Acer will make 3D part of its holiday laptop lineup with the Acer Aspire 5745DG, but don't accuse the computer maker of joining the bandwagon.
Acer was already pushing 3D notebooks last year, before any television makers introduced 3D sets stateside and began hyping them as the next big thing in home entertainment. Last year's model, the Acer Aspire 5738DG, was praised in PCWorld's review for converting 2D movies effectively and excelling at 3D games, but faltered on weak battery life and a cheap-feeling touchpad.
The new Acer Aspire 5745DG takes a different approach to 3D compared to its predecessor. Instead of using polarized glasses (the cheaper kind you get in movie theaters), this laptop goes full-bore with active shutter glasses, like the ones used with today's 3D televisions, and a built-in IR receiver. Acer says each eye sees a 60 Hz signal as the glasses alternate images between the left and right eyes, creating the 3D effect.
For content, the Aspire 5745DG's main draw will be 3D gaming, using Nvidia's 3D Vision technology (here's a list of supported games, sorted by how well they perform in 3D). But Acer's notebook also packs a 3D Blu-ray player and includes a feature that converts 2D images to 3D.
As for other specs, Acer's Aspire 5745DG runs on an Intel Core i5 processor with NVIDIA GeForce GT 420M graphics and a 500 GB hard drive, but no word on RAM. The laptop also includes a webcam and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
Can the 5745DG overcome the battery problems of last year's model? Hard to say, because Acer avoided giving an estimate on battery life in its product announcement. However, the new notebook has a 9-cell battery. Hopefully, that'll outlast the 6-cell battery in the 5738DG, which cranked for a measly 2 hours and 28 minutes in PCWorld's tests.
Acer isn't the only company working on a 3D laptop with active-shutter glasses. HP's Envy 17 is coming this holiday season. Toshiba and Sony have also announced 3D laptop plans. Acer's Aspire 5745DG will arrive in late October for a cool $1000.