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7/10

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Philips PET940 Portable DVD Player

Just when you thought portable DVD decks couldn’t get any more desirable, along comes Philips with a sumptuous new gizmo that boasts a swanky leatherette cover, making it look like something the ladies from Sex and the City might carry on a night out. The PET940 is one of three new portables in Philips’ latest range, which also includes a model with an iPod dock and another that doubles as a photo frame (like the LG DP391B). But the PET940 is designed specifically with video viewing in mind and features the traditional clam shell design, which not only protects the screen but also gives it a nice compact shape for carrying around.
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If you don’t dig the faux leather look then the unit is also available with an aluminium finish, and when you flip open the top section the decadent design continues. The insides are decked out in gloss black with a bank of buttons down the right and a shiny silver menu control pad towards the bottom. The disc tray beside it flips up at the touch of a button, and although the 9in, 16:9 LCD screen embedded into the top section is fairly large by portable standards, its resolution is a disappointing 640 x 234 pixels, which means 720 x 576 DVDs will have to be seriously downscaled. More encouraging is the fact that it’s an anti-glare panel, which should keep annoying reflections from ruining your viewing pleasure.
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In the box, you’ll find a useful selection of accessories, including an AC mains adaptor, a cigarette lighter adaptor for the car, a composite/stereo audio to minijack lead and a cute silver remote. The unit itself sports a small selection of sockets on the right-hand side, including two headphone jacks for shared listening, a combined composite/stereo audio minijack output and a USB port, which enables you to play music and photo files from memory devices (but not MP3 players or PCs). The unit plays DivX, MP3, JPEG and XviD files via USB or discs.

Thankfully, Philips has integrated the battery into the unit, which means you don’t have a heavy hunk of hardware hanging off the back like the portables of yesteryear, plus it keeps the overall weight to a manageable 1.98kg. Fully charged the battery provides around three hours of continuous DVD playback, and while charging it there’s a handy light on the front that indicates when it’s full. The player is also shock-proof, so it continues to play if you accidentally give it a jolt.

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