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Trying the Sony VAIO F Series 3D Laptop With Different Shutter Glasses

March 14th, 2011 · 18 Comments · Other S3D Tech

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…

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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Johnathan Seagul // Mar 14, 2011 at 18:07

    Hmmm…so is it possible to use Monster Vision Max 3D glasses instead of the “standard” NVidia 3D Vision glasses in any case (I am using a desktop with a GTX 580 and the USB attached IR emitter) ?

  • 2 Bloody // Mar 14, 2011 at 18:27

    It is possible, but only with this particular Sony 3D laptop, because the laptop comes with a built-in Sony IR emitter and the MonsterVision Max 3D is compatible with Sony’s glasses, not with Nvidia’s. You cannot directly replace the Nvidia glasses on another system as Monster’s glasses are universal only for 3D HDTVs and are not compatible with 3D Vision.

  • 3 Dennis // Mar 14, 2011 at 18:37

    Why for the love of god nvidia hasn’t replaced/upgraded their glasses yet? I mean it’s been how long?

  • 4 Gerard // Mar 14, 2011 at 18:39

    Can the laptop run quad buffered openGL stereo? Can you get a quadro mobile card installed with this laptop?

  • 5 root // Mar 14, 2011 at 19:02

    Is there a chance that LCDs with these panels or comparable ones will release soon? Would it be worth waiting for such LCDs or should I take the Planar and good is?

  • 6 Bloody // Mar 14, 2011 at 19:08

    I doubt that Sony will be ever releasing a Quadro-based model, as for user modification… it might be possible, I haven’t opened the laptop to see if the GPU is on a separate MXM module.

    I don’t think that we are soon going to get this level of crosstalk/ghosting on a desktop 3D LCD monitor, I suppose even this 16″ panel used by Sony is quite expensive and is a significant part of the price of the laptop. However this Sony VAIO F series laptop does show what is possible even with current level of LCD technology at a certain price however…

  • 7 tritosine // Mar 14, 2011 at 19:19

    Dennis //

    yes and they should differentiate because of surround / higher price tag. Just no more LC please ….

    IMO the results are like this because 3d vision seems to use shorter hold time, other two are opened for twice longer.

  • 8 Nash // Mar 14, 2011 at 20:23

    @Dennis The reason nVidia hasn’t replaced/upgraded their glasses kit yet is because mine just came in on the UPS shipment this morning. (That is no joke. Seriously.)

    Look for the announced upgrade just as soon as my 30-day return period has expired.


  • 9 H C Forde // Mar 14, 2011 at 23:19

    Are these MonsterVision Max 3D the ones that are compatible with AMD’s Video cards? Or is that a different model?

  • 10 Ghent // Mar 15, 2011 at 11:53

    Is it possible to use Sony shutter glasses with nVidia 3D vision standard configuration (GTX + Acer GD245HQ) ?

  • 11 Bloody // Mar 15, 2011 at 13:16

    No, it is not possible. Sony’s shutter glasses will work only with this particular 3D laptop as it comes with a built-in IR emitter especially for them and not for the Nvidia 3D Vision shutter glasses.

  • 12 Andrew Fear // Mar 18, 2011 at 21:18


    Everyone please make sure you read the part about the polarization angle. That is the reason why the 3D Vision glasses are darker.

  • 13 Roger Klado // Mar 19, 2011 at 11:57

    What about ripping out the built in 3d emitter and using it in a different system?

  • 14 Roger Klado // Mar 19, 2011 at 11:58

    @ Andrew
    But not why they are so ugly in comparison. ;-)

  • 15 Bloody // Mar 19, 2011 at 12:11

    Roger Klado, because it is not only up to the emitter, as noted above the polarization used for the light coming from the display is also different here, so even if somebody manages to get out the IR emitter and reconnect it another PC it may not work as expected with other monitors. And having just the Sony shutter glasses on another 3D LCD monitor won’t magically make it as good as the Sony Vaio F series 3D screen anyway, so definitely not worth destroying an expensive laptop for that ;)

  • 16 Francesco // Apr 19, 2011 at 17:22

    Is it possible to use some glasses at the same time?

  • 17 Gabriel // Jul 21, 2011 at 03:46

    Hi, this sony glasses is compatible with the games as a nvidia 3D vision?
    do you run Call of duty, left 4 dead in 3D?

  • 18 gordon black // Mar 24, 2012 at 11:33

    I bought the 2d f series laptop but it has all of the 3d stuff but the emitter it seems like is there a way i can just buy the emetter sepertly i already have a pair of sony 3d glasses if that helps.

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