Girls Road Trip 2018: I compare 4 Portable DVD Players on a Budget (UEME 1010 and 1020, Magnavox & Sylvania)

The Background:  On last years Girls Road Trip camping across South Dakota, we found that many of the places we camped at left a chunk of time between 'ready for bed' and 'sleep'.  

While the idea of sitting around a campfire before retiring to bed sounds idealistic; it isn't something you want to do every night for 2 weeks but even if we did, we couldn't.  There were places we camped that didn't allow any open fires at all.  Other times it was wet and impossible to get fires going.  Still other times, so cold and snowy that being bundled up inside was all we wanted to do. And admittedly there are other times when you have a chance to get cleaned up and freshly showered, you don't want to smell like smoke.  I read every night before bed but about a week into our trip, in which I had my laptop with, I found I also had a Friends DVD stashed in the disk drive.  I started the disk and we enjoyed watching a couple episodes of Friends. That's when we realized having some sort of 'something different' to fill the void between 'ready for bed' and 'sleep' was awesome.  And this year I geared up for it by buying the entire series of Friends from Amazon.  (Friends: The Complete Series)

This is when I decided to look into portable DVD players.

Blah blah.  
I'm going to skip the babble because you all know how I can ramble.  
Let's just cut to the chase.

A portable DVD Player is a mobile, battery powered DVD player. They range in size from a tiny 7 inch screen on up to 14"+ like a laptop.  Many of the more recent players being produced also play files from USB flash drives and SD cards as well as DVD's.

While I thought I would buy one - I realized the Navy Seal motto of "two is one and one is none" might apply here.  I might want two.  Most all the portable DVD players on the market have sketchy reviews - either they don't work right out of the box, or they worked well.  So many reviews gave the products a 1 or 2 stars or gave it a 5.  Black and white.  Little gray.  I also realized that with hit-or-miss electrical power available to us during our trip, having 2 players might be nice not only as a backup for one not working, but if one battery dies, we'd have another option until we could charge them either in the car while driving to the next destination or if we had electrical power (which we almost never will on this trip).  Lastly, I figured I'd try two different brands.

But after researching I ended up purchasing 4. I'm going to skip the long drawn out thought process to that - but believe me, there was one.

In the end I chose:

  • UEME 1010
  • UEME 1020
  • Sylvania SDVD9020
  • Magnavox 7" MTFT750

I was primarily researching at Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart although I also looked at about 6 or 7 other sites as well.  I chose two with a larger 10" screen, one with a 9" screen and one that I'm hoping will be 'toddler friendly' with a 7" screen.

During my research I could not find any difference between the UEME 1010 and 1020 other than the button style.  Everything else seemed to be exactly the same.  Finally, I just decided to order both.  And guess what?  Except for the button style they ARE exactly the same.  EXACTLY. As a matter of fact, the paperwork is apparently the same for 4 of their models;  0091, 0093, 1010 and 1020.

The paperwork with the UEME players is exactly the same for 4 of their portable dvd players

From Amazon's product description(s) for the UEME 1010 and 1020:

Model: PD-1010 and 1020

Key Features
10.1" TFT color LCD display 16:9 wide screen
1024x 600 Resolution
180+90 degrees rotating screen
Built-in rechargeable lithium battery, plays up to 4-hours per charge. Notes: the real working time depends on how to use, the louder sound will take more power consumption
Built-in stereo speakers (2x1.5W)
Built-in 3.5mm headphone jack
AV OUT ports, you can connect it to a TV so that your movies can be played on your large screen
Connecting a device (e.g.video camera) to display on the dvd player via AV IN port
Support disc format: CD, DVD, DVD+R(-R), DVD+RW(-RW), VCD, SVCD, HDCD, CD-R(RW) (Note: do not support blue-ray disc)
Support video format: vob, avi, xvid, flv, mpeg1, mpeg2, mpeg4 (Note: ensure avi file resolution under 720p)
Support audio format: MP3, WMA
Support image file format: JPEG, BMP
Built in USB port and SD card slot. You can also enjoy movies, music, photos from a USB or memory card by using the built-in USB port and card reader
Shock resistant function
Region: free
The mount holder fits most of car headrest. Put the DVD player in it and tie it to the headrest, so that the passangers of back seat can enjoy the movies on the go

Package list
1*10.1 inch portable DVD player
1*Car headrest mount holder
1*Remote controller
1*AC power adapter
1*Car charger
1*AV cable
1*User manual

The two boxes side by side upon delivery.

Taking them out of the box, I couldn't find any differences on the boxes - not even the model names. It's a general box for both models.

Yep - completely alike.  No model number or name mentioned on the boxes.

Unboxing:  Both exactly the same with the same remotes, cords and chargers.  Packaged alike as well.

Side by side, straight out of the box.  No difference except the style of the buttons on the top for volume, play, stop, etc.

The BUTTON STYLES are the only differences between the UEME 1010 and 1020 portable dvd players.

Side by side out of the box and turned on after charging.

The set-up and internal choices and options are exactly the same on both models. 



The difference in the intensity of the colors on the screens is slightly different even with both settings the same. That's it for differences though. 



Both played equally well, the images were great, start and stopping was no problem and the sound was surprisingly good.

Here are close ups of both button styles.
Both worked the same and equally well.



Although lightweight and cheap 'feeling' compared to the portable DVD players of 'old', these performed well, had no lines in the screens, had good sound without having to use ear buds and have the added bonus of coming with not only all the accessories like the car charger and remotes, but also have a lightweight case to insert the player and attach it to the headrest of your vehicle for the backseat riders to watch during travel.

I've noted the players that look exactly like these are sold under many different 'brand' names on Amazon from China.  Like most of their goods (cell phone covers, clothing, etc.) they seem to make the exact same item and use the exact same photos but each seller brands it with their own brand.  It looks as though these players are sold under many brand names on Amazon; I chose UEME because of the sheer number of items sold and reviews (I prefer 2000 reviews verses 1 review).


Now for the 'toddler friendly' DVD player I chose.  This one reminds me of the CD players my kids had when they were little.  A boxy little gadget that plays one single disk, doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, doesn't have a swivel screen or easily breakable parts.  Close it up and it looks much like a waffle iron.

I bought this one with a 3 year old and a 2 year old in mind to use.

Straight out of the box

Basic and small, it actually looks much like a waffle maker when it's closed.

The first thing I did before turning any of them on was to charge them using the included wall chargers

From Amazon:  Product Description

Great for road trips, commutes, and flights, the Magnavox 7-Inch TFT Screen Portable DVD/CD Player (MTFT750) lets you enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows wherever you go. This portable media player features a convenient folding design and a 7-inch TFT color screen. The DVD/CD player is also compatible with CD-R, CD-RW, and JPEG discs, so you can watch movies or play albums, anywhere, anytime. Listen to music via the built-in stereo speakers using the 3.5mm headphone input, or connect the DVD/CD player to a TV or sound system with the AV out jack. The DVD/CD player can be easily controlled using the buttons on the base of the player or with the included remote control. The built-in rechargeable battery offers 2.5 hours of battery life and can be easily charged on the go using the included AC and car adapters.

Pretty basic.  I plugged it in to charge and lifted the DVD door to remove the protective paper.

After charging I popped a kids DVD in to test it.  Screen looked good and no lines or troubles straight out of the box.

My thoughts on this one is that for an adult, it's a bit too loud when working.  Meaning, it whooshes, clicks, whirs and hums.  You wouldn't hear that if you are using earphones or ear buds but if you are using it in a car or on an airplane, your seatmate or the person next to you sure will hear it and probably not be too happy.  However when the volume up and no ear phones used, you start to listen to the movie and block out the background noise.  Well, mostly anyway. 

It seemed to work just fine outside of being 'loud'.   It only offers a 2 1/2 hour long battery life so it's the least powerful of the 4 dvd players I bought but again; for the toddlers it seems to be a good choice. But out of the 4 portable DVD players I bought, this was clear loser due to how loud all the internal works are.  I would not want to be sitting next to someone using this with headphones because the whooshing and whirring doesn't stop when the movie gets playing.  It stays fairly loud the whole time.


The final dvd player is a Sylvania.  These pretty much flood the market and are available in different colors.  Mostly red, blue and black but also pink and purple and currently they have kids versions with cartoon covers as well.  I really wanted a black one because the colored models looked cheap to me.  However, Walmart had these $10 cheaper than Amazon but they did not have black available.  They only had blue and red at the time I ordered so I chose blue and decided this would also most likely be a 'toddler' friendly DVD player for road trips and the blue suited the 3 1/2 year old just fine.

The box it comes in
Product description: 

Sylvania 9-Inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD

DVD/CD/MP3 Player with 5 Hour Built-In Rechargeable Battery, USB/SD Card Reader, AC/DC Adapter
Watch all your favorite DVDs on the go with the SDVD9020, 9 Inch swivel screen portable DVD player from Sylvania. The SDVD9020 has a built in long life, 5 hour battery included! With a 9 Inch widescreen, the picture jumps out at you. The slim design lets you to take it just about anywhere you go. Plus, you can jump into a movie right out of the box - just plug in the included stereo earphones, pop in a DVD and press play. This portable DVD player is great for long rides in the car or plane trips. Sylvania's SDVD9020 9 Inch portable DVD player packs a big punch with a large screen, versatile playing options at a low price!
Home, Car and Travel Ready
Includes both Home and Car power adapters.

First, I want to say I really liked the protective packaging.  It was very well protected during the delivery process.


Like the other portable DVD players I first plugged it in to completely charge before turning it on.
I inserted a kids DVD and checked the image, screen and sound.


Wow!  Awesome.  For a really affordable dvd player this one won me over.  Even if it is a hokey blue color.
It's lightweight and cheap feeling like all of them tend to be but it played well.  It has the swivel screen option which I don't love for a 3 1/2 year old but if it's handled by me, propped in the car or otherwise not really handled by him, he might stay oblivious to that fact for a while.

Sound was good even without ear buds.  I was using the Monsters, Inc dvd on this test and the colors, sound, images were great.  In the end I still wish I could have ordered it in basic black (and I could have if I waited for Walmart to restock black or bought this one off Amazon like I did the other 3) but I'm very happy with it.

In the end I'm thrilled with ALL FOUR of my purchases although the clear "loser" was the Magnavox.  They all charged perfectly right out of the box, they all started right up and played the different DVD's I test on them.  Sound was adequate without ear buds or ear phones although when I'm traveling in the car and more than one person is watching, I plan to use my portable speaker with it so everyone can hear it well over the sound of road.  (I bought both an Oontz and a Fugoo and like both!)

I took weeks to research and ordered with a bit of trepidation but in the end I'm happy with all 4.  Ranking them, I like the 2 UEME's best, followed by the Sylvania and then the Magnovox.


Products related to this post, available through Amazon;

Sylvania 9-Inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD/CD/MP3 Player with 5 Hour Built-In Rechargeable Battery, USB/SD Card Reader, AC/DC Adapter

Magnavox 7-Inch TFT Screen Portable DVD/CD Player (MTFT750)

UEME 10.1" Portable DVD Player CD Player with Car Headrest Holder, Swivel Screen Remote Control Rechargeable Battery Car Charger Wall Charger, Personal DVD Player PD-1010 (Black)

UEME 10.1" Portable DVD Player CD Player with Car Headrest Mount Holder, Swivel Screen Remote Control Rechargeable Battery AC Adapter Car Charger, Personal DVD Player PD-1020 (Black)