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Acer Aspire 5738DZG 3D review

Verdict

The 3D screen is inconsistent and gimmicky, and pushes up the price of an otherwise solid, yet unspectacular, laptop

Review Date: 30 Oct 2009

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £522 (£600 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
3 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Performance
3 stars out of 6

3D is the talk of the display world at the moment. The big TV makers are showing off luxurious new displays, 3D projectors are beginning to appear and Nvidia has already released its GeForce 3D Vision gaming kit. We naturally assumed the first laptop to include a 3D screen would be an expensive desktop replacement but, it’s actually a £522 Acer Aspire.

The Aspire 5738DZG’s 15.6in screen sports a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and is coated with a polarising filter which, when combined with the included pair of polarised glasses, causes different images to be seen in each eye. Much like Nvidia’s superior but dearer active shutter system, the two different images are combined by the brain to create the illusion of a three-dimensional image. It's all managed by the TriDef 3D software suite running in the background.

Viewing preview clips in 3D, though, provided mixed results. Computer-generated cartoons looked fantastic, but traditional animations fell flat, literally, with ghosting proving a real problem. Real-life clips varied in quality, too, with some showing excellent perspective and others demonstrating a more subtle difference. Viewing angles were exceptionally narrow, with a single optimal position for it to work.

The real appeal is that the TriDef 3D software also promises to convert existing DVDs and games to 3D. Alas, the effect was far less pronounced and more inconsistent than in the specially prepared preview clips. Plenty of scenes hardly looked as if they’d been converted at all, and the constant motion blur and lower resolution caused by the polarising effect made us think twice about watching entire films.

Acer Aspire 5738DZG

It may deliver mixed results, but the software does work with a commendable range of popular file formats: AVI, MPG, JPG are all supported, and popular codecs like XviD, DivX, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and H.264 are all covered. And big names such as Crysis, Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 are among the dozens of supported games but, as with DVDs, there are problems. While the effect was more pronounced than with video footage, especially with objects closer to the camera, the persistent motion blur proved distracting, and the occasional bug – such as textures not being recreated across both of the screen’s polarised images – immediately killed the immersion.

Sweep the 3D gimmick aside, though, and you’ll find a reassuringly sturdy laptop. The wrist rest and base feel solid and the screen – which is no thicker than a standard panel – is pretty rigid, too, even if applying pressure to certain areas on the rear does cause the desktop to distort slightly.

It’s a good-looking laptop, too, reigning in some of the entertainment excess we’ve seen on Aspire desktop replacements, but it's still unmistakably an Acer thanks to its textured, gunmetal grey wrist-wrest, blue accenting and dark blue lid.

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User comments

wanna buy

thanks buddy for this nice review. itz helpfull..
but could anybody please tell about any kool market place to buy it? well ... i just have seen a new market place http://www.buyergen.com i think itzz gonna b kool ... ?

By deanMiller on 2 Nov 2009

I've got it from comet in the UK, and it's fully functional, 2x3D glasses available. I am very happy with it.

By MontyZune on 11 Nov 2009

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