Toshiba will start selling its first glasses-free 3D laptop later this month for US$1,699 to free viewers from the awkwardness of wearing 3D glasses to view multimedia content, the company said on Tuesday.
The Qosmio F755 3D laptop has a 15.6-inch display screen and uses a form of autostereoscopic technology to beam glasses-free 3D images. A viewer will be able to see 3D images through the laptop screen from different angles.
The laptop projects two sets of images that are automatically split between the right and left eyes at the same time for a 3D effect. The laptop also has technology that determines the position of a viewer through the webcam, which helps relay 3D images to the right angle. The technology, called Face Tracking, reacts to viewer movement and helps deliver a "broad viewing zone," Toshiba said.
3D laptops have struggled to gain popularity because of high price tags and the inconvenience of wearing 3D glasses. Top PC makers including Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo have shipped powerful 3D laptops, pitching them as machines to enhance the entertainment experience. DisplaySearch last year projected that roughly 600,000 3D laptops would ship this year, which is a fraction of the overall annual laptop shipments every year, which tally close to 100 million.
Toshiba did not respond to questions about the number of viewers who could simultaneously view 3D content on a single laptop. In lab tests, Laptop Magazine said that the laptop's 3D viewing experience is best optimized for one person, though others will be able to see 3D images.
The Qosmio F755 3D laptop can also display 2D and 3D images simultaneously, Toshiba said. Users can maintain a 2D desktop viewing experience while condensing 3D content to a smaller window. The laptop comes with a Blu-ray player and software to convert 2D movie content to 3D format.
The $1,699 laptop has Intel's latest Core i7 processor, Nvidia's GeForce 540M graphics processing unit, a 750GB hard drive and an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) port that can display 3D content on 3D-ready TVs.