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Before the advent of PMPs and iPods, portable DVD players were some of the coolest and most coveted gadgets on the technology scene - not to mention some of the most expensive. But the rise of hard-disk video players from the likes of Archos and Apple have made them a lot less fashionable, and their prices have dropped considerably. You can now pick them up for peanuts, which is great news if you're looking for a convenient, cost-effective way of keeping the kids quiet in the car, or entertaining yourself on long journeys. And it's worth remembering that not everyone has the time, patience or computer literacy to deal with hard-disk devices that require encoding or downloading of video content.
LG's latest portable DVD player (the only one in the company's range) features a 7in, 16:9 screen that can be swivelled 180 degrees and tilted, a neat idea that gives you plenty of viewing flexibility. The unit is compact and incredibly light, even with the slim battery pack discreetly clipped onto the back, and its attractive white exterior finish proves to be a refreshing change from the black styling these products usually sport.
Flipping the screen open reveals a pop-up disc tray and a bank of buttons set into a glossy black base section, which is a real fingerprint magnet. These buttons include basic playback controls and direction keys for controlling menus, but you can also use the supplied credit card style remote.
Down one side of the unit, you'll find a volume control dial, two headphone sockets, optical digital audio output and a port that doubles as an audio and video input/output, which allows you to watch DVDs on your big-screen TV if need be. On the opposite side is a USB 2.0 port, which lets you play back media files on the device.