3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Stereoscopic 3D News from CeBIT 2010 Currently Held in Germany

March 3rd, 2010 · 4 Comments · Stereo 3D Events

CeBIT is a tradeshow for the digital industry held each year in Hannover, Germany and you can consider it to be something like the European alternative of CES. CeBIT 2010 is currently being held (March 2nd – March 6th) and there are already some interesting S3D news and products being shown or announced during the expo. So here is in brief some information about the stereoscopic 3D-capable products that might get your attention and that will soon be available commercially, so that they can be bought…

Aiptek is showing probably one of the smallest and cheapest 3D camcorders that will soon be available on the market, it can record videos in stereoscopic 3D format at VGA (640×480) resolution and also take still pictures in S3D. The company also showed a 3D-capable autostereoscopic (no glasses needed) digital picture frame where you can display the 3D photos you’ve taken with the 3D camera. Both products should be available on the market in a few months with a recommended end user price of 199 Euro (roughly $270 USD). Here is a short video of both products in action at CeBIT.

ASUS unveiled a new supposedly 23-inch 3D-capable 120Hz LCD screen named Asus VG236H and also showed their upcoming 27-inch 3D-ready LCD monitor which we’ve already seen at CES – Asus PG276H. Both of them are offer Full HD resolution and support stereoscopic 3D active shutter glasses like Nvidia’s 3D Vision. Visitors can also see the first 3D Vision-ready gaming laptop – the Asus G51J 3D, but that is old news already as it is currently available on the market and you can buy it if you want to.

MSI is currently demonstrating a 24-inch All-In-One PC that uses a 120Hz Full HD panel with LED backlight to offer stereoscopic 3D support when used with active shutter glasses like for example Nvidia’s 3D Vision. But it seems that MSI has taken things even further by providing touch capabilities to the screen, so you’ll get both touch-capable and 3D-ready display with this computer. This seems to be a prototype though as MSI is not talking much about specs, not to mention that there is still not even an official product name for this 3D AIO PC mentioned anywhere. Another interesting thing that can be seen at CeBIT from MSI is their first supposedly 3D-capable gaming notebook – MSI GT660, although details about the stereo 3D support are still a bit vague. MSI seems to be focusing mostly on the audio provided by Dynaudio and the specs of the laptop than to clarify if it really has a 120Hz LCD panel and will support if it will support 3D Vision for example.

NVIDIA is yet again teasing us with working Fermi cards (GeForce GTX480) and with working setups utilizing the upcoming 3D Vision Surround technology which will allow you to play with up to 3 monitors or projectors in stereoscopic 3D mode.

If you see something else related to stereoscopic 3D shown at CeBIT please drop me a line through the contact form of the website to add it here in the list with the other products…

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Asus Republic of Gamers G51J-3D Gaming Laptop Short Review

February 16th, 2010 · 9 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Last week during a joint Asus and Nvidia event I was able to try for a bit the first laptop that has a built-in 120Hz LCD display and comes bundled with Nvidia’s 3D Vision shutter glasses – the Asus G51J-3D. This is actually the first gaming laptop that is intended for stereoscopic 3D gaming using the 3D Vision active shutter glasses, although you can still play in 2D mode at 120Hz without any problems if you wish to. I did not have much time to play with the laptop, but I’ve managed to test in a brief how good the laptop performs in stereo 3D mode, something that I suppose everyone else here is most interested in too. And I do hope to get the laptop for more extensive testing when it becomes available on the local market where I live to get more details and information on general performance and feedback on other features…

Asus did very well in designing a very nice and attractive looking laptop on the outside with an extensive set of features and quite powerful hardware inside. Along with the laptop you also get a nice bagpack to easily carry it everywhere with you along with all the additional accessories and these include not only the bundled 3D Vision glasses, but also a gaming mouse in the form of Razer Abyssus, so you can actually be ready for gaming on the go and in S3D too. Of course by gaming on the go I do not literally mean to play while traveling as the battery life you get won’t allow you to enjoy your 3D games for too long, it is more like you can easily move with the laptop and all the needed accessories along with it. So you can actually have a compact and mobile stereoscopic 3D solution to carry around with you and that does not only include use for gaming, but you can also enjoy stereo 3D videos and stereo 3D photos. The mobility factor is especially good if you shoot S3D photos and videos at different locations both as an amateur or professional and you need to check them out right away, but then again still not a lot of people do that and the Asus G51J-3D is mainly intended for gaming as I said.

A quick look at the most important specifications among which are the Core i7-720M processor (quad-core 1.6 – 2.8GHz) along with an Nvidia GeForce GTX260M (112 stream processors) video card with 1GB of DDR3 Video Memory. Other specifications are quite good, but these two are the most important components when we are considering if a laptop is good enough for gaming and then again if it can handle the additional load that is introduced when you are playing in stereo 3D mode. And considering what is “under the hood” of the Asus G51J-3D I can say that it offers really top performance for a 15-inch mobile gaming solution and will handle stereoscopic 3D gaming very well.

The display is 15.6-inch, 16:9 wide aspect ratio, with LED backlight and with resolution of 1366×768 (HD-ready) and not Full HD, something which you can actually consider to be a good choice. Although being one of the top video cards in the mobile segment the GeForce GTX260M can have some problems managing high framerates at Full HD resolution in some games, especially when you add the S3D in the formula, but for a resolution of 1366×768 everything is just fine. Moreover having a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels on a 15-inch laptop can bring some issues like things being too small on the screen etc., besides some performance issues in stereo 3D mode with some very demanding games, although it seems that Asus might offer another model with Full HD resolution. The LCD panel as I already said is a 120Hz one, but just like its desktop counterparts it can work in 60, 100, 110 and 120Hz refresh rate and you have the option to switch between the settings.

Checking the LCD panel it seems to be a bit brighter at the bottom part only which is actually very hard to notice by a normal person using the laptop when playing a game or working with something that does not include a completely black background. The uniformity of the backlight is better compared to quite a lot of other laptops, although not perfect, but for that also helps the usage of LED backlight instead of CCFLs. As you should know brightness is a very important factor when you play in stereo 3D mode as the active shutter glasses actually do block some of the light coming from the monitor and thus the image perceived is a bit darker than when not wearing the glasses and playing in 2D mode. Visually the level of brightness of the screen here is lower than what the desktop 120Hz displays are offering, this is to be expected from a laptop screen, but the brightness level was still Ok. And yo can resort to the brightness level adjustment from withing the options of games that do have darker atmosphere and you have trouble differentiating some details int he environment because of them seeming too dark.

The viewing angles of the screen are Ok and just about what you can expect from a mobile TN panel. The image is looking great for a single person using the laptop and considering this is a gaming laptop this is the most likely usage scenario, so you should not have trouble with that. But considering this is also a stereoscopic 3D capable laptop on which you may also want to look at 3D photos and 3D videos and that you might not be doing alone the lower viewing angles might be an issue. For two people sitting in front of the display and looking at the content being shown it is still Ok, but if you add a third person it might be so that only the one in the center will be seeing good image and the two on the sides might have trouble with seeing inverted colors on the display like on the picture above. Still as I said the viewing angles for a single person using the laptop everything is just fine with the viewing angles, for more people – you better go for at least a 3D-ready desktop display or start considering to get a 3D-capable HDTV this summer.

Top and bottom screen ghosting of objects when playing in stereoscopic 3D mode is here, as expected and as available on every other 120Hz monitor so far I’ve seen. It is not too much and it is easy to be ignored, you’ll very quickly learn to do that and it is not like that you’ll have much time looking for it while playing your favorite game. You should be just aware that this issue with the current generation of 120Hz LCD panels did not magically disappear on the screen used by the Asus laptop and you can expect to see it there too, just like on the desktop displays, including the second generation panels used by Acer and Alienware.

I was a bit surprised to see some colored ghosting effect similar to what I saw on the Acer GD245HQ display, but here it is less apparent and the colors are not so bright so you can much easily not notice it at all if you are not specifically looking for it. It seems that this issue is something available on the second generation 120Hz LCD panels and although it appears only from time to time if a specific conditions are met about the image shown on the screen it is stil there and you should be aware of it. Also it is more easily seen on the picture taken with the camera tough the lens of the shutter glasses than when you are looking with your eyes on the screen and much like the top/bottom ghosting it is something that you can easily learn to ignore and it is not like you’ll have much time to “enjoy” it while playing anyay.

I’ve left the Windows 7 Experience Index for last just to give you some idea on how Windows 7 rates the laptop and maybe if you want to compare with your laptop to see the difference. It is interesting to see that the overall rating is a bit low – 5.9, but that is because of the slow hard drives, all other results are higher and the performance is generally quite high, especially for a laptop. So I can conclude that Asus did quite well in providing us with the first mobile stereoscopic 3D solution that uses a 120Hz display and 3D Vision active shutter glasses. The system is well designed, powerful in terms of performance and offers some nice features… of course all this comes at a price, but if you need the mobility then the price should not matter for you. There are some minor drawbacks, but then again most of them are not uncommon for a laptop or for the new 120Hz panels in general, so I would lie if I said I did not expect to see them on the Asus. The only recommendation would be to stick to single person usage and not to try to have more people watching 3D movies or photos on the laptop as then the experience might not be the best for some of the viewers. Feel free to ask some additional questions as I might’ve missed writing something…

The ASUS G51J-3D 3D Gaming Laptop is available at Amazon for $1,699 USD

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CES 2010: Video Interview with Gary Key from ASUS

January 18th, 2010 · 4 Comments · General 3D News

Neil Schneider from MTBS3D.com is here with another video interview from CES 2010, with Gary Key, Technical Marketing Manager at ASUS. In the video you can learn a bit more about the upcoming 27″ Full HD 3D-capable display from Asus and the already available 3D Vision capable laptop – the G51J 3D. The 27″ ASUS PG276H 3D-ready monitor is expected in late May – early June with a price of about $549-$599, I’m just hoping that this product will not repeat what has happened with the Asus 24″ VG242H 120Hz LCD Monitor that never appeared on the market…

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