Small but perfectly formed,this is surprisingly weighty for such a tiny thing.On top of this the smart brushed metallic finish will keep your inner magpie feeling fulfiled.

Open up the sturdy lid and you'll find that if you push the screen back too far the player unbalances and rocks backwards,so if you rest it on your lap,be careful.

Otherwise,the interior contains yet more brushed metal along with the 7in LCD screen and a large space that is allocated for the speakers.There are two sets of circular silver button banks - one for menu navigation and one for playback.This is echoed on the remote control.

On the playback set,the forward/rewind keys are split into two sections.One of these is for rapid advance/rewind while the other one is for chapter skipping.This would be OK if they were more clearly marked but the first few times you are playing with it,you're likely to skip sections you didn't mean to.

The sockets are located on the right-hand side of the player and these include a pair of headphone jacks,audio out,video out,an electrical digital out and the power cable socket.The battery pack snaps on to the back of the unit and adds more bulk and weight but is flat enough to allow the screen to fully open out.

You have access to all the usual play functions - zoom,repeat,A-B repeat slow motion and step frame - and you can view JPEG,MPEG1 and MPEG2,but not MPEG4.On the audio front,you can listen to MP3 but not WMA files.

Picture quality is impressive.Once you get the viewing angle right you'll find yourself looking at some very naturalistic colours.Even if you push the settings up high,they just look more vivid.

Fine detail and black levels are OK too.The picture's not quite as solid as some rivals, but it avoids black holes on all but the darkest scenes.You also get more detail than you would expect for a 7in screen.

What marks this portable DVD player out is the sheer number of options that it throws at you during the audio set-up process.Its basic settings suggest the dialogue is too prominent in the mix,and the upper ranges are tinny.But the PET710 has a virtual surround sound option and switching this on makes the audio more polished.

Further improvements can be made by running through the list of the deck's equaliser settings,some of which will make a dramatic alteration to the sound mix,while you can muck about with downmix settings and even how the sound comes out of the speakers.Needless to say,you'll also hear an improvement if you use a pair of headphones instead, although dialogue remains a touch too prominent still.

If size is a key factor in your buying decision,the PET710 is certainly petit and it has good enough performance levels to compete with some of the larger screens on test here