Panasonic DMP-B200 review

Panasonic's portable DMP-B200 Blu-ray player has much to commend it, but new tablet rivals offer more Tested at £300

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

This is a fine Blu-ray portable, but the rise of tablet alternatives pushes it into a niche


  • +

    Good picture with all formats

  • +

    decent sound (via headphones)

  • +

    decent value


  • -

    Basic spec means no DLNA, BD-Live or USB in

  • -

    price puts it in iPad territory

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Much as with other Blu-ray players, portable players are becoming cheaper with each successive generation. Witness the new Panasonic DMP-B200 (£300), which costs exactly half the £600 of 2009’s DMP-BD15.

Load the Lord Of the Rings trilogy on Blu-ray, and the DMP-B200’s picture
is stable and convincing, with vibrant colours and crisp edge definition.

Contrast is good too (so long as you sit face-on), although you’ll find that the very darkest scenes can be murkier than they’d appear on a modern LED-backlit panel.

A fine picture performance
Spin a DVD and you’ll discern a shade more shimmer in backgrounds, plus a
little more haziness to edges, but it’s nothing to get worked up about.

By any measure, this is a decent portable picture – even if its 8.9in LCD screen is 1024x600 resolution, rather than the 1920x1080 of Blu-ray.

And sound? The fitted speakers are predictably tinny, but through decent headphones, clarity and bass are admirable.

The rest of the package is respectable enough, too: you get a remote handset,
a rechargeable battery pack, an in-car charger and headrest bracket, plus a
single HDMI output to allow for easy connection to your TV.

Doubles up at home too
Thanks to that socket, the Panasonic can double up as your living-room player too, and it’s a fair performer in that regard, save for a shade less grip over panning when compared to the latest standalone decks.

Weaknesses? It’s disappointing that there’s no USB input, which would have made it easier to use the Panasonic as a hub for other digital media content. There’s no ethernet or wi-fi either, so BD-Live and DLNA sharing are out.

But the biggest issue facing the DMP-B200 is that an Apple iPad 2 costs only a little more, and clearly offers more flexibility for your cash (even if it can’t play physical Blu-ray discs).

Only you can judge whether the ability to play your discs on the move outweighs that versatility.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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