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Acer Aspire 5738 3D review: Acer Aspire 5738 3D

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The Good 3D effect looks passable with some games; large hard disk; fast CPU.

The Bad Graphics card is mediocre; 3D feature is mostly a gimmick.

The Bottom Line The Acer Aspire 5738 3D is capable of delivering a passable 3D image, but, in most cases, this functionality is ineffective and gimmicky. Don't let that put you off, though, because -- gimmicks aside -- it's actually a very good machine

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7.5 Overall

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The 3D snowball has gradually gained momentum and, if consumer-electronics companies are to be believed, it will soon become something of an avalanche. It's hardly surprising, then, that Acer has created the 15.6-inch Aspire 5738 3D, the world's first laptop to sport a 3D screen. The screen is rather like one you'd find in a 1960s drive-in cinema, only in laptop form. The 5738 3D is available to buy now from around £600.

The prodigy
The 3D display has been made possible due to the efforts of Australian company Dynamic Digital Depth, whose TriDef 3D technology can, allegedly, transform any 2D content into 3D. The system is pretty simple. When the 3D mode isn't enabled, the laptop's 120Hz display shows images as normal. When the 3D mode is enabled, that 120Hz image is split into two 60Hz stereoscopic images, and a pair of polarising glasses -- not the active-shutter or red-and-green anaglyph type -- are required to provide the impression of depth.

Pay close attention
We're pleased to report that the 3D effect works, but only under strict conditions: the screen must be tilted to a precise 120° angle, your eyes must be 60cm away, and you must be willing to look like a total dork with the one-size-too-small stereoscopic glasses or the clip-on lenses that go over your own prescription spectacles. Once you're aligned perfectly, there's a definite feeling of depth to the on-screen graphics, although, if you move your body for whatever reason, the entire illusion is ruined.

Take your brain to another dimension
Acer supplies a variety of purpose-built 3D demo movies and stills, some of which have a better 3D feel than others. In the best examples, the screen gains tremendous depth, appearing not as a flat surface but as a small window that objects can move in and out of. In some cases, the closest objects actually appear to be floating directly above the keyboard -- it's almost as if you can reach out and grab them.

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