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CNET First Look
Lenovo IdeaPad Y560dOne of only a handful of 3D laptops, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y560d skips active shutter glasses for an inferior technology, but keeps the A-list price.
-Hi, I'm Dan Ackerman, and we are here with the Lenovo IdeaPad Y560d. By the glasses sitting right here and clip-on attached to my regular glasses, you can probably tell this is a 3D laptop. We've only seen a handful of 3D laptops. Most of them have NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology. This is one of only a couple that uses a different technology from a company TriDef and, I gotta tell you, it's pretty much inferior in every way. Now, NVIDIA's 3D Vision, like a lot of other 3D systems, uses active shutter glasses. They're battery-powered, and the left and right eyes open-close 60 times a second each. With this system, you've got a polarized screen and just some passive polarized glasses, or the clip-ons. And, you know what, if you angle the screen just right and have the right kind of content----we tried some still photos, some movies, some games----you actually can get a pretty decent 3D experience. But at least half the time, we ended up squinting or closing one eye to kind of cut off the 3D because it was just too painful. And, if you move your head even a little bit like this, or forward to backward, left to right, you could lose the effect also. So now, in order to take a game and play it in 3D rather than regular 2D, you have to open the game's executable file through the TriDef player, and that opens up a new version of the game, but transforms the 3D graphics into this kind of stereoscopic 3D you can see with this glasses. Now, the problem is the computing overhead from doing that is so intense that in some of the games we tried, it literally cut the frame rate in half to run it in 3D mode rather than regular 2D mode. And this is a pretty powerful laptop, on top of that. It's got an Intel Core i7 CPU and a pretty high-end ATI Radeon Graphics card. If you take all the 3D stuff out of the equation, this is actually a pretty capable mid-sized multimedia-friendly laptop. It's from Lenovo's IdeaPad line, which we've always liked. And of course, it has a powerful CPU, a powerful GPU. So, it's definitely a high-end computer. But, at $1399, there's certainly a lot less expensive option out there that can do roughly the same thing. And there are options that are about the same price, maybe a little bit more, that use NVIDIA's 3D Vision for their 3D hardware and software, and that gives you a much better experience if you're really into the whole 3D thing. So there's actually a lot to like about this laptop, especially the fact that for Lenovo, it's got a pretty funky design. This is the first time, I think, we've seen some sort of tribal tattoo back of the lid thing on a Lenovo---- the guys who make those, you know, uber up-tight ThinkPad laptops. At the same time, we'd rather pay a little bit less and get the system without the 3D built in, or pay just a tiny bit more and get a 3D laptop with NVIDIA's 3D Vision, if you're really into 3D. I don't that many people who are. I'm Dan Ackerman, and that is the Lenovo IdeaPad Y560d.