If you’ve seen 3D in action lately, it was probably coming at you through a HDTV or possibly a computer monitor, but laptops haven’t been left out in the cold. A limited number of laptops offer full Nvidia 3D Vision support, making it possible to watch 3D movies and play 3D Games even when you’re away from home.
The beastly ASUS G53 is the cousin to the award-winning ASUS G73 gaming laptop, and it shares the same stealth-fighter inspired design. This results in a blocky, beefy exterior that is undoubtedly cool but also doesn’t look tacky, a problem that plagues laptops with glowing lights and crazy paint jobs.
Of course, the real news is the hardware. Inside this monster you’ll find a Core i7 quad-core processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M graphics, and 8GB of RAM. A Blu-Ray player is standard as is an embedded Nvidia 3D Vision emitter, which means you won’t have to plug in an extra device via USB to use the 3D Vision technology. The high-end hardware in this gaming laptop makes it possible to play modern games at reasonable detail settings even with the 3D support turned on.
Not everything about this laptop is roses. This G53 weighs over seven pounds, is more than an inch and a half thick at the rear, and barely fits into a standard backpack. You’ll be lucky to receive more than two hours of battery life, as well. And then you have to deal with the price – it’s over $1,700. Still, that’s actually a low price for a gaming laptop of this caliber, as my next pick will reveal.
The Origin EON15, like the ASUS G53JW-3DE, is a purebred gaming laptop. It’s different, however, because it is made by a boutique gaming laptop company rather than mass-produced by a large vendor. You can’t customize a ASUS G53, but with the Origin EON15, the sky is the limit.
The standard Origin EON15 is about $1,550, but it doesn’t support Nvidia 3D Vision. To gain that feature you’ll have to choose the special 3D panel and the Nvidia Quadro graphics option, which raises the price to over $2,300. That’s with 2GB of RAM and a Core i5 processor, as well, so the ASUS G53 clearly is the better value.
On the other hand, you can go crazy with the EON15 if you have a lot of money to burn. Intel Extreme Edition processors are available, as are solid state drives, a built-in TV tuner, and a custom paint job.//www.makeuseof.com/tag/pend over $4,000 on this laptop, which more than I’d ever dream of, but some buyers are obviously willing to spend the extra dough on a fully customized laptop.
Both the ASUS G53JW-3DE and Origin EON15 are great laptops, but they’re gaming laptops. They’re big, bulky bruisers with short battery lives and shorter tempers. You don’t want to take them to meet your family! They’ll likely cause your parents to worry you’ve transformed into a hopeless nerd.
Enter the Toshiba Satellite A665-3DV. This 15.6″ laptop fully supports Nvidia 3D Vision, has a Blu-Ray player as standard, and is powered by a Core i7 quad-core processor combined with Nvidia GTS 350M graphics. It is, in other words, one quick laptop. However, it looks like a fairly normal, although particularly well attired, Toshiba Satellite. It’s not a light laptop, nor does it obtain the very best battery life (we’re still talking about 3 to 4 hours) but it is at least portable enough to take to your local coffee house on a regular basis.
Granted, you sacrifice some performance compared to the full-on gaming laptops, but this Toshiba Satellite is still capable of playing most games without a hitch. It’s also significantly less expensive thanks to a starting price of $1,399. If you’re interested in 3D movies and games, but you’re not interested being identified as a hardcore gamer, the Satellite is your best option.
I would have liked to have included some laptops with 3D support that not so expensive and beefy, but that’s simply not possible right now. Enabling Nvidia 3D Vision makes a movie or game demand more from your laptop’s hardware than it would otherwise, which means that the only laptops up to snuff are big and expensive. You’ll have to deal with these monsters for now, but if you don’t mind their size, you’ll love the impressive visuals they offer.