of the King DVD. We found that the SDP92SKY performed its primary function well, with good viewing angles and sharp image quality. The in-built speakers were of acceptable quality, if a little on the quiet side. Thankfully, a pair of headphone jacks is included on the device. This means you can enjoy movies with your partner on the train or bus, instead of being all anti-social. Our only real reservation with the device is its interface screen, which looks cheap and ugly (it's just as well you rarely have to see it).
In addition to playing DVD and media files, the Toshiba SDP92SKY can be connected to a video camera courtesy of the aforementioned AV input. You can then use the display to preview full-screen footage while recording. While this is an excellent feature, it's really only relevant to people who are seriously interested in film-making. For simple home movies, using the SDP92SKY would definitely be overkill.
The Toshiba SDP92SKY has a quoted battery life of three hours, which is fairly standard for a 9in portable DVD player. In our battery rundown test, the SDP92SKY lasted 2hr 52min, which is reasonably close to the quoted time. Mind you, Toshiba’s earlier 9in model, the Toshiba SD-P91SKY, boasted a battery life of over five hours. We’re not sure why Toshiba had to shave two hours off the battery life. The SD-P91SKY's USB port is also missing — another significant blow.
As mentioned earlier, the Toshiba SDP92SKY is a bit more expensive than other portable units we've tested with similar functionality. The $299 LG DP392G, for example, comes with DivX support and a card reader that supports SD, MMC and Memory Stick media. While you don't get the nifty tablet-style screen, we think it represents better value for money.
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