Plugged In: I Want My DVD
You can't hurl a DVD these days without hitting a portable DVD player. For business travelers it may seem redundant to pack one along with your computer - most of which play DVDs, MP3s, CDs and more. But the benefits of these compact and amazingly crisp little units may surprise you. Below are three models that give you a lot of visual and aural bang for your buck.

Sound quality, with built-in speakers or headphones, rivals your local Cineplex, and youíll have control over the video imaging with easy adjustments at the touch of a button. And why chew up valuable laptop battery time with your favorite double feature on the way to Tokyo when you can lean on your DVD player? Plus, it can do double duty as a baby sitter for the kids on long car trips.

Below are three models that give you a lot of visual and aural bang for your buck.

TOSHIBA SD-P2600
Toshiba outshines the competition with this 8.9-inch widescreen player. Few have a picture that can compare to this one. Itís sleek, roadworthy and versatile, with its ability to play back DVD-video, DVD-R, VCDs, MP3/WMA CDs and a host of other formats.

We could give the 10-bit, 54 MHz video digital-to-analog convert spiel, but weíll spare you the techno-geek jargon. Just know that itís amazingly clear, whether youíre sitting in a plane, or plugging it into your home theater system.

You get a slick credit card-size remote, a battery that lasts 3.5 hours, picture zoom, and superb stereo audio output into speakers, which though great, can be hard to hear, and more preferably into something like Bose QuietComfort headphones. (There are two headphone-out jacks so you can share with a partner.)

In fact, the SD-P2600 passes both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-channel surround sound signals through its coaxial-type digital-audio output for connection to a audio/video receiver. www.toshiba.com; $699

AUDIOVOX D1705PK
For those on a tighter budget, the D1705PK offers a 7-inch screen, full format versatility, a three-hour battery, and even a cigarette lighter adapter for use in your car.

The D1705PKís 16:9 aspect ratio delivers a great picture, and the Dolby Digital/DTS/Q-Surround sound offers a vibrant audio signal. www.panasonic.com; $699


Technophile Don Campbell lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.
Photo by Renata Kosina