BenQ DVD Gem

If you want a DVD drive you can carry around in your bag for watching movies and occasionally for use with your PC, BenQ wants you to think about the DVD Gem. The Gem is small (135x44.5x165mm, WxHxD) and light (550g) and can play DVDs, CDs and MP3 discs. Our review model came fitted with speedy new USB 2.0 interface, but the read speed of the Gem is 6x DVD-ROM and 24x CD-ROM.

Underscoring its role as a portable DVD player rather than a work-ready component, it comes with a dinky remote control — essential for getting the most out of your DVD viewing. Setting it up is very easy: just plug it in and connect it to either your PC or TV, and pop in the DVD. For use with your PC, you’ll need to install drivers, although our box was missing the floppy.

This ease of use, and the weight and size of the device, would make it ideal for moving between rooms for DVD-watching, but you may find the price ($399) a bit steep for the convenience. There’s also a price to pay for the diminutive size: limited cooling. After a feature-length movie, the Gem’s base became too hot to touch and we noticed some whirring noises.

Price: $399
Phone: (02) 9714 6800

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