It's quite unusual for a Goodmans product to weigh in at the high end of the price scale, so you might be wondering just where this expense is hiding,since the outer casing has a slight plasticky feel to it. It is,however,neat, tidy and positively waif-like.
Open it up and you'll find a generously sized 10in TFT LCD screen with a pair of speaker apertures below.The inside is decked out in black with silver accents and although the layout of the keys looks awkward, they are, in practice easy to use.
Unlike the Toshiba's swivel screen,the one on the Goodmans only moves back and forward and if you attach the battery pack, it restricts how far back you can tilt it. But this isn't a problem because the best viewing angle is achieved only slightly back from the vertical.
With the battery snapping on at the back, all of the sockets are located at the player's sides.The lefthand has the power socket and SD/MMC card slot used for viewing pictures, with all else on the right.A pair of headset sockets is provided, along with an electrical digital out, audio and video sockets and a neat slider switch to set for AV in or AV out connections.
Most DVD formats are supported. The exceptions are DVD-A,SACD and DVD-RAM,while the VR mode of DVD-RW and the CD side of Dual Discs aren't supported.MP3 and JPEGs are okay,but the remainder of the MPEG file family (including DiVX) are off limits along with WMA.
The Goodmans turns in a performance that's a joy to behold and this is where you start to see what your £300 buys you.It starts up quickly and quietly and operational noise is kept to a minimum.
The onscreen picture is very good in colour and detail.The preset colour levels produced natural looking landscapes while the rich hues of Vanity Fair glowed with warmth.If you wish to adjust them though,you have a 19-point scale for colour,contrast and brightness,plus a five-point sharpness scale.
Even the black levels were good, rendering an impressive range of shades on such a small screen during dark scenes in The Terminator.The picture remained solid and convincing,even revealing things we probably shouldn't have noticed,such as a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger's manhood as he confronts three punks for their clothes.And to top off a great visual performance, fine detail was excellent,even picking out the pores on actors' faces during close-ups.
Sound is usually an issue for portable DVD players,but even here the Goodmans had a surprise to spring.Although it's lacking some oomph in the volume department, the sound you do get is nicely balanced across the range and not tinny.There is a set of headphones provided for private listening,and while these offer a significant increase in volume,balance seems to have been sacrificed a bit,with the treble sounding tinny.
Overall, picture quality is excellent and we found that the sound is okay too. It lacks DiVX playback,but then if you're only playing discs, this should definitely be up there on your shortlist.