How many of you have taken a trip or vacation in a car with kids? Whether they are your own children or not, you know that it is hard to keep them entertained. Now, how many of you have been stuck in an airport, train or bus terminal with nothing to do but watch as strange people walk by and do funny things? All of these unnerving situations can be remedied with a simple device, a portable DVD player.
- 10.2″ 16:9 color TFT widescreen LCD
- DVD, MP3, CD, CD-R/RW, Kodak Picture CD playback
- Anti-shock system
- A/V and optical outputs
- Built-in stereo speakers
- Includes remote, car charger, and Li-Ion rechargeable battery
In The Box
There are several items that come in the box. You will want to make sure you get them all so that your experience with this device is the best it can be. You get the basics that most electronic devices come with including an AC power cord, user manual, AV cables and a remote control. With this device you also get a DC power cord for your car, and Lithium-Ion battery pack, and a headphone to stereo cable. Please make sure you charge the battery for the full amount specified in the user manual before you use it. This will keep you from damaging the battery and shortening it’s life.
The design is plain. There are no fancy colors and no hidden compartments. It is rectangular like a small laptop. Instead of a keyboard you have the DVD drive and some controls. The screen fills the whole lid except for about an inch on each of the sides, which is taken up by the two speakers.
One of the features that I liked the most is that on the right side you will find two head phone jacks. This really saves on having to fight with a headphone jack splitter and other hassles. I would have, however, liked to have seen two volume controls, one for each jack. In addition to the headphone jacks on the right, there are several ports for connecting this DVD player to your tv and stereo. The power plug is also on the right side. On the left side of the MDP-1020 you will find the power switch. On the front is the IR port for the remote and a light that indicates power and charge status.
The controls are well placed and big enough to be pressed with any size fingers. They also give a good solid click when they are pressed. The monitor and source buttons are the only two that do not directly interface with the movie. The source button is for telling the device where the video feed is coming from. The monitor button is used to adjust the picture during playback. If you press the button once it lets you adjust the brightness. If you press it a second time then you can adjust the color. If you press it a third time, then you are able to switch between full screen or normal mode. Normal leaves about an inch on each side of the screen unused. Full screen stretches the sides so that they cover the full width of the screen. The funny thing about full screen though, is that it does not increase the height of the movie. For example while playing Lord of the Rings Widescreen edition, I switched between full screen and normal and the only thing that changed was the width of the movie. Don’t you think that if you increase the width of a movie you should also increase the height so the aspect ratio stays the same? In fact, the stretching was so bad in some places that it introduced artifacts in the movie and messed up some of the text.
In order to test the performance of a DVD player you must play DVD’s. I watched two movies on this DVD player during my testing. The movies were Monsters Inc. and Lord of the Rings The Return of the King. The DVD player performed well during both of the movies. I could not find any major flaws that would cause the DVD player not to work. All my movies played just fine without any skipping, unless it is bumped. This is not the most high quality DVD player, so I was able to find several factors that could sway your decision to buy this item. Mintek seems to have skimped a little on just about every feature. They didn’t use the best screen, the best speakers or the best DVD player. But that is probably what helped them to keep their costs down. Just remember, you get what you pay for.
The screen is an impressive 10.2 inches wide. You would think that it would be good for watching wide screen movies. I had a different experiance. In normal mode the wide screen movies do not go the full width and in full screen mode they are streched and make the movie almost unwatchable. The screen is not as clear as other LCD screens and sometimes the resolution seemed fuzzy, especially with shots that are heavy in detail. During the playback of Lord of the Rings, anytime I saw a long shot of Minas Tirith or the huge armys everything was a bit fuzzy and it was hard to pick out details. I could not find any problems with Monsters Inc., which is probably because it is a cartoon and does not contain as much detail.
The speakers are adequate. They are not the best, but they do a decent job of reproducing some sounds. I often found myself having to lean closer to understand some of the talking. The best sound is going to be received through head phones. Not only do they bring the sound closer to your ears, but they also help to block some of the background noise that makes it hard to hear the movie. The speaker volume is great, you can really turn up the sound so that you can hear it over background noise.
The DVD player is probably the worst part of the whole thing. I had some problems with the amount of noise that the player produced. You probably will not notice it as much if you are in a noisy car or airport. I tested this device in a fairly quiet room so I did notice the noise, and it bothered me quite a bit. It is especially noisy when you start and stop the movies, and when you skip chapters. During normal play the noise level is lower, but it can still be heard.
Battery life on the other hand was just as promised. I got a full 3 hours and 5 minutes of battery before it ran out and shut off the movie. It got me through all of Lord of the Rings, except for about the last 20 minutes. This was very good since most movies are shorter than 3 hours. You should have plenty of battery life to watch any movie. Charging the battery from empty takes about 5 hours and can only be done if the machine is turned off. There is no cradle for the battery so you cannot watch movies and charge the battery at the same time. You must leave the battery attached to the DVD player and leave it off for a good 5 hours before it will be fully charged. You will know when it is charged because the light in the front of the device, which is orange while charging, will turn off. Most people will probably do the charging at night so that it does not get in the way of watching movies.
This device does an adequate job of playing movies. I would personally recommend it to those who are not picky about picture or sound and they don’t want to pay a lot of money. If you do buy this I highly recommend that you keep the screen set to normal mode so that you do not streach the picture and reduce the number of artifacts. If that is not a problem for you, then you have bought yourself a great portable DVD player. Don’t expect much help from the Mintek website. It is very bare bones and a lot of the pages are not complete. They don’t even have this device, MDP-1020, or its close cousin the MDP-1010 listed as a product that they sell. At best, you will only be able to get a contact phone number or email address for the company.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|