A portable DVD player, while a luxury, is a great addition to a long car, coach or train journey! I've had this one for four years, and have lent it out several times to family members who wanted teens and kids to stay quiet. This has led to some carsickness, but also a great deal of entertainment.
This, the Toshiba SD P1880, is an average option.
The unit looks very very good. It is slim (folded it is only around 3cm thick). The screen is a reasonable 8", with the thin speakers next to it. There are six round buttons at the top right of the unit for mode, picture, setup, menu, top menu and return. There is a circular button for selecting DVD options, and play, stop, pause and two skip buttons at the bottom right.
The buttons are spaced out enough so you don't end up accidentally hitting two at once. Finally there is a button which opens where the DVD goes in.
Down the right side are inputs for power, AV in and out, 2 earphone jacks and a volume control dial. One the front edge is a memory card slot. The left side has the power on/off switch (though not on mine, more on that later).
It plays DVDs, CDs and will also give you a slideshow of photos if you put in a memory card (SD, MMC, MS, XD).
My player was bought 4 years ago and cost around £200 as far as I can recall. It is now only really available second-hand. Toshiba is quite a well-known brand, and for that reason these sell for slightly more than similar models from other brands.
The player claims to have 4 hours of battery life. I have never put this to the test for two reasons. The first is that it comes with both a mains plug and an in-car power lead. The second is that I've had to modify my DVD player because it broke, with the consequence that it can't be switched off to charge the battery.
It breaking wasn't anything major: the power switch just didn't connect anymore and was just loose. Luckily my granddad is/was an electrical engineer and was able to permanently fix the wires together. I have no idea whether this is a problem with the model or something that selectively affected mine, but it is important to note.
Using it is easy. The player opens comfortably enough to change discs. DVDs take a while to load, and loading is reasonably noisy but that doesn't really matter in a car. It copes very well too with being bumped around in a car and doesn't just skip all over the place.
The screen is big enough and really bright and clear. It can be shared between 2 kids in the back of the car because of the 2 earphone jacks.
Overall I've been quite impressed with this. It has provided a great deal of entertainment, not just DVDs but I also use it sometimes as a digital photo frame. However, it was quite expensive. It also broke, granted in a way that was simple to repair, but doubtless not for everyone. For these reasons, a balanced 3/5 stars seems appropriate.