3D was touted as the next big thing in home entertainment a couple of years ago. It started with televisions and projectors, and soon made its way to the PC as well. Companies like TriDef had 3D solutions for computers a long time ago but it never went mainstream. Nvidia took up that challenge and set out to bring 3D to the masses. With their popular GeForce graphics cards sitting cozily in most gamers' rigs, all that was needed was a 3D monitor and glasses to complete the set. With backing from Samsung and Viewsonic for the monitors, Nvidia launched 3D Vision in 2009. The product let gamers enjoy their favourite titles in 3D and worked out-of-the-box as everything was handled at the driver level. While it did work well, certain unavoidable issues cropped up. For instance, 3D monitors at the time were really expensive and couldn’t support resolutions beyond 1680 x 1050. Also, since 3D Vision used active shutter glasses, the game would appear dull and dark due to low brightness levels from the monitors.
The 3D Vision 2 kit
Last October, Nvidia pulled the wraps off 3D Vision 2, a new and improved version of the glasses that promised a more comfortable fit, less flicker and a brighter picture. We’ve been testing this new kit for the better part of a week so let’s see how different these really are from the older ones.
Design and Build
Just as before, the 3D Vision 2 kit consists of the glasses, two USB cables (one 6ft and one 10ft), an IR emitter, storage pouch, two nose pieces and a quick start guide. You can buy the kit separately or pick up a 3D Vision 2 certified monitor such as the Asus VG278H, which has the IR emitter built into the bezel itself. The new glasses are compatible with the old kit so you can mix and match if you have an older kit with you already.
The glasses claim to deliver around 60 hours of battery life
The glasses feel a lot better than the older ones. For starters, they don't have a glossy plastic finish, but are instead wrapped entirely in a smooth rubberised coating. The new glasses are a tad heavier than the older ones at 56g due to the slightly larger frame but you’ll barely notice it. They are very comfortable to wear, and this goes for those with spectacles as well. You get two nose pieces so you can adjust the glasses to your comfort level. The active shutter lenses are also 20 percent bigger this time so you can see more of the screen in your peripheral vision, which means you can also sit closer to your screen while gaming. The glasses have a rubber lining along the upper rim of the lenses to shade you from unwanted ambient light. This gives you a better seal and thus a sharper 3D effect. While much improved, the glasses could have been built better. The rubber lining on top light feels flimsy and came right off with a light tug, so we’re not sure how they’ll hold up in the long run.
Twenty percent larger lenses offer a better 3D effect
The glasses have a microUSB port for charging while the power button and LED light are placed on the side. The glasses still work using IR so line of sight is important, else you lose sync. There’s a built-in rechargeable battery, which Nvidia claims will last up to 60 hours on a single charge. The glasses work at up to 15ft from the receiver, which is more than enough since you’ll usually be sitting about 5ft from your PC.