Recent surveys suggest that one of the biggest barriers to adopting 3D technology into the mainstream is cost. Even if consumers are willing to put up with wearing 3D glasses, most are just not willing to pay a premium for 3D technology. But is the premium as high as you think?
According to the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the price difference between 46-inch and 55-inch 3D and 2D LED TVs is just $150, which is certainly a much lower number than we would have expected. ITRI says 120MHz 46-inch 2D LED TVs sell on average for $1,143.8 in the U.S. compared to $1,284.9 for 240MHz 46-inch 3D LED TVs.
In the 55-inch territory, 120MHz 2D LED TVs run $1,539.90 on average, compared to $1,697 for 240MHz 3D LED TVs, ITRI said. That's not a huge price difference, though the ITRI doesn't factor in the cost of additional 3D glasses, a necessary evil until glasses-free 3D displays come into their own.
Acer today is launching a new a lineup of Aspire notebooks geared for entertainment and productivity, including the 3D-ready Aspire 5745DG.
The Aspire 5745DG sports a 15.6-inch 120Hz LCD screen with a 1366x768 resolution and adds Nvidia's 3D Vision technology, which consists of a pair of 3D shutter glasses with a built-in IR receiver. Other features include an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GT 420M graphics, 500GB hard drive, four USB 2.0 ports, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, media card reader, 1.3MP webcam, and a 9-cell battery.
Also among the handful of new notebooks are three non-3D models, the Aspire AS5642G, AS5745, an AS7745. These range in size from 15.6 inches to 17.3 inches (1600x900) and are powered by Intel's Core i3/i5/i7 processors. All four models include Nvidia's Optimus technology.
Pricing start out at $650, with the 3D-ready AS5745DG available in late October for $1,000.
At the CEDIA Expo in Atlanta this week, Espson unveiled three 1080p 3LCD Reflective home theater projectors, the PowerLite Pro Cinema 61000 and 31000, and Home Cinema 21000.
Espson claims these are the world's first projectors to use 3LCD Reflective technology, which along with Espon's UltraBlack technology, is supposed to deliver enhanced picture quality with higher contrast ratios, richer colors, and smoother gradation. Both the Home Cinema 21000 and Pro Cinema 31000 boast 500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratios, while the Pro Cinema 61000 is rated at 1,000,000:1.
"We are very excited to debut our new home theater projector line-up to the custom installation channel," said Marge Ang, senior product manager, Epson America. "These powerful, feature-packed projectors demonstrate Epson's commitment to provide dealers with top-of-the-line products that allow them to design customized home entertainment systems for their customers."
The Pro Cinema 61000 and 31000 and Home Cinema 21000 will be available in December for $7,000, $4,500, and $3,300, respectively.
A new report (PDF) by market firm DisplaySearch suggests that even though 3D is making a strong push to penetrate the notebook market, consumers are a little reluctant to buy into the hype.
"Is the market ready to accept 3D in a notebook PC? If the sales this year are any indication, then it seems that consumers are, so far, hesitant to embrace 3D notebook PCs," DisplaySearch said in its report. "Since the beginning of the year, less than 100,000 3D-equipped notebook PCs have been sold in a market of more than 100 million notebooks. That is less than one-tenth of one percent of the total notebook PC market."
In another recent study -- this one conducted by Nielsen -- consumers who viewed 3D content became less interested in purchasing a 3D TV. Factor in higher costs and concerns over having to wear 3D glasses, it could be awhile before 3D truly enters the mainstream.
Do you think 3D is here to stay, or just a passing fad?
We're not hating on TN panels, but when price is not an object, we'll take an IPS over a TN screen 10 times out of 10 (or 11 times out of 10 now that gaming performance usually isn't an issue). Alas, for most people price is an issue, and LaCie's latest 24-inch IPS display commands a hefty premium.
Pricing starts out at $1,250, which doesn't include the optional hood and blue eye colorimeter. What it does include is a 10-bit P-IPS LCD panel with wide color gamuts. We're talking 102 percent NTSC and 98 percent RGB.
"For years, LaCie has designed monitors for digital artists who demand color precision," said Ahcene Tirane, LaCie Product Manager for Displays. "From concept to creation, LaCie developed the 324i with the highest level of color accuracy, and with a firm belief that when professionals have a tool that enhances their workflow, they can deliver their best work."
The display supports a native resolution of 1920x1200 (16:10). It comes equipped with an HDMI port, DisplayPort, DVI-D port, and Component connection. Other features include a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 6ms response time (gray to gray), and audio inputs.
Hewlett Packard this week introduced a sleek new 23-inch LED backlit panel, the HP 2310e HD. Dubbed an ultra-thin, the 2310e is only 1-inch deep and comes with a detachable stand, albeit no VESA mount.
It's a Full HD panel with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 and support for up to 70 percent of the color gamut. We don't put much stock into display specs, but for what it's worth, this one boats an 8,000,000:1 contrast ratio (dynamic, of course), 250 nits of brightness, and a 5ms on/off response time.
For the environmentally conscious, the WLED backlighting is mercury-free, the glass contains no arsenic, and both the rear cover and base are made from recycled plastics.
Look for this one to start shipping on September 29, 2010 for $289.
MSI today announced it is taking its Wind Top AE2420 3D stateside. According to MSI, this latest Wind Top is the world's first 3D touchscreen all-in-one (AIO) PC, which is also capable of converting 2D content into three dimensions.
"Most people don't realize that MSI has been making the guts of PCs for more than 20 years, and were the first to launch the 10-inch netbook, which is now the most popular form factor on the market," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales, MSI U.S. "By bringing the world's first 3D all-in-one PC to North America, MSI is continuing to introduce people to the future of computing."
The main attraction, of course, is the 23.6-inch LED backlit display where the 3D magic comes to life. In and around the AIO sits some fairly powerful hardware and respectable feature-set, including an Intel Core i7 860 processor clocked at 2.8GHz, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics with 1GB of GDDR3 memory, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 801.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 1TB SATA hard drive, Blu-ray/DVD burner combo, 1.3MP webcam, 6-in-1 memory card reader, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
In addition to the 3D visuals, MSI is making noise over the AE2420's sound system. Two 5W speakers are flanked by a 10W subwoofer and include Creative's THX TruStudio Pro technology.
The Wind Top AE2420 will be available soon starting at $1,800.
Forget for a minute that OLED technology is still incredibly expensive, Mitsubishi doesn't give a hoot. What the company does care about is releasing what it claims the world's first large-scale OLED display in the 100-inch and higher range.
Mitsubishi's "Diamond Vision OLED" qualifies by a mile, checking in at 155 inches. But before you go emptying the kids' college fund and putting a lien on that property in the Hamptons, bear in mind this display isn't destined for living room use. It is, however, designed for indoor use, such as large digital signs in airports and other commercial facilities.
There's not a whole lot of details available in terms of specs. Mitsubishi says the screen offers wide horizontal and vertical viewing angles of about +/- 80 degrees along with a maximum brightness of 1,200cd/m2.
Sales will begin worldwide beginning September 21, 2010, though no word on price.
Seiko is trying to bring digital watches back in style, and to help do that, the company is equipping new models with e-ink displays.
This isn't the first time Seiko has gone this route, having used e-ink in a handful of limited edition watches for the ladies a few years back. They never really took off, which Seiko hopes is only because it was an idea slightly ahead of its time.
These second-gen e-ink watches sport an active matrix display that allows the screen to "actively" refresh itself whenever needed. The battery is only used when changing the display, so in theory, these suckers should run for long, long periods of time.
It's also equipped with a solar cell, and the movement is radio controlled so that it receives its time from an atomic clock. It all looks pretty promising (and geeky), and if the recent ebook price war is any indication, these things might actually end up being affordable too.
A senior analyst at Digitimes Research says Samsung has received a shipment of IPS panels for use in its upcoming 7-inch Galaxy Tab slate. The IPS panels, which are being supplied from Hydis, "are of comparable grade as those of Apple's iPad," senior analyst Mingchi Kuo claims.
Samsung just recently went official with the Galaxy Tab, announcing that device will ship with a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, and 512MB of RAM. All versions will boast both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, as well as Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top of Android 2.2.
Already sporting a sexy feature-set, the addition of an IPS panel makes the Galaxy Tab all the more intriguing. And if the Galaxy Tab gains traction as a legitimate iPad contender, it could pave the way for IPS-based tablets to follow.