Long train journeys can be a real chore, but not when you've got one of these bad boys on your lap. Toshiba's top-of-the-range portable DVD deck not only plays DVDs and CDs, but also DiVX, MP3, WMA and JPEG files - making it the ideal all-in-one entertainment system for your travels.

The SD-P1900 is a sight for sore eyes even before you've flipped open the lid, boasting a glossy black finish on the outside and pleasingly slim dimensions. The supplied battery pack is also wafer thin, and offers up to five hours of playback time when fully charged - enough to watch King Kong and Star Wars in one sitting.

Keep a lid on it

Flip open the lid and you'll find all the main playback and menu controls and a flip-up disc tray. The screen is a 9in, 16:9 affair and sports a resolution of 480 x 234 pixels - well below the resolution of PAL DVDs. Contrast ratio is given at 150:1 with a claimed 110º viewing angle, which should prove handy when there are two kids in the back of the car.

Connections include two headphone sockets, an electrical digital audio output for Dolby Digital/DTS bitstream and PCM signals, plus combined composite video/stereo audio minijack output and input.

Other features include Enhanced Audio Mode for 'expansive virtual surround sound effects' from the built-in stereo speakers, a three-stage zoom and brightness and colour adjustments for the LCD screen.

In action, there's much to admire about the SD-P1900's picture quality. Colour reproduction is remarkable, demonstrated by the convincing and accurate portrayal of the varied palette of Revenge of the Sith. Skin tones are well balanced, lacking the nasty red tinge we've seen elsewhere, while bright outdoor scenes look vibrant.

Tricky dark scenes, like Anakin and Obi Wan's lightsaber battle on Mustafar, look well-defined, while the impressive viewing angle keeps the picture looking solid from an off-centre position.

On the downside, the screen's low resolution compromises the sharpness of 576-line DVDs. There is a reasonable amount of detail, but the visible pixel structure results in a 'chicken-wire' effect that makes lines look slightly jagged and edges seem soft.

Compress to play

The screen is better at displaying compressed video files encoded in a lower resolution. Our selection of DiVX trailers and assorted internet-derived clips look great and the deck played them without any glitches.

Sadly, the SD-P1900 is a sonic damp squib as the built in speakers offer no bass at all and a weedy rendition of loud scenes. It's much better with headphones, making movies crisp and punchy.

The SD-P1900 is an accomplished portable deck with a packed feature list and classy looks, but a higher-resolution screen would have made it even better.