3D Laptops: Hit Or Miss?

3D Laptops: Hit Or Miss?

Joel Pirela
Mar 15, 2011

3D is a technology that we consider a feature that still has a long way to go. When we go to the movies to watch a 3D enhanced film, many of us can't spend more than 30 minutes without experiencing some degree of discomfort. A headache and $30 later, we keep asking ourselves, "Was it worth it?" Now 3D televisions are showing up everywhere with a new push onto our desktops: 3D laptops for gaming. Let's see what these pioneers are bringing to the table.

Acer Aspire 5745DG
Let's start with some of the basic specs: 2.4 GHz i5 CPU, Windows 7, 4GB RAM and 500 GB of storage. Screen size is 15.6" and the video card is provided by Nvidia GeForce GT 425M with 1GB of memory. For $999, you can experience the cheapest 3D laptop available. Nvidia's 3D Vision Technology produces a believable 3D experience. Nothing too crazy in regards of the design department, but more notably there are some limitation on the viewing angle for the glossy screen. 3D effect is created using active shutter technology, where a transmitter inside the laptop communicates with the glasses to synchronizes the flickering, creating a 3D effect. The lack of a Blu-ray drive is unfortunate.

Asus G53JW-3DE
This model has the best specs of the bunch: 1.73 GHz i7, Windows 7, 6GB RAM and 750 GB of storage. Screen size is 15.6" and the vide card is provided by Nvidia GeForce GT 460M with 1.5GB of memory. The Asus is little bit on the heavy side, though the $1769 price tag will bring the stealth fighter look if that's your thing. We love the included Blu-ray driver and even the USB 3.0 connection. Using the same 3D technology as the Acer, any of the 450 games supported will look believably 3D-ish.

HP Envy 17 3D
Now, let's check what HP has to offer: 1.6 GHz i7, Windows 7, 6GB RAM and 640 GB of storage. Screen size is 17.3" and the video card is an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850, with 1GB of memory. Priced at $1,649, the screen is very bright and it provides good 3D performance. The only problem is the short battery life and some parts of the laptop get really hot during intense hours of gaming. The Apple MacBook Pro influenced case design should appeal to Mac users looking to get something lacking from their platform: exciting and varied gaming options, this one bolstered by the 3D options.

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