During the weekend I was extensively testing the 3D capabilities of the new Sony VAIO F Series 3D laptop and while I’m almost ready with the review, here is something interesting that I wanted to share with you. As you should know the first 3D laptop coming from Sony is based on Nvidia’s 3D Vision technology, but unlike all other similar solutions that are already available on the market from other companies, Sony is using their own shutter glasses instead of Nvidia’s. This of course means better 3D experience and brighter image and I could tell that even before starting with the tests, however I’ve decided to try to compare both the Nvidia 3D Vision and Sony’s shutter glasses on this laptop. Luckily I was easily able to do that, because by plugging an external 3D Vision IR emitter in the laptop it started working with both the Sony and Nvidia 3D glasses simultaneously (the built-in infrared emitter is only for Sony’s glasses). Furthermore I’ve also added the universal MonsterVision Max 3D glasses that are compatible with Sony’s shutter glasses and thus with this laptop, because Sony is using exactly the same great shutter glasses for the VAIO F Series laptops as it is offering with the Bravia 3D HDTVs. But how well do all these shutter glasses perform with the 3D laptop, let us see now…
On the image above you can see the results with the different shutter glasses using my black/white extreme test 3D photos that demonstrate how good (or bad) is a certain display handling with the crosstalk/ghosting in near worst case scenario. All of the glasses perform great, showing results that are much better than these I’m used to seeing from 3D laptop panels and even with 3D LCD monitors… the results are actually closer to how a 3D HDTV performs in terms of crosstalk/ghosting. But this is not just coming from the glasses, the 3D LCD panel used by Sony in this laptop is apparently a top-end solution that performs like a 3D HDTV and not like the cheaper solutions we’ve already seen. I can tell you that with the Sony panel there are no more issues like top/bottom ghosting and almost no color ghosting caused by the use of an Overdrive function. That kind of really surprised me and even kind of make me wish that Sony did not stop making LCD monitors, because if they released the same panel in a 23/24″ or even 27″ size in a desktop 3D monitor it would’ve simply been the best 3D monitor for PC available.
On the image above you can see that looking through the glasses the white test is perfect while on the black there is a bit of image leaking from the data in the other eye, but it is very little like on most 3D HDTVs… and most certainly much better than all 3D LCD monitors and 3D laptops I’ve tested so far. However there is a bit of difference when using the three different types of glasses that I’ve tested with, so I’ll go with some numbers to give you a better idea on what is the difference. I’ve used a Lux meter to measure how much light gets blocked by the different shutter glasses as this is pretty much the only difference that the different glasses have.
21.3 Lux with no shutter glasses
8.9 Lux with Sony’s glasses
8.6 Lux with MonsterVision Max 3D
4.6 Lux with Nvidia’s 3D Vision glasses
The difference between the Sony and Monster shutter glasses is hardly noticeable with a “naked eye”, however you can still notice that the 3D Vision glasses offer darker 3D image as compared to the other two solutions even without having to measure it. One interesting thing regarding the use of the 3D Vision shutter glasses is that you need to wear them upside down in order to have the proper left/right order, because if you wear them normally you will see the frames for the left and right eye in reversed order and that creates an uncomfortable feeling. But you’d probably not want to use 3D Vision shutter glasses with this laptop anyway, the MonsterVision Max 3D universal glasses on the other hand are a good alternative and Xpand’s X103 universal solution might also work nicely with this Sony 3D laptop, although I haven’t tried them, so I can’t confirm it for sure.
The actual reason why the 3D Vision glasses look darker and need to be worn upside down is that they were not designed to be used with this Sony laptop, after all Sony is supplying it with a pair of their own glasses for a reason. The 3D shutter glasses and screens each have a polarized filter on and they are always aligned toghether to achieve maximum brightness. Nvidia’s shutter glasses are darker because the their polarization is oriented at 45 degrees to match the TN 3D LCD displays used in PC. However with the Sony display it is oriented at 0 degrees and this mismatch in orientation could explain the factor of about two loss in light according to Nvidia.
And since tomorrow I’ll be returning the Sony VAIO F Series 3D laptop now is your chance to ask your questions and if you want something tested out, although I think that I’ve be covering most of the things related to the stereo 3D performance in the upcoming review of the laptop…