Samsung's DVD-L300 - 10" Of Portable DVD Goodness

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Samsung's DVD-L300 - 10" Of Portable DVD Goodness
Testing the L300 Beauty

Product: Samsung DVD-L300
Provided By: Samsung Canada
Price: ~ $519USD on Pricewatch


Samsung recently contacted me and gave me a bit of a choice.  They wanted me to take a look at their portable DVD players, and offered me either their 10" L300 unit or the 12" L1200.  Both offered the same resolution - native DVD resolution of 720x480, so I opted for the 10" model as it should offer better quality as opposed to stretching the resolution another 2".  Even at 10", this is the largest portable unit that I have ever had the pleasure to use.  As good as it sounds, there are a couple of issues that we'll address later.  Read on to find out if this unit should be added to your Christmas wish list.

Before we get too involved, let's take a look at the package that you get with the DVD-L300.

The Samsung DVD-L300 comes with everything you really need to get going.  It ships with a remote, manual, AC adapter & DC adapter, as well as a standard battery, audio and video cables.  What makes this unit remarkable is that not only can you pipe audio and video out from the unit to your home theatre setup, you can also pipe video and audio into this unit!  That's right, you can play XBOX, or watch TV on the L300!  Very cool feature indeed.  Speaking of features, lets take a look at some key features from Samsung.

Playback: DVD-Video VCD, CD-DA Playback: CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R Stero Speakers Remote Control Video DAC: 10Bit, 27MHz
Audio DAC: 96KHz, 24Bit Screen Type: 10" 16:9 Display Type: TFT LCD Panel 1,150,000 Pixels 2.5Hr Playback
2.5Hr Charge Time Composite Video: In/Out S-Video: Out Stereo Audio: In/Out Digital Audio Out
Power Consumption: 12W/.1W Weight: 1.1kg Headphone Jack: 2 Headphone/Speaker Volume: 1

For the full list of features and product information, take a look at the product page here:

Product Shots:

This is a very attractive little unit.  It looks like a super-sleek PowerBook, but realistically, it's even better, becuase it's not a MAC.

One the right side of the unit are the heaphone jacks and volume control (just visible on the bottom of the pic).  I'm quite pleased with the inclusion of two heaphone jacks.  This unit has a large enough screen, and wide enough viewing angle to support a couple of people watching, so it makes sense that they would include a pair of jacks.  The solitary volume control is used to adjust the volume of both jacks simultaneously.


Along the left side, things get a little more interesting.  Samsung has done some pretty nifty stuff with the I/O.  The yellow jack is the video in/out jack.  Using the included cable, you can pipe your video out through S-Video to any compatible video source.  You can also use the input to pipe in Composite video and hook up your VHS, Camcorder, DVD, XBOX, Playstation 2 or any other source and use the DVD-L300 as a display.  You can even hook it up to a computer that supports composite out, and score yourself a handy little 10" monitor!  They also do some cool stuff with the audio I/0.  You can run your audio in and out by standard 1/8" to RCA connectors, or use the digital audio out feature.  Features?  I think so!

The controls on the DVD-L300 are quite easy to understand and use.  Although not able so see in the picture, the unit itself has all the features, and controls of most set-top DVD players.  It supports bookmarking, multiple viewing angles, subtitles, chapter skip, as well as reversing the display.  This feature will flip the image upside down, which seams pretty useless, until you consider sticking on a couple of velcro strips, and mounting this sucker on the roof of your van.  Sweet.

Also included are some preset contrast and brightness profiles.  These are useful for one touch adjustments for viewing in low light, indoors or outdoors.  It's sort of like "MagicBright" for Portable DVD Players.

The remote is where I find the biggest letdown.  It's not the size or the range, but the lack of one super important ability: volume control.  The remote has no volume control at all.  This will nullify the ability to hook it directly to your TV or to have it out of arms reach.  If the movie is really good and the background noise gets a little loud, you'll have to pause the movie with the remote, get up and turn up the volume.  Not cool.  Not cool at all.

The range on the remote is really quite good however, and it easily works in the 10' - 12' range.  Which should be more than enough when viewing on a 10" screen.

Now that we've taken a bit of a look at the unit itself, let's analyse the performance and quality on the next page.