NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready Notebook - Asus G51J 3D Review
NVIDIA 3D Vision - Setup
The obvious big feature of the Asus G51J 3D is support for NVIDIA's 3D Vision which comes in the form of stereoscopic active shutter glasses and a 120 Hz display panel on the system itself. NVIDIA 3D vision has been talked about here on PC Perspective before, but this is my first time actually using the technology. I've read Ryan's impressions of the products before, and I've been very curious to try it out for myself. Though this article is focused on reviewing the Asus G51J 3D, we can't get away without evaluating its main feature - NVIDIA 3D Vision.
For an overview of how NVIDIA 3D Vision works, please see our review of the technology.
If you're starting the system from a fresh install, the installation of the NVIDIA 3D hardware and software is fairly straight forward. First you charge up the glasses by connecting the glasses to a USB port. Once that is done, you're ready to install the NVIDIA 3D Vision software.
The on-screen prompts tell you when to attach the IR emitter to the computer, and guides you through configuring the glasses to your particular environment - compensating for interference from other light sources like the sun, your lights, or even other displays in the vicinity. At any given time, you can run through the setup wizard by going into the NVIDIA Control Panel.
At the end of the configuration, you're given a series of images to preview so you can see the effects of NVIDIA 3D Vision and confirm everything is in working order.
NVIDIA 3D Vision activates automatically when DirectX games are launched and when 3D movies are played back using the NVIDIA 3D Vision Video Player. Then all you need to do is turn on the glasses and put them on.
In the cases where the software supports stereoscopic 3D but doesn't activate NVIDIA's 3D Vision by default, you may need to configure the software to use a specific stereo format and manually turn on the IR transmitter by pressing the button on the front. For some programs like the 3D video player from 3dtv.at, you may find yourself doing some trial and error before the stereo 3D image appears properly.
Testing 3D Vision with Still Images
NVIDIA provides a few 3D images to view so you can get a taste of what to expect from this technology. All the images provided with the software driver were from video games, which seems appropriate since this is a gaming laptop. The stereo 3D effect is interesting and if you've ever seen holograms on magazines or comic book covers, this is what you can expect but in full colour on your screen. While I was skeptical at first, there really is an illusion of depth beyond the bezel of the LCD screen.
With that said, nothing really appears to pop out of the frame, rather there's a sense of depth going in to the frame.
As interesting as viewing still images from games was, the objects receding into the distance float left or right in an unrealistic way as the viewer's head moves from side to side, or up and down. It's as if the objects in the back are floating in water and bob from side to side - it actually made me a bit nauseous by staring at the images too long.
Luckily, this strange effect isn't obvious in games and movies because the scene is changing constantly and any strange swaying is unnoticeable unless the view does not change for a period of time.