Don't Buy a Dud: The Best Portable DVD Players

It's nearly time for summer vacation, and if you're considering a portable DVD player for your family road trip, make sure you snag a good one. We tested a number of models to find the best options for your money. Check out our full test results here.

Sony DVP-FX820 ($180)

This Sony has an 8-inch swiveling screen that's hinged like a laptop but then can be turned and folded flat for better viewing. That, coupled with its conveniently located controls, helped it to earn its second-place title. To boot, the Sony also had one of the longest-lasting batteries, clocking in at over 5 hours, and our consumer testers found it a cinch to use, making it ideal for those non-tech-savvy travelers. It also has two headphone jacks, a car power adapter, AC adapter, and remote control, and Dolby Digital sound. Find It at

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GPX PD708B ($80)

The GPX is durable, portable, and affordable - a fine choice for anyone on a budget. It received a high score for battery life, which lasted 4 hours, 13 minutes. This one is not necessarily for those who judge a DVD player by its cover: It scored toward the bottom for appearance. Its small, 7-inch screen might also be a deterrent if multiple people plan to watch together. Includes dual headphone jacks, a car adapter, AC adapter, and a remote.
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Memorex MVDP1102 ($180)
The 10.2-inch LCD screen may be the closest you'll come to having a movie theater in your car. Thanks to its superlong battery life (5 hours and 45 minutes) and ample screen, it received the highest score for performance. For those seeking a sturdy model, however, this one may not be for you. Despite the built-in anti-skip function, this portable DVD player scored the lowest on our "shake" test and was the only player that restarted to the beginning of the movie when jostled. This might make you think twice about allowing the kids to manage the movies, even though it has a parental lock, which mutes out objectionable language. The unit comes with a two headphone jacks, car power adapter, AC adapter, remote control, and Dolby Digital sound. Find the Lowest Price

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Philips PET726 ($200)
A lightweight player, the Philips comes with two 7-inch widescreens - two kids can each have their own, eliminating viewing territory disputes. Each has a car-mounting pouch to hang on the back of the front seat for hands-free entertainment. Just don't take this player on the bumpy roads: Despite an anti-skip function, it performed in the bottom three in our jostling tests, suffering from excessive skipping. Its battery life was exceptionally poor - the lowest of the test - just 2 hours, 8 minutes before needing a recharge. Also includes a car power adapter, AC adapter, remote control, Dolby Digital, sound, parental lock (to prevent viewing of DVDs with certain ratings), and USB compatibility. Buy the Latest Model

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What do you bring on road trips to keep your kids occupied? Share your suggestions with us!

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.