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ACER Aspire 5738 3D Laptop
This year is the year of 3D. It will be featured in every product, including laptops. This new laptop by Acer is no ordinary model, the simple addition of a letter "D" in the model name has added another dimension to the viewing. Ok I'm bored of that pun too, so let's get down to seeing what is really on offer here, in the Acer Aspire 5738 DG model, with 3D capabilities.
Design and Features
The physical attributes of the notebook are really impressive, with a rugged matte finished interior and glossy exterior. the keyboard is roomy and features full sized shift, enter keys and also a full sized numpad. The mouse button is singular and wide, with a decent tactile reponse, but the keyboard buttons are even better. The finish overall of the model is quite nice, no real wobbly overhang in the screen tilt.
The screen itself is 15.6 inches, 1366 x 768 native res. Mainly it's TriDef enabled. We'll get to the Tridef software discussion in a bit. The connections available are USB 2.0 ports x 4, one HDMI out, and two headphone jacks. Connectivity includes the regular Bluetooth, 802.11n, and ethernet. There is a webcam and Flash card reader also. I would like to mention a bit more about the screen, as it's LED backlit, and comes with a brightness rating of 220 nit. The response time is a little slow at 8 ms.
Under the hood we have basic gear: a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 CPU, 4GB DDR2 667MHz RAM, 320GB 5400-rpm hard drive and a discrete graphics card which too is not really that advanced: ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4750 GPU. We doubt any hardcore games will be rendered in 3D. The OS installed is Windows 7 Home Premium, and most importantly TriDef software is pre installed.
This laptop uses the 3rd type of 3D to display, and that is via polarization. The first two being Anaglyphic (think tinted goggles) and shutter glasses (think Nvidia). With the screen and glasses (included), we receive 3D vision due to light rays of different polarizations falling on each eye. The software's job is to make your 2D stuff into 3D, and that's what this monitor's USP is: playing random photos, videos and games into 3D.
Benchmark tests and battery
We ran SiSoft Sandra lite all purpose benchmark test and came up with a combined index of 261. In real world scenarios, encoding a 1min video .vob to .mp4 encoding in H.264 took about 4 min 12 secs. Battery Eater Pro drained the battery in 2 hours 48 minutes, which is a bit on the lower side.
Now comes the main part. First we played the numerous 3D demos included, which got us to tilt the screen a few times, focus our eyeballs a few times and then finally attain a sweet spot to view the content. But once that's done the 3D is real fun to watch, and it works very well for photos. All the stuff you want to in 3D plays on TriDef media player, which has a slider for depth adjustment. Thus, with this one can tweak your image and get a nice 3D render. Then we started loading our own JPEGs, and here too the realtime rendering came through quite fine, in 3D. I was impressed.
We played an AVI encoded in DivX, a trailer got off the net, and to our pleasant surprise this too worked, as in we did feel the render. We had to adjust our physical position a bit, but it does work. There's no gimmick here. But it's not consistent in all movies. I am Legend DVD had a bit of trouble, but on the other hand any and every animated clip we played worked great in 3D, it was actually a fun experience.
I put on Crysis Warheads. Big mistake. Now here is the thing: the 3D actually renders insanely well, as in the depth was spot on. But the game itself doesn't play smoothly at all, due to weak graphics. Other games like Left for Dead also work so well in 3D but could use a bit of juice.
At an MOP of Rs. 43,506 this laptop comes priced at a decent mid point in the market, as the internal system is better than average, the aesthetics and ergonomics are superb, and the 3D is not a gimmick, it's just a fun thing to use, something that will pique multimedia buffs. My head aches with the Shutter tech for 3D, I feel this Polarization technology is at least better on the eyes and forehead. But on the flip side, not all movies work well in 3D, and good games cannot be played due to the graphics card not being so hot. And last but not least, the real feather in the cap here is the screen, it's really very bright and vibrant. All in all it's a great all purpose laptop for business work, movie watching and lighter gaming. Of course the 3D is there for that extra hour of fun.