|Child's play: Simple enough for a child to use|
The idea was to see if these gadgets live up to their more expensive counterparts or whether these lower cost versions which make less of a dent on the budget just aren't as good.
We were able to pick a low-cost gadget that retails for around £50 from the choice of an MP3 player, a mini-camcorder, a tablet, an e-reader or a portable DVD player. We chose to review the Curry's Essentials 7" Portable DVD player.
We picked the Portable DVD player because it is an item that we have thought of purchasing several times before but in the past, the price of these was higher, retailing at around £100-£150 and the high cost had put us off.
We had a short holiday break planned (which we have now just arrived home from) and we knew the car journey would be an ideal opportunity to put the Portable DVD player to the test!
It arrived with everything you need to use it including a built-in rechargeable battery with mains charger, and in-car charger (perfect for those longer journeys) and even a remote control! (although we didn't need to use the remote).
There was also an instruction booklet but it was so straightforward and intuitive to use that we didn't even need to look at the instructions. The day it arrived, I just charged the device, handed it to 8 year old J and off he went to try it out. I think the toughest part was deciding which DVD to watch.
|It kept the kids entertained at home...|
I was expecting the battery power to run out at this point, but then 7 year old D came down to choose a second video to watch and I was left in peace again whilst they enjoyed Happy Feet Two.
At this point, I have to admit that I was very impressed with the Portable DVD player and this was BEFORE we had even set out on our holiday!
After a few more days of counting down "how many sleeps before our holiday", we set off. The car journey was not particularly long but I was still looking forward to a peaceful journey as the boys had chosen their DVD and were all set to watch it en route.
But then..."I feel sick" J calls out from the back seat. So the DVD player was promptly turned off and they just tried to relax and get a bit of fresh air in through the window for the rest of the journey. So that bit didn't quite go to plan. But all was not lost as you will see...
When we arrived at our holiday accommodation - a 3 bedroom static caravan - we soon realised just how hard it would be to get the boys to stay quiet so that 13 month old T could sleep. They settled well that evening (as thankfully they each had their own room - albeit very tiny). The next morning I heard J wake. It was 4.57am. This is not unusual for him as with his ASD he has always found sleep a struggle.
I feared that he would then make enough noise to wake T up but to my surprise, me and T managed to stay asleep for another couple of hours. What had led to this miracle? J (and subsequently D when he woke up) had chosen a DVD and were sitting quietly watching it on the Portable DVD player.
|...and in our holiday accommodation.|
The only one negative that I could find with the Portable DVD player was that the volume didn't go up very high so it did sound a little quiet at times. However, from a mummy's point of view wanting some peace and quiet this actually was more of a positive (you can use headphones with it too if you wish to).
When at home the boys usually tend to choose the computer or games consoles to entertain themselves with. But the portable DVD player proved to be a huge hit on holiday as an alternative for keeping them occupied.
I can see this being really useful to us over the next few years as T gets to an age (somewhere around 2 or 3 years old I am guessing) where she will have sufficient attention span and ability to watch a suitable DVD whilst on a long journey whilst her brothers play on their DS consoles. That way she won't feel left out as she will have her own gadget too.
Overall a big thumbs up from us for this product!
Disclosure: We were given £50 by moneysupermarket.com for the purpose of purchasing a gadget to review. All opinions are our own honest opinions. For more information on insuring your holiday gadgets and possessions see moneysupermarket.com's travel insurance information.