Portable DVD Players vs. Laptop Computers

Advantages of a Portable DVD Player

Portable DVD players feature different models and case formats that have flip-up screens; tablet style or clamshell cases.

A portable DVD player usually comes in several screen sizes ranging from 5 to 15 inches with a 7 inch screen model being widely held as ideal for providing uninterrupted viewing and portable convenience.

Some models transform your player into a multimedia device featuring built-in TV tuners, progressive scan display for eliminating scan lines, anti-shock systems to avoid jumping on rough roads, and multi regional playback.

Most portable DVD players are now capable of handling additional formats including MP3 or WMA files, DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R/+RW, JPEG images, VCD, SVCD, DivX, and other formats.

They feature A/V outputs to direct video and audio signals to a TV and speakers, supporting both portable as well as home or hotel use. Some players come with S-video for better video and digital audio output for providing surround sound using a home entertainment system.

Rechargeable lithium batteries boast two to three hours playback time. However, frequent charging and carrying a spare battery can provide for still longer viewing times.

Advantages of a Laptop Computer

Laptops offer massive screen sizes usually from 12 inches to 17 inches with TFT active matrix or dual-scan passive matrix screens. Some smaller screen models are 8.4 inches. However, larger screens are perfect so if you want to avoid peering closely at the screen.

A laptop usually weighs between 3 and 8 pounds with the majority weighing over 5 pounds. Although a lightweight laptop can be compact and fit in your briefcase, a bigger laptop will have extra features.

Laptops offer higher resolution on LCD screens, hitting 2048 x 1536 pixels.

In addition to your personal PC requirements, many laptop packages come with a DVD-ROM for playing back DVDs. An average laptop can play not only DVDs, but is multimedia compatible for playing games and viewing photos.

Laptops have the capability to upgrade codec software and play back many file types. Some laptops now feature shock-resistant hard drive mounts that avoid jumping during bumpy rides.

Li+ batteries used in laptops last longer than the inexpensive NiMH and NiCad batteries that require a frequent charge.

Portable DVD Players vs. Computer Laptops

Laptops are, without doubt, useful devices with their big screen sizes and a wide range of additional features. However, taking a laptop with you for the purpose of watching movies, is all too often a futile idea. A portable DVD player comes in all sizes and is easily portable. The clarity of a 7 inch LCD screen is adequate for clear viewing and easy mobility, unlike laptops which take up a great deal of room in your luggage and tend to annoy anyone sitting next to you. Although some laptops offer potential battery life of three or more hours, there is much more to consume power – the laptop central processing unit (CPU) alone consumes a great deal of power as evidenced by the heat generated. In fact, a laptop’s battery life will rarely allow you to watch an entire movie.

Portable DVD players normally have built-in video output jacks that allow you to connect to a hotel TV or your home system. Most laptops do not feature video outputs other than standard VGA which is fine for large LCD or Plasma screens which offer VGA inputs but may require an adapter for other AV systems. Most good quality laptops are still relatively costly and an inexpensive laptop cannot replace a portable DVD player quality-wise. Cheap laptops offer poor display screens and performance. In addition, if you lose a laptop while travelling, it is vastly more painful than losing an inexpensive portable DVD player.


A portable DVD player is a device designed solely for the purpose of playing DVDs. It has enough battery life to comfortably watch an entire movie. Its extra multimedia functions and features are bonuses, especially for children. A laptop, in contrast, must also run power hungry devices as part of its core operation. Playing DVDs and games are thus only a small part of its activity. Given limited portability, higher risk, battery life and connectivity issues, a portable DVD player proves to be the more attractive option for most people. BOLA TANGKAS