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Sony DVP-FX930 Portable DVD Player
We've tested some lovely portable DVD players this year, such as the LG DP391B and the Toshiba SD-P73S, but the DVP-FX930 is a pretty straight-laced affair. It uses a traditional flip-top design and an all-over black finish devoid of eye-catching flourishes, but it's not completely without charm - the slim screen swivels 180 degrees and folds back onto the base, turning it into a hand-held tablet, plus it's robustly built and compact even with the battery pack clipped onto the underside.
We love the row of touch-sensitive buttons just below the 9in screen. They cover all the key functions and there's a little pad on the right that lets you navigate menus. A Hold switch on the side disables these buttons, which is worth bearing in mind as it took a moment to work out why the onscreen display kept telling me to 'Hold on' every time I pressed a button…
Take a look down the right-hand side of the base and you'll find a bank of connections. They include a USB port, which allows you to play MP3, JPEG and DivX from a flash memory drive, two headphones outputs and two minijacks, one audio in/out and one video in/out. These will come in handy should you want to output DVD pictures to your TV or send an analogue audio signal to your AV receiver, and you'll find the relevant adapter cables in the box to do so. You can also feed video and audio into the player. It's a decent socket selection, but at this price the lack of digital audio output is surprising.
The FX930's vital statistics are impressive. A fully-charged battery should last for six hours, which is excellent news when making a lengthy journey, but that's with headphones and with the LCD backlight set to minimum - in reality it'll be shorter. Even more impressive is the screen's 800 x 480 resolution, which means you should be able to watch DVDs in a lot more detail than many portable DVD decks allow.
Aside from MP3, JPEG and DivX playback, the FX930 happily spins DVD-RW/-R (recorded in Video and VR formats), DVD+RW/+R, SVCD, VCD and CD-RW/-R. The deck doesn't output Dolby Digital or DTS in bitstream form but it does downmix Dolby Digital 5.1 to stereo when listening through the analogue output. Aside from that there's a dearth of eye-catching features - the only things of note are the supplied headrest mounting bracket and a cigarette outlet charger.
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