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Sony jumps into 3D laptops with the Vaio F series

Sony is now joining the 3D fray with the new 16-inch Vaio F Series 3D laptop.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

Laptops that use active shutter 3D glasses have been few and far between, but the handful we've seen (from HP, Asus, and others) have all been at least as good as their desktop counterparts, which require a checklist of compatible video cards, cables, and monitors to function. Sony is now joining the fray with the new Vaio F series 3D laptop, a 16-inch system that makes use of both Nvidia's popular 3D Vision technology and Sony's own 3DTV system.

The display has a native resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels, which is a nice upgrade from most 3D laptops, which trade down to lower 1,366x768-pixel panels. The native 1080p screen is suited for HD video, so we're pleased to see a Blu-ray drive included as well. Of the F series, Sony says, "This laptop is a multimedia powerhouse melding cutting-edge technologies such as Blu-ray Disc and 3D functionality into one portable device."

Sony Vaio F series (photos)

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The F series also includes the 2D-to-3D conversion feature found on many 3D flat-screen TVs, which creates a faux 3D effect in 2D content. It's a gimmick at best, but can occasionally be useful, perhaps in video games, but your mileage may vary. There's also simulated surround sound, thanks to the S-Force Front Surround 3D system.

From our brief hands-on with the system, our understanding is that the glasses provided with it will work on both the laptop and Sony's 3DTVs, but that standard Nvidia 3D glasses will also work on the laptop (which makes sense, as the GPU is Nvidia's 3D-friendly GeForce GT540M). The design is also a bit of departure for Sony, ditching the usual rounded hinge design for a chassis that is more sharply angular shape, with the hinge set back behind the main body, which is thicker in the back and tapers off towards the sharp front lip.

We're still waiting to hear exact price and availability details on the Sony Vaio F series 3D laptop.