Best Devices for On-The-Go Summer Movie Watching

The summer is traditionally a great season for movies, but many of us haven’t quite caught up with last year’s blockbusters yet. Not only that, but when the weather’s nice, sitting in a dark, cold movie theater doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

Fortunately there’s a lot of cool new technology on the market this year, so it’s easy to watch a few flicks on the beach or while on vacation. Here’s a look at a few of the best devices that can stream or play movies on the go.


Smartphones have small screens, but they can still provide big personal entertainment. Phones like the iPhone and the Nexus One have apps which can stream movies over WiFi, including the Netflix app. However, it’s important to note that while these phones have 3G coverage, bandwidth limitations usually prevent on-the-go movie streaming.

Still, it’s easy to download movies onto a smartphone if you have the room. Online stores like iTunes provide movie downloads and even rentals for a modest fee.

Tablet Computers

Tablet computers are undoubtedly the best way to watch movies on the go, as they provide a better screen than most laptops with an intuitive interface. Some of the best screens on the market include the Apple iPad 2 at $499, the Motorola Xoom at $499 and the Asus Eee Transformer at $399.

Playing movies will certainly drain a tablet’s battery life, but all of the tablets listed above will play for around 5-6 hours or more.

Portable DVD Players

Yeah, these aren’t quite as fun as the tablets and smart phones, because portable DVD players don’t stream movies. They play them from–you guessed it–DVDs. Still, if you don’t have a subscription to a movie website or if you want to rewatch some old favorites, there are a number of cheap portable DVD players on the market that will do just fine.

Players like the Philips PD9000 will do the job for under $100. Most portable DVD players have a battery life of around 5 hours, which should be sufficient for any vacationer.

Netbooks and Laptops

Laptops and netbooks can also play movies and stream from a WiFi connection. They’re perfect for many movie aficionados and they don’t have to be constantly held like a tablet or smartphone.

Remember that a good set of headphones and a netbook should be fine for streaming movies. The Asus Eee series has a number of cheap netbooks that will work great for on-the-go movie viewing. Toshiba and Sony also have great products that are ideal for movies, especially when paired with an online movie service like Amazon Prime or Netflix.