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On either side of the buttons are the two stereo speakers. These produce reasonable sound effects for their size, but I always opted for headphones when watching movies as they created a far more immersive environment.
On the left side of the chassis you’ll find sockets for headphones, video out, audio out, optical digital out, and power. There’s also an analogue volume wheel that makes getting the right sound level both quick and simple, with no need to mess around with on screen displays.
With the AV output facility you could, in theory, use the Walking Cinema as a conventional DVD player by connecting it up to your TV and surround sound system. That said, anyone who buys a product like this is going to already have a DVD player, although it does give you the option of using it with your secondary TV in the bedroom or kitchen.
The right side of the case is taken up by the DVD tray that ejects in exactly the same way as most notebook drives. While the rear is pretty barren apart from a fold-out stand for placing the player on a table for viewing.
Holding the Walking Cinema in your hand, makes you realise that the 202 x 154 x 26 dimensions are perfect. The weight (695g) is also well balanced and it fits even small hands well enough for comfortable use. However, one issue with this device is the fact that there is no internal battery. Instead, a large external Lithium-ion battery has to be attached to the bottom of the device in order to make it work on the move. This adds a fair bit of size and weight to the package, and ultimately spoils what is otherwise a very sleek and stylish product.
Obviously the reason that the battery is external is to keep the size down. But then the question is, what’s the point of having it small and sleek when you can’t play anything? Well, that’s not entirely true. In the box you’ll find an AC adapter so you can use the Walking Cinema connected to the mains, without the need for the battery. But more important than this is the car cigarette lighter adapter, which allows you to use the Walking Cinema in the car without having to worry about the battery running out. Of course, this feature is aimed at passengers rather than drivers.
That said, even with the battery attached I found the Walking Cinema comfortable to hold. I took the unit with me on a trip to Marbella and held it in my hands for the duration of the flight while I watched The Bourne Identity without any problems. On the flight back I watched Pulp Fiction and placed the Walking Cinema on the tray table in front of me. Using the fold-out stand I found it easy to achieve a good viewing angle. I managed to watch until the end of “The Gold Watch” section of Pulp Fiction before the plane started to land and I had to switch the player off. With this in mind it’s clear that you can watch a whole movie on one battery charge, and the claims of 2.5hrs battery life aren’t too far from the truth.
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