The DMP-B15 has its downsides, though. We struggled to get much more than a couple of hours of use out of the battery, especially if we were using the speakers rather than the headphone socket. That's not ideal for fans of The Lord of the Rings. Also, the DMP-B15 is decidedly sluggish at loading discs compared to today's stand-alone devices, typically taking almost a minute to go from standby to a menu appearing.
In some ways, though, the single most significant aspect of the DMP-B15's performance is its ability to produce outstanding picture quality when attached to a TV and an AV receiver. Tucked away inside the DMP-B15's portable body is Panasonic's proprietary PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus chipset, and this does its usual superb work, giving Blu-ray images an extra touch of clarity and colour that you don't get with most other Blu-ray players.
The DMP-B15's ability to function perfectly well as a main living-room Blu-ray player is essential to its appeal. It means you're not shelling out about £500 on something that's going to sit in a cupboard except for when you go on holiday or a long trip. There's another side to that coin though -- namely that you're spending hundreds of pounds more on the DMP-B15 than you would on a very good stand-alone, non-portable player.
Unless you're really serious about fully exploiting the Panasonic DMP-B15's portability, you'd be better off buying a much cheaper stand-alone player instead. But, if you do travel extensively, especially with children in tow, the DMP-B15's excellent on-the-road and at-home performance make its relative expense easier to justify than expected.
Edited by Charles Kloet