In 2008, Sony released the DVP-FX820, a portable DVD player that drastically increased picture quality over previous models. For 2009, the company has upped the ante once again, this time offering a 9-inch swivel screen and light-touch buttons. The result is still the best viewing experience we've seen on a portable DVD player, but we're not completely sold on the new buttons.
The DVP-FX930 has a smooth plastic housing that Sony sells in a variety of colors--the one we tested was accented in dark blue. The player is one of the heaviest we've seen, weighing a sturdy 2.7 pounds. We liked the placement of the unit's battery that runs along the entire bottom of the player. It may be large, but it's flat enough so that it doesn't protrude at all, unlike the Toshiba SD-P71S, which has a small bump on the rear.
All of the DVD controls are located below the screen, making them easily accessible even if you take advantage of the swivel hinge and watch the unit in tablet mode. The screen can flip a complete 180 degrees and fold back on itself to be held in your hands. We were happy to see that most DVD controls were represented here, including the sometimes forgotten fast-forward and rewind functionality (just move the four-way directional pad left or right during playback). Unfortunately, the new light-touch buttons don't move when pressed. They're sensitive enough--we just enjoyed the feeling of last year's model better. Thankfully the four-way directional button remained unchanged.
The FX930 also ships with a remote control that expands on the playback options. It's among the larger remotes we've seen packed in with a portable DVD player, but there's no reason to leave it at home. The two IR sensors let the player respond regardless of its orientation.