I just got my hands on the HP Envy 17 3D laptop, the first notebook that uses AMD HD3D technology. The laptop has a Full HD screen capable of working with a 120Hz refresh rate and an AMD Radeon HD 5850 video card, along with a pair of wireless active shutter glasses that are needed for the 3D effect. And just today I’ve found out that the wireless shutter glasses that HP uses are made by Xpand as you can also see from the photo I’ve taken. The good news is that I was able to make the laptop work with both the iZ3D Driver and DDD’s TriDef 3D software. The TriDef media player also worked fine for playing 3D videos, however I had trouble making the Stereoscopic Player work with stereo 3D videos as it should normally, but hopefully it will work at a later time after some updates. The most pleasant surprise that I’ve had was from the shutter glasses as this was my first time trying a pair of shutter glasses made by Xpand. The pair that comes with the HP Envy 17 3D laptop blocks much less light as compared to the 3D Vision glasses for example, at least visually the Xpand’s lenses seem to go a tiny bit more darker when they are activated as compared to when they are not active. Of course the glasses use infrared signal for synchronization with the transmitter built into the frame of the laptop’s screen, just right from the webcam. The not so good thing about the glasses was that they seem to show a bit more crosstalk (ghosting), but the reason for that might not lie in the glasses themselves, but be also related to other things like the drivers or the LCD panel, so this needs a bit more investigation. Another thing that I should mention is that the glasses do not have a rechargeable battery, so you will have to replace the button cell battery from time to time and always having a spare would be a good idea. Also, another thing worth noting is that the glasses do not have an On/Off button, so they don’t need manual activation, but instead start working as soon as they sense an IR signal, although I’m not sure if that contributes to the faster discharge of the battery or not.
And just out of curiosity I’ve tried to have two stereo 3D systems active, one with 3D Vision and Samsung 2233RZ 3D monitor and the other was the HP Envy 17 with the Xpand glasses, and then I swapped the glasses. This means I tried to view the stereo 3D image on the Samsung with the Xpand glasses and with the 3D Vision on the HP laptop, with the glasses getting their sync signal from their original source as the infrared coming from the other solutions’ IR transmitter interferes. The Xpand glasses continued to offer very bright and clear image when active and viewing the 3D image on the Samsung monitor, and they’ve worked just fine with the only side effect of having significantly more ghosting than when using the 3D Vision, but offering much brighter image. The more ghosting is probably due to some synchronization timing difference, but if that gets tweaked it also means that it is possible to have much more clear shutter glasses and Nvidia should start thinking on updating the lenses on the 3D Vision with a newer and better ones that do not block that much light. On the other hand, the 3D Vision glasses also worked on the HP and I could see the depth of the objects displayed in 3D on the screen, but the image was significantly more darker than with the Xpand glasses making games unplayable when in darker areas.
You are welcome to ask questions about the HP Envy 17 3D laptop and you can expect more details and a review of the laptop and especially the stereo 3D capabilities an performance it offers quite soon, I hope… ;)