Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Toshiba unveiled Qosmio F750, Glasses-free 3D laptop Hands-on

Toshiba just unveiled what it claims is the world's first glasses-free 3D laptop, the Qosmio F750. It's a heavy-set beast dedicated to gaming and movies, with a 15.6-inch Full HD lenticular screen that can display 2D and 3D simultaneously in separate windows. It also rocks an HD webcam that follows your movements and adjusts the 3D effect accordingly, so you can peek at the that lovely third dimension from almost any angle you like. Innovative stuff indeed, but we were underwhelmed when we caught a glimpse of Toshiba's concept model back in January. So, has the technology improved since then? Check out our hands-on impressions and video after the break.

The laptop we played with was still technically pre-release, but the official release is in early August so the hardware must be pretty final. This includes some powerful innards, befitting the £1300 ($2100) price tag: an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia Geforce GT540M graphics, "distortion-free" Harmon Kardon speakers, a BDXL drive, plus a USB 3.0 port and two of the USB 2.0 variety. HDMI and VGA outputs were also in attendance, along with an input for a co-axial aerial, which we were told would be "capped off" in the final European model. You'll find complete specs in the PR below.

The software was less production-ready, and we were only able to watch a few 3D video clips that Toshiba had loaded on there. It would have been great to see how an off-the-shelf 3D Blu-ray disc performed, and try our hand at a few 3D games, but alas that will have to wait until we do a full review. Also, we were unable to the see the simultaneous 2D/3D in action, for example by running a 3D movie in one window while browsing 2D content in another window. Nevertheless, the videos we saw were pretty mouthwatering -- at least once our eyes and brain adjusted to the 3D effect.

The eye-tracking system was remarkably quick and refused to be fooled by the sharp movements and embarrassing head-bops we threw at it. However, the adjustment of the 3D effect was slower to catch up. Even a relatively small head movement caused the 3D effect to falter momentarily before settling again. However, we think the system could cope with normal movements while watching a movie, and gaming tends to have the user transfixed in a single spot anyway -- and it was infinitely better than what we saw in the concept model. It's important to note that the system can only cater for one viewer at a time -- this is the major downside of the glasses-free tech employed here. You won't be able to watch a 3D movie with your buddy on a flight, for example, but that's the price you pay for not having to wear funny specs. [Source:]