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If you're looking to pick up a portable disc spinner in time for the summer holidays, Toshiba is a great place to start your search. Our recent positive reviews of the SD-P91S and SD-P71S demonstrate that its players can deliver decent DVD pictures (with one or two reservations over screen resolution) and put plenty of features at your disposal for a reasonable price.
Despite being overshadowed by flashy new technology like the Net Player and Cell TV at Toshiba's product showcase last month, the latest range of portable DVD players looks pretty impressive too. The SD-P73S on test here is a completely new design for 2009, sitting above the entry-level SD-P63 (which replaces the SD-P71S) and comes with all the features that made last year's models so appealing, but sports a fetching new slimline design and colour scheme.
The glossy white exterior and black interior gives it the sort of cool desirability you want from a portable DVD player, but once you flip up the screen there's more to admire, like the mirrored circular disc flap and menu buttons. Down the right hand side of the base are buttons covering all of the key functions, and the 16:9, 7in screen is set into the top half of the player with the stereo speakers just below it. On the whole build quality is solid and it's delightfully slim, even with the supplied battery pack clipped on to the bottom, although it's a shame Toshiba didn't use the kid-proof rubberised finish of the SD-P71S.
Although everything you need is built-in, the range of connections on the side lets you hook the player up to an external screen and sound system. You'll find an AV minijack output, which delivers composite video and stereo audio to a TV via the supplied adapter cable, as well as an input for watching external video sources on the screen. Dolby Digital and DTS bitstreams can be passed to an AV receiver from the coaxial digital minijack output, and there are two headphones ports for shared listening.