Alongside hover boards and jet packs, watching live TV on your travels is one of technology’s Holy Grails, which is why Toshiba has potentially hit pay dirt with a machine that not only allows you to watch Lorraine Kelly on your morning commute, but also plays DVDs when you’re in the mood for a movie.
That’s right; the SD94DT is a portable DVD player with a built-in Freeview tuner, both of which are viewed on the unit’s integrated 9in, 16:9 screen. It’s a great idea, giving you more choice of stuff to watch on long journeys as well as giving the kids their own little screen if (ok, when) Mr Tumble and Ben 10 start driving you round the bend in the living room.
All of this tasty tech is wrapped up inside an attractive fold-up casing, styled from top to toe in a glossy white finish. When folded up it’s remarkably slim and light even with the ultra-thin battery attached – always a bonus with portable products – and when you whip open the lid you’ll see the black-framed screen with a speaker down either side, and a bevy of buttons running below it. These control everything from DVD playback to menu navigation and are clearly labelled for their intended purposes. The screen can be swivelled 180 degrees and bent back to rest on the base for ‘tablet’ style viewing.
The lower section houses the disc tray, which pops up unceremoniously when you hit the button on the right. Overall the unit feels a little plasticky and doesn’t feel like it could withstand more than a few rigorous knocks and bumps – as an owner of a beautifully built, still-working Toshiba portable from about six years ago, I’m a little disappointed by the gradual drop in portables’ build quality over the years, but then again how else would Toshiba have continued dropping prices?
Along the right-hand side of the unit you’ll find two headphone jacks for shared listening, and AV output for piping pictures and Dolby Digital sound to an external TV and/or sound system alongside an input for watching external sources on this screen. On the opposite side, you’ll find an SD card slot, which supports vanilla SD cards and, er, strawberry SDHC cards plus the all-important input for the supplied portable aerial. This clicks into place securely – you don’t have to screw it in as you do with some portable antennae.