Toshiba's SD-P2700 is a bit of a head turner.It's very slim and incredibly lightweight,even with the battery pack clipped on.Externally,it's finished in silver while the inside sports a two-tone look - silver disc bay and control panel buttons,and a black screen surround.
The screen is a 8.9in SVGA LCD and has a resolution of 1024 x 600. You can select from a choice of three viewing modes,with 16:9 widescreen, 4:3 normal and 4:3 letterbox,but 16:9 will be the most useful for movie viewing.And for those that like to hold their players vertically in front of them,the screen rotates 180° and folds back on itself.So that's got all the viewing combinations sorted.
Connectivity is decent and includes component video (minus progressive scan),S-video,AV in and out jacks for two channel audio and a bitstream/PCM jack for connecting to an amp with Dolby Digital or DTS decoding.A 3-in-1 card reader handles SD,MMC and Memory Stick for JPEG viewing.There are also two headphone jacks.
The SD-P2700 supports a wide range of file and disc compatibilities. DiVX,XviD,MPEG1 and 2,MP3 and WMA are all supported,while it'll play almost any disc you care to throw at it,except SACD,DVD RAM,dual layer DVD R and DVD-RW in VR mode.
You also get an Enhanced Audio Mode (EAM) and nine equaliser settings thrown in too.
The SD-P2700 is quite noisy when loading a disc,but this dies down during playback.Audio from the speakers sound tinny and gets thinner the more you crank up the volume. Plug in a set of headphones and all this seems to be cured,delivering a well rounded,muscular rendition of The Terminator theme and a deafening stampede of hooves during the finale of Racing Stripes.
The picture has good detail levels, displaying complex sections in the opening sequence of The Terminator satisfyingly enough.It struggled with very dark shades,producing the dreaded black hole effect.Motion is also nice and clean,with chase sequences handled well.
Although picture tweaks are limited to colour and brightness,once you get these to the right level the colours look pretty good.Racing Stripes'more diverse palette was pleasingly rendered; its bold,vivid hues contrasting nicely with moodier night-time scenes down at the farm.
Viewing TV material shot on video, some skin tones during episodes of Seinfeld are too orange and colour levels had to be reduced significantly to counteract them.
The screen is best viewed at an angle of about 20-30° behind the vertical.If you push too far back,you lose some dark sections of the picture,while pitching it too close results in bright spots.But if you and a friend are watching at the same time,you don't particularly suffer when viewing slightly from the side rather than straight on.Battery life is 3.5hr - plenty for most films.
There are still a few quirks that Toshiba could do with ironing out, but the picture quality is good and the functionality you get for the money makes it a fair purchase