On CES 2012, LG showed two interesting products – glasses-free 3D display and a notebook and we've just learned about the availability of the parts – second quarter of this year.
One of biggest challenges for 3D is to become widely accepted among users which are not used to wearing glasses. There are many companies that plan on launching glasses-free products, but it looks like LG will be the first major manufacturer to have more than a demo product.
The company introduced A540 notebook and D2500N monitor, both featuring the same glasses-less stereoscopic 3D technology on vastly different screen sizes.
A540 notebook is based off typical components such as Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (CES model had an i7), up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, GeForce GTX 555 GPU, 1TB hard drive. Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and a 15.6" 1920×1080, Full HD glasses-free 3D display. Regardless of do you like the 3D or not, there is one thing great about this display – IPS panel. That's right, no more TN and its shoddy viewing angles.
Given that there are 4.1 channel surround system built in, there is no doubt this is not a thin'n'light notebook. At 2.6 kilos, it may weigh more than its competitors, but in our opinion – every gram is worth. Quality is what matters here, and LG obviously knew they can't cut corners with an important product as this one.
Second, perhaps the more intriguing product is D2500N monitor. This baby packs a 25" IPS panel (again, no more TN!) with a standard 1920×1080, Full HD resolution. The reason for this is simple – LG representative told us that the company would like to utilize higher resolutions in order to achieve Full HD in 3D but they need 4K resolution in order to be able to do so. Secondly, Dual-link DVI only supports 1920×1080 in 120Hz. Thus, when first 3840×2160 panels appear, you'll be seeing 3D videos in 1920×2160 resolution. Expect them to use the DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI 1.4a 3GHz connectors, though.
Response time is set at 5ms, which is typical for an IPS panel. The most worrying part about 3D is lack of brightness and D2500N does not impress: 2D mode gives you just 250 cd/m2, while in 3D mode this drops to 100 cd/m2. Given that IPS panels usually feature 300-450 cd/m2, the experience with this display might be… "darker".
We have examined the display and to us, it did not appear as dark as some movie theaters but then again, show floor is not lit, it is floodlit. Experience in your own room may wary. If you are wondering how these displays work in 3D, the principle is more similar to ELSA monitors in 1990s than MasterImage 3D is doing right now. The A540 and D2500N feature head tracking camera which optimizes 3D signal for optimal display. Thus, do not significantly move your head. LG is claiming they solved the problems from 1990s by using high-framerate cameras (30-60fps) and there should be no visible lag in showing the 3D image.
Both products will be available in second quarter of this year, but we were not given prices on any. We were told they will be "competitive", whatever that means.