Hands On: Mustek MP100 Portable DVD Player: I've never been keen on portable DVD players because I've always preferred watching my discs on a largish TV screen with decent speakers. Or so I thought. When Mustek sent me an MP100 to play with, I realized that half the time I watch my DVDs (at night or when I'm traveling), it's on my iBook's 12'' screen. It seems necessity pared down my requirements when I wasn't looking.
All this is to say that until the $299 MP100 (which is just now available), I'd never used a portable DVD player in real-world conditions -- i.e., on my lap while lying on the couch in the middle of the night, or in the office when the other players and computers are occupied or inconvenient.
In an nutshell: hey, not bad. Admittedly, I had to fiddle with the color settings to get a decent image on the Aeon Flux DVDs (Peter Chung's original animation, not the Charlize Theron remake), but after that it looked fine. I used the MP100 for a month in place of my iBook; battery life was good and it handled every flavour of DVD or CD I could throw at it (I tried everything short of DL media or DVD-RAM).
The gimmick -- the LCD can twist 180 degrees, and you can optionally fold it back to lie flat, like a tablet PC -- works surprisingly well. It also means you can angle the screen easily if you need to position the player on a surface one way for balance (or if your desk is a perpetual mess, like mine), but need to see the screen on an odd angle. Throw in the credit-card size remote and included car adapter and you've got a nice little package.
[Via Digital World ]
Derik's Thoughts: I use my 12" Powerbook much the same way. I'm really starting to warm up to the idea of a dedicated player.