On the opposite side is an SD card slot that supports DivX, MP3, MPEG-1, XviD and JPEG files, but sadly you can’t play DivX HD videos (only files up to 720 x 576 are supported) and it doesn’t like SDHC cards either. It also plays the above file types from recordable CDs and DVDs (everything except RAM is supported) and the onscreen menus for file playback are clear and easy to follow.
The player’s standout feature is the five-hour battery life, which is excellent and only matched in Toshiba’s range by the top-end SD-P93SWE. But for car journeys it’s not an issue, as you get a cigarette outlet power adapter in the box, while other supplied accessories include a black carrying case, a pair of cheapo headphones and a credit card sized remote. The latter sports fiddly buttons and the dreaded shift key for certain functions, plus the play button isn’t nearly prominent enough, but the menu controls are well positioned.
So far so good, but the screen resolution doesn’t bode well for performance – like the SD-P71S it’s 480 x 234, which is lower than the typical PAL DVD-Video resolution of 720 x 576 and will probably lead to the same sort of picture shortcomings seen on previous players. The screen’s brightness and contrast ratio figures are quoted at 250cd/m2 and 400:1 respectively.
Rummaging around in the menus we find all the same features found on previous Toshiba portables, such as Enhanced Audio Mode (which expands the stereo soundstage a bit) and a range of basic picture tweaks like brightness and colour adjustments, plus the ability to invert the screen and select either 4:3 or 16:9 modes.
On an even more basic level, the deck offers x2, x4, x8, and x16 search speeds, slow-motion playback and a three-stage zoom. The setup menu is bright and clear enough to prevent eyestrain when making adjustments and it skips around the options quickly.
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